Home insurance costs in DC 2021

Home insurance costs in District of Columbia

 

DC is the headquarter of the capital city of Washington, a vibrant city with a strong political and economical importance. If you have a home here, you are at the center of businesses, have possibilities of rewarding careers, you can take part in a modern dynamic style of life, and still, you have access to parks and stunning neighborhoods, not being too far from the sea and nature. Besides all this, to get out the most of a fulfilling life, you must invest in the safety of your house: getting home insurance is no exception, as like for other States, since DC is not immune to some perils that can be of big harm to your house.

When insuring a home in DC, a few hazards must be taken into consideration: thunderstorms, tornadoes, flooding, and hail are the most significant and likely to happen. How your house is prepared to face these events, will impact noticeably on the cost of your policy.

From our analysis*, the average annual premium for homeowners in DC is $1,055. That’s far below how much the average American homeowner pays: this is likely because the number of claims filed is relatively low over a long timespan, although it doesn’t mean that you don’t need insurance. Take a look at the table below.

ZIP Home Value Square Ft Premium
20011
$780,000
1850
$1,165
20032
$375,000
1545
$940

 

We have taken two home samples of different worth. You can notice that despite the home values difference, their premiums aren’t that distant: that’s because the home replacement cost for the first house is $225,000 (this is typical for most houses over $500,000 worth in DC), while for the second one is $200,000. Both the houses are equipped with 3 beds and 2 bathrooms; the deductible applied is $1,000, liability is $500,000. These premiums are averaged from multiple quotes of major insurance companies like Allstate, Amica, Chubb, Erie, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, Statefarm, Travelers, and USAA.

Due to its geographical position, not on the coast but few miles inland, DC is exposed to windstorms that originates from the Ocean: the high humidity rate contributes to creating heavy rains with thunderstorms, that are particularly manifest in the summer season, along with the possibility of tornadoes and hurricanes. Dampness is also responsible for mold and mildew. Hail, thunder, and wind are all named perils in a standard homeowners policy: this means you have full coverage if the house should suffer from any damage from them. However, you should always check carefully your policy paperwork for coverages or, in doubt, simply asking your insurer.

DC is among the 19 States for which is imposed a hurricane deductible to be paid on top of the first deductible set on the dwelling coverage (effective for regular winds, fire, hail, and the other covered perils): it usually comes in percentages of 1%, 2%, 5% of the home’s insured value, but at some conditions, it’s possible to arrange a dollar value. So, let’s say your house was insured for $225,000 and a fixed 2% deductible: after being hit by a hurricane declared as such by the National Weather Service, you would pay $4,500 out of your pocket before the insurance settlement kicks in.

Floodings can be a serious issue in DC: the presence of the Potomac River, abundance of rains, and windstorms are all favorable factors. Unfortunately, flood is not typically covered at a basic level, but you need separate insurance from a private company or through the publicly run National Program (NFIP). The flood risk varies through the State, so it is advisable referring the Department of Insurance website of DC, where you can find more detailed information and links to the FEMA website, on which you can locate your house on maps of risk. In this way you can know if flood insurance is necessary for you: residing in a high-risk area, makes it mandatory to the eyes of a mortgage lender.

As mentioned, mold is caused by wet climate, especially in the summer, and can be the reason for a headache: are you covered from mold? The answer is: it depends. If it’s a consequence of a covered event, such as an accidental and sudden overflow of water from plumbing, then you are insured; if instead, mold has formed over time and you didn’t notice, then it was your fault of negligence and no, it won’t be covered.

 

Can I save on home insurance in DC?

 

Yes, of course. It is always relieving to be able to pay less, especially with stellar mortgages one has in DC. Insurers look to a bunch of things to determine your premium: if your house results to be safe overall, you will be awarded the best rates. Following are the house-related factors on which you can directly take action.

  • Home’s age: this is a major contributor. Most of the houses in DC are the 80’s, but if you own an older house, that is to say, more than forty-years-old, then your premium will be higher since such property will cost more to repair or rebuild in case of damage or loss, while it might not meet the modern criteria of safety for some of its components, and is more susceptible to be damaged.
  • The roof is a bulwark against most perils: it must be resistant to the striking power of the thunderstorms, perhaps the most frequent peril in DC. Make sure it is, eventually upgrading with newer materials.
  • Windows and doors defend your house from windstorms and hail: sometimes it is necessary to reinforce them
  • Non-absorbing foundation and doors that don’t have space beneath are what can protect your house from floodings.
  • Owning only pets that can’t do harm to other people is quite important, in fact, some insurer takes this so seriously that can even refuse to grant you a policy unless you get rid of them.

Crime in DC is definitely a concern, with among the highest rate in the U.S., according to the official investigative reports. You must safeguard your home from burglaries, thefts, and even arsons: this is true because of the median quite high worth of properties through this mini-State, along with its socio-political context. From installing devices like cameras, alarms, having high-tech locks, and vaults to reinforcing the ways of an entrance, all you can do will be rewarded by insurers.

It is strongly recommended to not file a claim unless strictly necessary: mind that insurance is not intended to act as fund of emergency but to cover expenses that would be financially burdensome, if not impossible. A claim made in the last three to five years from the renewal of a policy can make increasing its cost by 20-25%.

Your credit score is an index of wealth and influences the premium by hundreds of dollars. Insurers always look at it to understand how much you can rely on your resources, or are likely to ask for settlements in case of need. The average DC’er has 701, a ‘good’ score: staying anywhere between 670 and 739 is such, and beyond 740 you will likely get discounts on your premium.

Finally, it is suggested to do these for having the most comfortable experience with your home insurance: shopping around for multiple quotes, in order to find the right compromise for your needs; bundling home with car insurance; possibly increasing your deductible; staying with the same company at policy renewal.

Now, you can get a roughly 1-minute estimate of how much your annual premium will be, with all the coverages you need. Then, you will comfortably start the process of getting quotes from the most trustworthy insurance companies on the market, until finding the best suitable for you.

*Methodology: we aggregated and averaged multiple quotes for every city of the State, assuming a 35 years old individual, married, with a good credit score. Our effort is to keep data always updated and the most accurate possible, so as to satisfy at best the consumer’s expectations.