Home insurance costs in North Carolina 2021

Home insurance costs in North Carolina 

 

If you got a place in North Carolina, and like its year-round mild climate, you can be considered lucky. Your State has beautiful beaches, parks, and mountains, as well as cities not so big as you find elsewhere, but that make you feel like part of a big community. That doesn’t mean you can’t pursue an urban more business-oriented lifestyle, where you have access to excellent education, in fact, you can have it all: the cost of living is low, and people are known to have a friendly and kind attitude. Though, everything comes with some downsides: weather can be quite turbulent sometimes, and hurricanes can manifest, just like in any Eastside coast facing States. As a homeowner, you must take some precautions: this can be done with adequate knowledge about your home insurance policy, a good investment for a safe and better life.

A standard policy like the commonly bought H0-3 covers most of the perils you may encounter as a householder, but a couple of hazards require special attention: they are floods and hurricanes. Their presence competes on determining the amount of premiums in North Carolina, which anyway are not particularly high.

From our research, we found that an average annual premium for North Carolina homeowners is $1,154*. However, it must be said there is ample difference among cities, that reflects how they are dealing with the overall risk factor. The make of your house, its size, age, coastal or inland location, and insurance company of choice will influence your premium by various degrees. 

We obtained quotes from top-rated companies: Allstate, Amica, Chubb, Erie, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, Statefarm, Travelers, and USAA. All these perform very well as for financial strength, as assessed from two dedicated institutions, AM Best and Better Business Bureau; moreover, they result among the ones with the greatest customer satisfaction from J.D. Power, a consumers data researching company, and NAIC which can testify a low complaint ratio for the number of policies written.

Deeping dive, you can get the idea of how much is a premium for ten of the most populated cities in North Carolina:

Median home values are for the city of reference. Each home’s insured value is different, is based on but not equal to the market value; so premiums refer to different dwelling coverages, which are the ones needed for repairing or rebuilding a house that might suffer any damage or loss (replacement cost value). A $1,000 deductible is applied, along with $100,000 of liability coverage. You can also see how living in different cities affects the premium: for instance, if you compare Charlotte and Wilmington, you have roughly the same type of house (as regard worth and size), but a large gap of policy cost. In North Carolina, you will typically find that houses located in the western inland regions cost less to insure, and as you approach the eastern regions toward the coast, those prices rise accordingly.

City Median home value Square ft Premium
Charlotte
$250,000
1,850
$1,045
Raleigh
$305,000
1,730
$1,065
Greensboro
$210,000
1,705
$800
Durham
$280,000
1,650
$1,070
Winston-Salem
$205,000
1,615
$995
Fayetteville
$190,000
1,900
$1,280
Cary
$325,000
2,285
$1,070
Wilmington
$240,000
1,660
$2,315
High Point
$155,000
1,425
$880
Greenville
$195,000
1,835
$1,295

 

Which coverages do you need in North Carolina?

Depending on your residence being located near or far from the coast, you may need additional coverage to your standard homeowner’s policy.

 

Windstorms and hail coverage

Despite the apparent tranquillity of weather, North Carolina still faces some turbulent phenomenons, that are infrequent but can be of devastating harm range, like the Hurricane Irene occurred in 2011 and Florence in 2018, which caused big losses to the State economy. Hence, homeowners must protect themselves from those possibilities.

Windstorms, in general, are covered under the ‘wind’ wording in the policy paperwork: tornadoes are included, as well as indirect damage as a tree smashing the roof and hail infiltrating the inside of houses. However, some high-risk residences that are the ones located nearer the coast, are excluded for wind and hail coverage from most private insurance companies, since it would be too much onerous for them to insure such houses.

If that’s your case, you can benefit from the Coastal Property Insurance Pool (CPIP) plan, which offers windstorms and hail coverage only, and that will be purchased on top of your standard policy. Instead, if for whatever reason you couldn’t get insurance and live in far from the coastal areas, you can turn to the FAIR plan, provided by the North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association: this acts as a full spectrum coverage policy, although with some limitations as regards amount and type of coverages, compared to a standard common H0-3 insurance. More information about these dedicated programs can be found at ncjua-nciua.org.

For about half of the State properties, a hurricane deductible will be applied: it is a percentage of the dwelling coverage, the amount you will pay from your pocket in case of damage or loss to your house caused by a named highwind, declared by the National Weather Service, occurring anywhere on the territory. That is a second deductible, on top of the one that is typically imposed on dwelling and personal properties in the underlying policy. 

