Home insurance costs in Massachusetts 2021

Home insurance costs in Massachusetts

 

The Bay State is one of the most exciting places on the East Coast to live in. Along with great business opportunities, thanks to a flourishing economy, you can find many colleges and universities of top quality; in case that’s not enough, you have access to beaches, lots of green and outdoor activities. The cost of living in Massachusetts is average in relation to most of the necessary expenses, but can be quite high for buying a house, especially for householders of the coastal areas.

It is fundamental to include a homeowners insurance policy in your budget, since Massachusetts has a high chance to face severe weather yearly, due to its geography. The most frequent phenomenons are hurricanes and every kind of windstorms, floods, and snow in the winter. You may want to know how and to which extent your policy will be able to cover such hazards, so as to prevent any possible financial burden.

Policyholders in Massachusetts pay an average premium of $1,245 per year*. We have investigated the most active companies in the State and obtained quotes from them. The insurance companies in question are: Amica, Allstate, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, MAPFRE, Progressive, Statefarm, Travelers, USAA, and UPC. All these have an excellent reputation, overall customer satisfaction, and strong financial power, as confirmed by four major rating institutions: J.D. Power, AM Best, Better Business Bureau, and NAIC which considers low complaints for the number of policies. Because of its position on the coastline, which constitutes a high risk of damages and losses of great extent, some other companies with a presence in other States are not subscribing in Massachusetts.

In the below table, you can see how much to expect if living in one of the ten most populous cities in Massachusetts: premiums result from averaging the quotes and are intended for a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 of liability coverage.

At a glance, premiums differ significantly among cities. So what affects your policy rates the most? The reason you find such a cheap price in Lowell is due to its overall low likely that homeowners will file a claim, because the location is at least risk of hazards, compared to the others. Similarly, let’s say you live in Boston: your premium won’t be $1,425 anywhere in the city, but varying upon factors like the district, as well as size, age and material construction of your house, proximity to a fire station or extinguisher, the crime rate of your neighborhood, and a few others. You may also need additional coverage, on top of your underlying policy, if your home is exposed to specific perils.

 

City Home insured value Square ft Premium
Boston
$251,900
1,950
$1,425
Worcester
$205,000
1,580
$1,060
Springfield
$150,000
1,320
$1,140
Cambridge
$351,500
1,500
$1,345
Lowell
$136,000
1,230
$865
Brockton
$164,600
1,540
$1,315
New Bedford.
$108,600
1,630
$1,700
Quincy
$190,600
1,470
$1,480
Lynn
$152,400
1,400
$1,745
Fall River
$119,500
1,800
$1,225

 

 

Which coverages do you need in Massachusetts?

 

A standard homeowners insurance covers wind, fire, thunder, hail, the weight of snow, and their consequences, to some extent. For instance, if a high wind caused a flood, the policy won’t insure your home for damages or losses due to the water. Besides, residences more likely to be involved in severe weather issues may not have enough coverage through a basic policy, or it can be denied by companies who don’t want to take the risk.

Hurricanes and the so-called nor’easters are the major concerns for homeowners in Massachusetts. All kinds of windstorms, including tornadoes and cyclones, are covered perils, however, hurricanes require their own deductible, which will come into play if such event is declared by the National Weather Service, and is reported to provoke damage to houses. If you have a coastal property, you might not be able to get a standard policy: in that case, you can resort to the FAIR plan, run by the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association, which provides windstorm and hail coverage. The FAIR plan can also apply to inland residences, which will also need adequate coverage from windstorms in this State.

Floodings are likely to happen, and are mainly triggered by high winds that move water from the Ocean, and can cause the overflowing of the many rivers crossing the State. Heavy rains are also brought by the streams and contribute to creating water damage. Living a few miles from the coastline, or near a copious river are indications you need to purchase flood insurance, on top of your standard home policy, which can’t cover the flood hazard, nearly every time.

A flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is accessible through your underwriting company if it adheres to the program; homeowners can obtain coverage in this way, regardless of their conditions. Alternatively, you can get protection from private, local flood insurance companies, usually with the advantage of cheaper premiums and more flexibility, since they are specialized in understanding the needs of householders at risk.

