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Getting a fair price on home insurance is a priority for many homeowners. Comparison shopping is a great way to find the coverage you need at a reasonable cost. We’ve analyzed average rates from major Vermont homeowners insurance companies to help you find an affordable policy.
Cheap Home Insurance in Vermont Cost Comparison
Related: The Best Home Insurance Companies
Home Insurance Cost Factors
Your chances of getting cheap homeowners insurance in Vermont will depend on several pricing factors, such as:
- The age of the house
- House construction materials, such as stone or wood
- The cost of rebuilding the house
- The fire rating in your zip code
- Claims history in your postal code
- Your personal claims history
- Your credit
- Your deductible amount
- The amount of coverage and policy limits
Related: 10 ways to get cheap home insurance
What does home insurance cover?
Your home is covered for any problem that is not excluded in a standard home insurance policy, called HO-3. For example, sinkholes, floods, earthquakes, war, wear and tear, power outages, and insect and vermin infestations are common exclusions from an HO-3 policy.
Your personal property is covered for specific “perils” in a standard home insurance policy. Fires, vandalism, explosions and theft are just a few of the issues covered by home insurance.
A standard home insurance policy can be divided into these types of coverage:
- Lodging: This coverage pays to repair or rebuild your home, as well as attached structures, such as a porch or garage, if damaged by a problem covered by your policy.
- Other books: Gazebos, fences, barns and other structures that are not attached to your home are covered by this type of home insurance if they are damaged and need to be repaired or replaced.
- Personal property: It pays to repair or replace your personal items after something goes wrong, like theft or fire. This includes your clothing, furniture, jewelry, rugs, artwork, appliances, and other types of items.
- Responsibility: This pays for property damage and injuries you accidentally cause to others. For example, if a guest slips on your icy sidewalk, your liability insurance may pay for a settlement or court judgment against you. It also covers the costs of a legal defence.
- Medical payments to others: Small medical expenses for people who do not live in your home are covered by medical insurance. It pays regardless of who is responsible for the accident. For example, if your guest cuts their hand while helping you prepare dinner, this coverage can pay for a trip to the emergency room. Coverage amounts are usually low, like $1,000.
- Additional living expenses: If you are temporarily displaced due to an issue covered by your policy, such as a fire, additional living expenses pay for expenses such as hotel bills, laundry service, and even restaurant meals.
Related: How Much Home Insurance Do You Need?
What is not covered by home insurance?
Common exclusions found in a standard HO-3 policy include issues such as earthquakes, floods, sinkholes, war, power outages, nuclear hazards, wear and tear, vermin and insects and intentional losses.
It’s a good idea to review your policy carefully to make sure you understand what is excluded from coverage.
Most Common Disasters in Vermont
Compared to many other states, Vermont does not have a wide variety of declared disasters to deal with. Severe storms and flooding are the most common disasters in Green Mountain State.
Vermonters are no strangers to snow, but sometimes the wintry weather can be a bit too much. Between December 9 and December 13, 2014, heavy rain and snow blanketed the state, with some areas reaching up to 20 inches. Heavy trees laden with snow fell and caused over 175,000 power outages and over $4 million in property damage. President Obama has declared a disaster.
Disasters by month in Vermont
June, July and August have historically been the busiest months for declared disasters in Vermont.
Disasters by year in Vermont
Homeowners in Vermont face an average of nearly two declared disasters each year. But 2011 was a busier year than most.
Hurricane Irene was the main culprit. By the time the storm hit Vermont on August 28, 2011, Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm. In less than 24 hours, up to 20 cm of rain fell and caused massive flooding. The storm not only damaged hundreds of homes, but the floodwaters also cut off escape routes for some communities. Food and water were delivered by National Guard helicopters.
Flood Insurance in Vermont
A standard HO-3 policy will not cover flood damage. But Vermont averages about 27 floods a year. You may want to consider flood insurance if your property is at risk.
On Halloween 2019, a powerful storm system swept across the Great Lakes and hit Vermont. Burlington saw a record 3.3 inches of rain. The ensuing flood damaged homes and in some areas rescue workers had to evacuate people from their homes and cars. Strong winds also left a lasting impact. Thousands of people in more than 150 cities suffered power cuts. Governor Phil Scott submitted and received a disaster declaration for the storm damage.
Many parts of the United States are experiencing destructive and costly flooding, but may not have been declared a federal disaster. Here’s a look at the number of recent floods in Vermont.
Government financial assistance after a flood may be limited. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your own flood insurance to rely on. Most people who have flood insurance get it through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program. You can also buy flood insurance on the private market.
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) can provide direct and financial assistance after a major disaster or emergency, if you qualify. This program helps people find housing after a problem directly caused by a disaster that is not covered by insurance or other sources.
Earthquake Insurance in Vermont
Although Vermont has not experienced a declared earthquake disaster, you might be shocked to learn that Green Mountain State has seismic activity. Vermont is at moderate risk for earthquakes according to the US Geological Survey’s 2018 National Long-Term Seismic Hazard Map.
In fact, there were 15 mild earthquakes with epicenters in Vermont between January 1, 2016 and April 1, 2020. But Vermont residents can also feel earthquakes from their neighbors in Canada and New York. .
And it’s not just the tectonic plates that are rocking the state. Cryoseisms (also known as earthquakes) can cause shaking due to shallow cracking of the ground due to rapid freezing activity.
If you want coverage for damage caused by an earthquake, you will need to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy. A standard HO-3 policy does not cover earthquakes.
Earthquake insurance generally covers:
- Other Structures
- Personal property
- Additional living expenses
Earthquake insurance may have a separate deductible from your home insurance, usually between 10% and 25% of the home’s policy limit.
Tips for getting home insurance
Long-time homeowners and first-time home buyers have a common goal: to find a good home insurance policy at a fair price without sacrificing coverage. Here are some home insurance buying tips to help you find a policy:
- Estimate the cost of rebuilding your home. Your home coverage should cover the amount it costs to rebuild your home based on fair materials and labor costs in your area. If you need help estimating this number, talk to your insurance agent or a trusted contractor.
- Opt for replacement cost coverage. If you want your damaged items replaced with new items, replacement cost coverage is your best option. Actual cash value coverage will only pay for the depreciated value of your items, which takes into account the age of the item and wear and tear.
- Purchase additional coverage for your valuables. A standard home insurance policy has sublimits on certain types of items, such as stolen jewelry. You may want to consider planning your personal property so that your high value items are insured for what they are worth.
- Make sure your liability coverage is adequate. Generally, you want enough liability insurance to cover what might be taken away from you in a lawsuit, or at least $300,000.
- Fill in coverage gaps. If you have needs beyond what is provided in a standard HO-3, you can usually purchase more coverage. For example, you may want higher limits for landscaping.
- Choose a financially sound company. Your bank might not fund you unless you choose an insurer that has at least an “A” financial strength rating. You can check an insurer’s financial strength rating with a company like AM Best or Standard & Poor’s.
- Don’t forget the discounts. You may be eligible for certain types of discounts, such as a home security discount or a bundled discount when you insure your car and home with the same company.
- Get multiple quotes. The best way to find a good price is to compare home insurance quotes from several companies. You can get them for free online or by speaking with an independent insurance agent.
Average home insurance rates were calculated using data from Quadrant Information Services. Rates are based on a policy with $300,000 home coverage and $100,000 liability coverage.