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New York homeowners insurance

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New York Central Mutual (NYCM) is the cheapest New York homeowners insurance company, among carriers surveyed. Its average rate for New York homeowners is $1,045 a year, or $87 a month. That’s $795 less than the state average of $1,840 and about $465 less than the national average ($2,305).

Key takeaways: What you’ll learn here

5 Best homeowners insurance companies in New York

Best for price: New York Central Mutual

 

New York Central Mutual (NYCM) was the cheapest homeowners insurance company among those surveyed, with an average rate of $1,045 a year for $300,000 dwelling and liability coverage. However, NYCM is best for those who don’t want to get quotes, file claims and manage their policy online – you need to call an agent to do so.

In addition to standard coverage, discounts beyond the standard include:

  • Green discount for homes that meet certification criteria
  • Retirement discount for homeowners age 55 and older who work less than 20 hours and live in the house for at least 10 months a year.
  • Work-from-home 5% discount for those listed on the policy who work from home for at least 20 hours for an employer, though it can’t be used with the retirement discount.
  • Renovation discount can be applied to homes that are at least 20 years old when you can prove purchase and installation of a new roof or heating source. The discount will apply for 20 years from the installation date.
  • Gated community discount.

Best for customer service: American Family

American Family excels in treating its customers right, and as a result has a super low complaint ratio filed with state regulators. It also received a four-star rating for customer service in the 2021 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies ranking. Ninety-four percent said they’d renew their coverage with American Family. However, it is only available in 19 states. In addition to standard coverage and discounts, American Family offers:

  • Coverage for matching siding, which will pay to replace undamaged siding so that it matches the siding of the damaged area.
  • You can also add coverage for family members living in nursing homes or assisted living homes. The relative’s personal possessions are covered under your policy. Under this benefit, your relative is also covered if he or she causes accidental injuries to others or damages to others’ property. (Injuries to personnel of the nursing home or assisted living facility are not covered by this additional coverage.)
  • American Family now offers a diminishing deductible you can buy that reduces our deductible over time. Your deductible will be cut by $100 yearly at renewal, up to your policy’s maximum limit.

Discounts beyond the typical kind include:

  • Those for smart homes if you have a smart-home security system equipped with sensors that detect smoke, fire and water, you can snag a discount.
  • Generational discount, American Family also has a generational discount – if you’re between the ages of 18 to 30 and your parents have an active home or auto policy with American Family, you could save more with on your home policy.

Best for claims: Safeco

Safeco 4.5 out of five stars for claims handling in the Best Home Insurance Companies 2021 rankings for the Northeast. Its average New York home insurance rate is low ($1,504), compared to most major carriers surveyed. In addition to standard coverage and discounts, it offers:

  • Equipment breakdown coverage, for $2 a month, repairs or replaces household appliances after mechanical or electrical breakdowns—which are often not covered under a standard homeowners policy.
  • The Safeco Package includes a single-loss deductible. That means if you have a car insurance policy and it’s damaged in the same event as your home, your auto deductible will be waived.
  • Extended dwelling coverage helps in the event of a catastrophe when there’s soaring demand for building materials and labor that could cause reconstruction costs to increase, leaving policy limits inadequate. That’s where extended dwelling coverage kicks in.
  • Identity theft recovery.
  • The Guaranteed Repair Network program connects you with prequalified experts to create estimates and perform repairs quickly, seamlessly, and with a guaranteed material and labor warranty backed by Safeco.
  • Home warranty coverage in partnership with American Home shield. For a monthly charge, it pays the cost of repairing or replacing your covered items. You can get broad coverage for appliances and components of electrical and plumbing systems or can designate just a few specific items.

Best for home-auto bundle discounts: Allstate

Allstate had the highest average home-auto bundle discount (27%) for New York homeowners among major companies surveyed by Insurance.com. That works out to an annual savings of about $400.

Allstate’s average home insurance rate for New York ($1,808) is in the top five for affordable rates, and also offers a host of discounts beyond bundling to make coverage even more affordable. While many of its discounts are standard among most major carriers, it offers a wide range of options with reasonable price breaks. It received four stars (out of five) for customer service and for claims among Northeast homeowners.

In addition to standard coverages, Allstate offers:

  • Water back up coverage if your home is damaged by sump pump or drain back ups.
  • Identity theft coverage.
  • Special coverage for musical instruments and sports equipment.
  • Green improvement reimbursement covers the additional cost of replacing damaged or destroyed covered items with more energy-efficient items.
  • Extra yard and garden coverage increases the limits for the cost of items like trees, landscaping and riding lawn mowers.
  • Electronic data recovery covers the cost of recovering lost personal computer data, like photos or videos.
  • HostAdvantage, which covers your belonging when renting out your home.