 

How much is flood insurance in Massachusetts?

 
 

Premiums can range from as low as $170 to $1700 and beyond, with an average of $1,275**, depending strictly on the location of your home. These amounts are intended to cover both the building and the personal properties, including attached structures like a garage (but typically excluding vehicles, which must be insured separately with car insurance, for instance).

In the cold winters, the fall and accumulation of snow become an issue, because put a burden on the roofs and can cause the plumbing to stiffen and burst, with resulting micro-floods. Iced floors before the entrance of your house can make a visitor falling to the ground, thus making sure you will be responsible for his/her medical expenses, or even for your legal charges. Snow and liability coverages are part of your basic insurance policy so that you will be covered against those contingencies.

Another serious possibility, although rare and involving only some houses, are sinkholes. Sandy soils are affected by coastal erosion, which is exacerbated by nor’easters. In order to avoid such harmful contingency, you must ascertain that your home foundation is solid if it’s located in the shelter of the coast. Then, since a common homeowners policy doesn’t cover this peril, you should buy sinkhole insurance. This can be either an extension of your basic policy if your company provides it or a standalone policy that you can get from the Massachusetts Department of Insurance. In both cases, the coverage applies both to the building and its contents: every loss will be fully restored, with varying conditions.

 

Tips for saving on home insurance in Massachusetts

 
 Over time, you can manipulate several factors being under your control, that affect the amount of your premium. All those relate to the safety of your house: the more it is, the less likely you will file a claim, hence the lower the rates of the policy.
 
  • The bulk of your expenses might be addressed to flood insurance: you can take a few steps to save on it.
  • One of the most important changes you can do is home modernizing, at least parts of it, especially if the construction is older than forty years: you can check for outdated components or materials, and if possible, replace it. Insurers charge old houses with significantly higher premiums, because they are considered weaker overall, therefore more prone to be damaged; besides, they would cost more to repair or rebuild.
  • Part of this equation is up to the roof: mind having an old roof, as for its materials or expiration date, since it’s a crucial element for the integrity of your house. Can it stand against hurricanes or tornadoes? Could a thunder, or the weight of snow, crash it? Sometimes a real estate agent has enough information in this regard, other times it is worth a contractor appraisal. Repairing or replacing the roof, as appropriate, will surely lower your premium.
  • A simple method to save is to protect at best from fire: you can install smoke alarms and/or equip yourself with a fire hose if one is not already within your reach. Or, investing in flame-retardant materials for the exteriors.
  • Defend against crime. According to recent data we gathered from the internet, property crime in Massachusetts is half compared to the national median, which means a relatively low rate. However, that is just an average, and some cities in their districts can still be dangerous. Make your insurer know you have installed anti-theft alarms, surveillance devices, and special locks.
  • Avoid holding aggressive pets, that pose liability matters; prefer tame breeds of dogs or just cats.

Also, take care of your financial shape. Your credit score must be ranging from 670 to 739, which is considered as ‘good’, in order to get the standard offers for your policy. Your history of payments dictates how much your score is, and you can always improve it: if you have a higher score, you will benefit from a lower premium, often in the form of discounts.

If you are a new homeowner, following the general guidelines will do the trick:

 

  • first of all, compare the market options, get at least two or three quotes from different companies, to find the one that is most suitable for your needs. Cheaper costs may not be necessarily best for your situation.
  • play with deductibles: this is the most immediate parameter on which you can put your hands. If you want to save for its sake, choose a higher deductible, but at your risk: you will pay more out of pocket should damage or loss occur.
  • bundle your home insurance with car insurance: typically, you can get a substantial lowering of the premium, in some cases up to 30%
  • plan to stay loyal with the same insurer: most of the time, this you will get you rewarded.

If you want to know how much your annual premium can be, use our calculator, so as to see what amount of coverages may be indicated, based on the values you input; mind how you can control your premium by opting for different deductibles. Then, you will be more confident to go through the process of receiving quotes from the most rated and trustworthy insurance companies on the market.

*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.

**Inferred by FEMA’s publicly available data.