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Virginia home insurance

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Virginia Home Insurance

Here you will learn what you need to know to buy the best Virginia home insurance policy – one that gives you the most protection at an affordable price. Homeowners insurance pays for damage to your house, personal property and other outside structures like sheds and workshops. It also includes liability coverage that pays to defend you if you are sued by someone who is injured on your property or who suffers property damage as a result of you, your family members or pets. We’ll help you buy coverage with confidence after explaining what you can expect to pay, how much insurance you need and how it works.

Basics of homeowners insurance: Virginia overview

Unlike car insurance, home insurance isn’t regulated by state laws in terms of how much you are required to have in place. But similar to car insurance, homeowners insurance rates vary significantly among insurance companies because each carrier uses its own formula to set rates. How much you pay for Virginia home insurance depends on the value and materials of your home and belongings, as well as the number and cost of insurance claims in your area. So, like auto insurance, the best way to find cheap home insurance in Virginia is to compare rates from at least three insurance companies. To help, we highlight homeowners insurance costs in Virginia for common coverage levels, and by company, so you know what to expect to pay.

When buying a homeowner insurance policy, you decide the coverage amount for the following:

  • dwelling
  • liability
  • medical payments

The limits of your coverage for the following are typically a set percentage of your dwelling coverage limit as shown below:

  • other structures – 10%
  • personal property – 50%
  • loss of use – 20%

A deductible is the fee you pay before your insurance kicks in. For example, if your home is damaged to the tune of $3,000 and you have a $500 deductible, you will need to pay the first $500 out of pocket before your insurance coverage pays the balance of $2,500.

Some deductibles are based on dollar amounts, such as $500 or $1,000. Others are based on a percentage of your home's value. If your home is insured for $200,000 and your deductible is 2%, you will owe $4,000 before insurance coverage kicks in.

You choose a home insurance deductible amount, which applies to claims for damage to your home or belongings, but not if you’re sued or a medical claim is filed by someone injured in your home. Deductibles are typically in the amounts of $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500. The higher your deductible, the lower your rate will be.

How much is homeowners insurance in Virginia?

The average rate for Virginia homeowners insurance is $1,956, which is $349, or 15% lower than the national average of $2,305. That’s for common policy limits of $300,000 dwelling coverage, with $300,000 in liability insurance, with a $1,000 deductible.

Virginia homeowners enjoy relatively cheap insurance costs, compared to other states. Virginia is the the 20th least expensive state for home insurance.

Average home insurance prices in Virginia by coverage level

Below you’ll see the average rate for homeowners insurance in Virginia for 10 common coverage levels, all with a $1,000 deductible.

Coverage levelAverage annual rate
$200,000 dwelling/$100,000 liability$1,474
$200,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability$1,495
$300,000 dwelling/$100,000 liability$1,933
$300,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability$1,956
$400,000 dwelling/$100,000 liability$2,312
$400,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability$2,323
$500,000 dwelling/$100,000 liability$2,588
$500,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability$2,618
$600,000 dwelling/$100,000 liability$2,921
$600,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability$2,947

Many homeowners make the mistake of not getting enough insurance to fully protect their home and possessions. When buying home insurance, you should insure your home based on its replacement cost, which is the amount you need to rebuild it if damaged or destroyed, and not its market value, which is what you could sell your home for in its current condition. Replacement cost offers more protection because the cost of building a home often exceeds its market value.

When shopping for a policy, you will have to choose a “dwelling coverage” amount. You should select a dwelling coverage limit that best matches the cost to repair damage to your home or rebuild it completely at equal quality — at current prices. This can be an arduous task, so using online calculators or hiring an appraiser to give you a replacement cost valuation will save you time.

Liability insurance applies to incidents in which you’re at fault and the result is that a guest in your home or on your property is injured. It covers medical expenses, as well as damage caused to neighbors’ property. Personal liability also covers legal fees if you are sued, as well as any resulting judgments from a lawsuit, up to your policy limits.

Most home insurance policies come with $100,000 in personal liability insurance but this is rarely enough coverage. The cost to defend a lawsuit or to pay for medical expenses for a serious injury can easily exceed that amount. Most experts recommend upping your limits to at least $300,000.

What is the best homeowners insurance company in Virginia?