Discounts include:

  • Claim-free discount saves up to 20% when you switch to Allstate without a recent home insurance claim.
  • Savings for having a good payment history like paying on time and payment type (in-full, escrow, etc.)
  • Welcome & loyalty discount saves up to 10% on your home insurance premium when you switch to Allstate, and as long as you're a customer, you'll continue to save 10% every year after that.
  • Home buyer discount gives a price break if you bought a newly constructed home, or if you're a recent homebuyer.
  • Save up to 5% when you set up automatic payments.
  • Theft and fire protection discounts.
  • Save up to 10% on your home insurance premium when you sign up for a new policy at least seven days before your current one expires.

 

Best for online claims and quoting: Nationwide

In a digital world, you’d think all major carriers would allow you to get quotes, file and manage claims and pay your bills online, but that’s not the case with every insurance company. Nationwide, however, excels at offering online transactional services and lets you do all of that at its website and through its apps. Nationwide’s average New York home insurance rate is $1,327, among the most affordable carriers of those surveyed, and also offers robust coverage options and discounts.

In addition to standard coverages, it offers:

  • When filing a roof claim, the Better Roof Replacement add-on will replace your roof with a higher quality one than you had before.
  • If you need to rebuild your home, Nationwide’s “replacement cost plus” coverage pays up to an additional 20% more than your policy limit if it costs more to rebuild your house.
  • Ordinance or “law insurance” coverage may help pay to rebuild your home to current building codes after a covered loss.
  • Nationwide’s On Your Side Review is a free personalized insurance evaluation that helps you determine what coverage is best as life events change your coverage needs.
  • Credit card and debit card fraud protection.
  • Its website has an entire pet insurance section, and if you’re already a Nationwide customer, you get 5% off pet insurance when you buy it.
  • It also sells earthquake and flood insurance.

Discounts beyond the standard:

  • Discount for home renovations, including electrical or plumbing upgrades.
  • Gated community discount.
  • Discount based on your roof’s age and surface type.

Cheapest homeowners insurance companies in New York

New York Central, Nationwide, Automobile Insurance Company, Travelers and Safeco are the cheapest homeowners insurance companies in New York, based on a rate analysis by Insurance.com. These rates were fielded from major companies for nearly every ZIP code in the state and averaged by company and coverage level.

It's crucial to shop around for the best home insurance rate, because prices for the same coverage vary by hundreds of dollars. That means, if you don’t compare rates, you may wind up overpaying.

Each carrier uses its own method for deciding what you pay, which is why prices differ so much. Insurance.com Senior Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner suggests getting at least three price quotes when shopping for coverage, and says that doing so can save you up to hundreds of dollars annually.

Below are average home insurance rates, ranked by company for a policy with $300,000 in dwelling and liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible.

Company NameAverage premiumMonthly rate
New York Central$1,045$87
Nationwide$1,327$111
Automobile Insurance Company$1,402$117
Travelers$1,443$120
Safeco$1,504$125
Farmers$1,506$126
State Farm$1,527$127
Allstate$1,808$151
Great Northern$1,879$157
USAA$1,908$159
Liberty Insurance$2,199$183
LM Insurance$2,297$191
Liberty Mutual$2,322$194
First Liberty$2,330$194
Foremost$3,596$300

 

New York homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code

The most expensive ZIP codes for home insurance in New York are clustered around the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and include 10154, 10153 and 10152 with an average rate of $3,164. The least expensive ZIP code is in East Rochester (14445), with an average rate of $1,319.

Many factors affect home insurance rates. Chief among them is where you live, which is why rates vary a great deal depending on your ZIP code. In addition to location, what you pay is also influenced by the following:

  • Your home's square footage
  • Building costs in your area, and your own home's construction, materials and features
  • Local crime rates
  • The likelihood of certain types of disasters, such as hurricanes

 

New York homeowners insurance calculator

By entering your ZIP code in the search box, you’ll see the average home insurance rate for that area, as well as the highest and lowest premium fielded from major insurers. This will give you an idea of how much you can save by comparing home insurance rates. The difference between the highest the highest rate and the lowest rate is how much you can save by shopping your policy.

Homeowners insurance rates in New York by city

Though you can see how much coverage costs for your neighborhood by using our average rates tool above, you may want to know the cost of a policy in your city, and how it compares to others. Below we provide rates for New York City homeowners insurance, as well as the other large cities in the Empire State.