Flood insurance

 

North Carolina is undoubtedly exposed to floods, due to its geography. They can be in the form of flash flooding, rivers overflow, dam breaks, water driven by tropical storms, coastal flooding, and even melting of snow.

Like in other States, different areas vary for flood risk, but even those with a low likely should consider being insured, because the damages can be quite costly from just a few inches of water inundating your house. A basic home policy like an H0-3 almost never covers flood: you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy, like the one provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and accessible through your underwriting company.

Alternatively, you can choose a specialized local company, where you will probably find cheaper prices and more elasticity as for amounts of coverage, although in general the bulk of flood policies are bought right from the NFIP, because of its trustworthiness, maximum availability, and transparency. You can consult flood risk maps on the FEMA website, which will help you decide if having flood coverage is worth it for your location: an exception could be living in the highlands western counties.

For this option, you may expect to spend around $710 per year as average; for areas with the lowest risk premiums can be below half that amount, while residents of high-risk zones see rates above $1,000, and up to $2,000 and beyond.

 

Covered perils

 
Snow and thunderstorms are also common reasons for claims.

Some winters can be particularly cold intense, for periods long enough to make snow accumulate, and causing potential damage to roofs that are not sufficiently capable of handling certain weight, plus the stiffening and bursting of plumbing pipes. Snow and its consequences are covered in a traditional homeowners policy.

Thunders can destroy some roofs, generate fires, and short-circuiting appliances with loss. Every result can be compensated from a standard policy, provided you can demonstrate that their root cause was actually the thunders. Fire is also specified on the declaration page of a policy, so eventually, you will be protected against it.

 

 

How to save on home insurance in North Carolina

 
 Most homeowners are rightly interested in saving on their policy. This can be done in several ways, but what they all have in common is the effect on reducing the chance of filing a claim, otherwise said increasing the safety of your house and your personal condition.

Many factors are intrinsic to your house and can be modified:

  • Age and construction materials are the cornerstones of a safe home. If the building dates back to more than forty years, you have to do some adjustments for bringing at least some components to newer standards, if you want to access a lower premium. For instance, windows can be especially frail, there can be an old fireplace, wood furniture, and/or an old HVAC system. Besides, there are usually hundreds of dollars difference between a masonry/brick and a frame build. So, the point is: if possible, refurbish over time.
  • Quality of roof is with good reason a crucial element for an insurer: it must resist high winds, hail, thunders, and snow. If it crashes, even partially, a lot of the house and its contents can be damaged, not to mention the hazard for your own life. If your house is not newly built, or old, its roof might be in sub-optimal conditions: being near the expiration date, cracked in some points or made with poor materials. It may be worth an expert appraisal.
 
Besides, you can:
  • Protect against possible fire: equip with a fire hydrant, install smoke alarms, or eventually remove wooden items inside the home.
  • Defend from property crime: while it doesn’t result as a particular concern in North Carolina, you will still be rewarded by insurers for having anti-theft systems, like alarms, cameras, special locks, and vaults.
  • Get rid of dangerous pets: they can rise a liability claim, which is costly to compensate for and will noticeably increase your premium. Prefer docile animals, instead.

The financial factor will also be determinant for your premium: according to Experian, in 2019 the average credit score in North Carolina was 694. That is considered a ‘good’ score: anything in the range of 670-739 is such. In substance, it means that you will likely rely on your own resources to pay for possible troubles related to your home, instead of asking for insurance settlements. If you are below that numbers, you can always improve it, so as to get a lower premium at policy renewal.

As first homebuyers, you should consider all these tips for the long term.

But there are quick interventions you can make to your premium: comparing quotes from at least two insurance companies will help more than anything else to save, and find the most suitable conditions for your needs.

Then you can choose a high deductible: you accept the compromise of paying less on your policy, but more of your pocket at the time of settlement for damages or losses.

Nearly every insurer offers some discount when homeowners insurance is bundled with car insurance. And if you can stay loyal to it, further benefits will come, since companies make every effort to keep their customers.

Use our calculator to see how much your annual insurance premium will be, prior to getting quotes. It will also display the corresponding amount of coverages, and how you can manipulate the policy cost with different deductibles. Then, shop from the most established and trusted 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.