CityAverage rate
Rochester$1,548
Shenectady$1,577
Albany$1,595
Syracuse$1,694
Buffalo$1,703
Yonkers$2,181
New Rochelle$2,262
Mount Vernon$2,282
New York$2,827

 

Homeowners insurance rates in New York by company

Below are average yearly and monthly home insurance rates, ranked by company for a policy with $300,000 in dwelling and liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible. You’ll see New York Central is the cheapest, among carriers surveyed.

Company NameAverage premiumMonthly rate
New York Central$1,045$87
Nationwide$1,327$111
Automobile Insurance Company$1,402$117
Travelers$1,443$120
Safeco$1,504$125
Farmers$1,506$126
State Farm$1,527$127
Allstate$1,808$151
Great Northern$1,879$157
USAA$1,908$159
Liberty Insurance$2,199$183
LM Insurance$2,297$191
Liberty Mutual$2,322$194
First Liberty$2,330$194
Foremost$3,596$300

 

Homeowners insurance rates in New York by coverage level

Below we show the average cost of New York homeowners insurance for 10 coverage levels, all with a $1,000 deductible, based on a rate analysis by Insurance.com. As you can see, the difference in price between low liability limits and the recommended higher amount is negligible, less than $20.

Dwelling and liability limits with $1,000 deductibleAverage annual rateMonthly rate
$200,000 with $100,000$1,346$112
$200,000 with $300,000$1,374$115
$300,000 with $100,000$1,809$151
$300,000 with $300,000$1,840$153
$400,000 with $100,000$2,222$185
$400,000 with $300,000$2,256$188
$500,000 with $100,000$2,605$217
$500,000 with $300,000$2,638$220
$600,000 with $100,000$2,924$244
$600,000 with $300,000$2,968$247

 

Homeowners insurance discounts in New York

There are several ways to reduce your New York home insurance costs. Many insurers will lower your bill if you purchase more than one type of insurance policy from them. This process – known as "bundling" – can cut your costs by up to 17%, on average statewide, based on Insurance.com’s discount data analysis. But, depending on your insurance company and homeowner profile, it could be higher or lower.

You can also cut your costs by making your home more disaster-resistant. Installing hurricane glass or accordion shutters might net you a discount.

Other possible home insurance discounts include:

  • Installing smoke detectors, a burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks -- 5% each
  • Installing a sprinkler system, and a fire and burglar alarm -- 15% to 20% percent
  • Loyalty discounts – about 4% on average, after three to five years, and  6% for six years or more

Home-auto discount bundle in New York

New York homeowners who buy coverage for both home and auto from the same company can save an average of $230 a year, or 17%, based on Insurance.com’s rate analysis. However, savings vary by company and homeowner profile. Here is how major New York companies compare on bundle discounts.

 

CompanyAverage $ savingsAverage % savings
Allstate$40427%
New York Central$26626%
State Farm$27224%
Automobile Insurance Company$29422%
Nationwide$28320%
Metropolitan$21019%
Travelers$17415%
Pacific$20710%
Great Northern$18110%
Kingstone$14110%
Privilege$1609%
Narragansett Bay$705%
AIG$212%

 

FAQs by New York homeowners

How can I prevent frozen pipes?

The Empire State, especially upstate New York, can get downright frigid in the winter. Home insurance companies see water-related claims, including burst pipes, more often than any other.

Whether you're in Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie or Port Chester, protecting yourself against frozen pipes can save you a hefty home insurance claim.

Here are some tips to protect your pipes against freezing:

  • Shut off water to exterior faucets.
  • Cover and insulate pipes coming into your home.
  • Keep your home a few degrees warmer during particularly cold weather.
  • Let water trickle from your faucets. That will keep water flowing in your pipes.
  • If you're going away in the winter, contact a plumber about precautions, such as shutting off water to the home while you're away.

A broken pipe can quickly lead to thousands of dollars in damages. So, make sure to protect your pipes in the winter and ask a friend to check on the house at least weekly if you spend months away in a warmer climate.

Is flood insurance covered by New York home insurance?

Flood insurance isn't part of a regular home insurance policy. Instead, homeowners need to buy a separate policy either through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a home insurer that works with the NFIP.

Flood insurance rates are standard, so you get the same premiums regardless of insurance company or whether you get it through the NFIP.

Why do you need flood insurance? Well, water damage is the most common type of home insurance claim. Your home could be at risk of flooding -- even if you don't live near the coast, a river or in a flood zone.

Homes near the coast in New York are particularly vulnerable to a form of flood damage known as storm surge. Of New York’s 19.7 million residents, nearly 16 million live in coastal areas.

A Category 5 hurricane could put 467,787 New York homes in danger of storm surge. The cost to repair and reconstruct those homes after such a storm is estimated at $196.1 billion.

New York ranked 12th among all states and the District of Columbia in flood damage claims paid out during 2020. Claims totaled $11.1 billion, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Nationally, the average flood insurance premium was $642 in 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

 The cost varies depending on your flood risk, as well as the type of coverage, amount and deductible.

The average amount of flood coverage per policy in the U.S. was $257,000 in 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The average flood claim in 2018 in the U.S. was $42,580. That was down significantly from $91,735 in 2017, a year of several significant hurricane strikes in the U.S.

As of 2019, 170,185 flood insurance policies were active in New York, representing $47.4 billion in coverage.

That included 16,189 direct NFIP flood insurance policies representing nearly $4.2 billion, and 153,996 write-your-own policies representing $43.3 billion. 

If flood insurance interests you, don't wait until a major storm is approaching. Flood insurance usually doesn't kick in for 30 days. This means you need to plan ahead and get flood insurance before you're actually covered.

How do hurricane and windstorm deductibles work in New York?

Most of the Empire State worries more about blizzards than hurricanes. However, Hurricane Sandy showed that New York isn't immune to hurricane damage, especially Long Island.

And Sandy wasn’t the first storm to take a bite out of the Big Apple and the rest of the state. The 1938 Great New England Hurricane also did substantial damage to the region.

New York is one of 19 states that allows hurricane deductibles. Home insurance companies may implement a hurricane deductible on your property if it believes it's at risk. That might be a home along the coast that's more prone to hurricane damage.

Hurricane deductibles are usually between 1% and 5%. So, if your home has a hurricane deductible, you'd have to pay that percentage before an insurer chips in the rest.

Let's say your home is worth $500,000 and you have a 2% hurricane deductible. That means you'd have to pay $10,000 before the insurance policy kicks in if you have file a claim.

If your home is a candidate for a hurricane deductible, you should talk to the insurer about what actions you could take to avoid the hurricane deductible. For instance, an insurer may waive the deductible if you lower the home's risk, such as adding hurricane shutters.

In addition to a hurricane deductible, insurers may include a windstorm deductible to your policy if your home is considered at-risk for wind damage. Windstorm deductibles are also usually between 1% and 5%.

Should you buy earthquake insurance?

Earthquakes may be the last thing in your mind if you live in New York. However, a 5.8 earthquake hit northern New York state in 1944. In 1737, a 5.0 temblor rattled the area around New York City, and a 5.3 earthquake shook the Big Apple in 1884.

Experts also have noted that many of the older buildings in New York were not constructed to meet modern earthquake codes.

Earthquakes typically are not covered in standard homeowners policies. But you may be able to get an endorsement to your policy that would cover earthquake damage. And it should be cheap. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “A brick home would cost approximately $3 to $15 per $1,000 (to insure) in the Pacific Northwest, while it would cost between 60 to 90 cents in New York.”

What if I can't get home insurance?

The New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association offers the FAIR Plan for property owners who can't get home insurance elsewhere.

A FAIR Plan offers similar coverage as any home insurance policy. It protects against fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, snow damage and other perils. It also offers extended coverage for windstorm and hail coverage.

However, FAIR Plan coverage is typically more restrictive – and more expensive – than standard homeowners insurance.

How do I file a home insurance claim?

As soon as you can, notify your insurance company of the damage. Don't wait to let them know.

Make sure to take photos of the damage and document what happened, such as if an ice dam causes water damage or a tree limb crashes through your roof.

You shouldn't make repairs before your insurer sees the damage unless you need to prevent further damage. This could include patching a roof. You can perform that work, but don't go beyond stopping further damage until a claims adjustor views the damage.

You shouldn't throw out damaged items. The claims adjuster will want to see those too.

How do I file a complaint against my home insurance company?

The New York Department of Financial Services is the place to go if you need to file a complaint about a home insurance company. Maybe the company is refusing to pay a claim or your premium skyrocketed.

You can call 212-480-6400 or 800-342-3736 Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

You can also file an online complaint using a Consumer Complaint Form. Complaints can be made in several different languages.

When you file a complaint, you'll need your insurance company's name, the policy number and claim number, if appropriate, related documents, such as letters and photos, and information about the issue.