Finding the best homeowners insurance in Virginia is a matter of finding the company with the right balance of value for the price. It should provide coverage at an affordable price, offer discounts that best match your homeowner profile, be financially sound enough to meet its claim payout obligations and of course have stellar customer service. Below are major carriers’ scores based on a survey of current policyholders. They were asked about claims handling, customer satisfaction, price and other metrics. To help you decide what homeowners insurance in Virginia is best for you, see how carriers ranked, out of 100:

RankingCompanyScore
1Erie92.24
2Esurance89.4
3Nationwide88.48
4Chubb (ACE INA Group / Ace Limited)87.69
5AIG (American International Group)87.3
6USAA87.09
7Safeco86.59
8American Family85.76
9Progressive84.76
10Travelers83.97
11Allstate83.65
12State Farm83.42
13Liberty Mutual82.36
14Hartford81.86
15Farmers79.71

Homeowners insurance: Virginia cities’ average rates

Among Virginia’s largest cities, Arlington has the cheapest average home insurance rate, coming in about $300 less than the state average of $1,956. And with the exception of Virginia Beach and few others, most are well below the national average of $2,305.

Virgina CitiesAverage rates
Arlington$1,663
Alexandria$1,705
Falls Church$1,707
McLean$1,719
Fairfax$1,726
Reston$1,727
Annandale$1,738
Lynchburg$1,787
Fredericksburg$1,809
Newport$1,810
Halifax$2,033
Richmond$2,163
Williamsburg$2,188
Suffolk$2,451
Chesapeake$2,615
Hampton$2,645
Norfolk$2,869
Virginia Beach$3,126

Home insurance companies in Virginia ranked by cost

Charter Oak, Travco, Erie, Nationwide and Safeco are the top five cheapest home insurance companies among those surveyed by Insurance.com. You’ll see the difference in price  for the same policy is between  the least expensive company and most expensive is about  $2,200. That’s how much you can potentially save, on average, by comparing homeowners insurance quotes.

CompanyAverage rate
Charter Oak$1,420
Travco$1,455
Erie$1,597
Nationwide$1,665
Safeco$1,668
Allstate$1,760
Mid Century$1,768
State Farm$2,213
LM Insurance$2,574
Liberty$2,607
First Liberty$2,662
Farmers$3,653

Virginia  homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code

ZIP codes in Virginia Beach are the most expensive places to insure a home in Virginia, naturally, since many homes are close to the shore, which exposes them to higher risk for storm and flood damage. The small, rural communities of Viewtown and Jefferston, both about 25 miles from Shenandoah National Park, have the least expensive neighborhoods for home insurance costs. Insurance.com analyzed home insurance rates from major insurance companies in nearly every ZIP code in Virginia.

For $300,000 dwelling coverage with a $1,000 deductible and $300,000 liability limits, the average rate of $3,328 in Virginia Beach ZIP code 23461 is the highest for the state. Viewtown, Jefferston, Charlottesville and Ashburn ZIP codes came in with rates around $1,550, and are the cheapest Virginia home insurance rates by ZIP code.

By entering your ZIP code in the search box in our average home insurance rate tool, you’ll see the average home insurance rate for that area, as well as the highest and lowest premium fielded from major insurers. Default rates are for coverage of $300,000 dwelling, $1,000 deductible and $300,000 liability. This will give you an idea of how much you can save by comparing home insurance rates, whether you have a modest home inland or a high-end house near the beach. The difference between the highest and lowest rate is what you can save by comparing rates.

Home insurance discounts in Virginia

Aside from a discount for insuring a new home (an average of 36% off your rate), the homeowner insurance discount that saves Virginia residents the most is bundling coverage with their auto insurer. That nets an average savings of 20%, based on Insurance.com’s analysis of home discounts.

Virginia home insurance FAQs

Virginia homeowners should be aware of the role their insurance plays in paying for damage from storms. Below we’ll explain how home insurance helps to pay for repairs and replacements after wind, hail and flooding events.

Is damage from wind and hail covered by home insurance?

Wind and hail damage are typically covered by standard home insurance policies. However, some insurance companies may include a separate deductible for damage from hurricanes. Also, some home insurance policies do not cover cosmetic damage from hail.  For example, if hail leaves pockmarks in your tin roof that  look awful, but  the damage doesn’t affect how your roof functions, you may not be able to make a claim for the damage.

My homeowners policy has a separate deductible for hurricane damage. How does this work?

Some homeowners policies have a special deductible for wind or hurricane losses. These deductibles are applied separately from any other deductible on the  policy. Some companies automatically include a wind or hurricane deductible, while other companies make  it optional. Wind or hurricane deductibles are written as a flat amount, such as $1,000, while others are applied to the loss as a percentage of the insurance coverage on the dwelling, according to the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance. For example, assume a hurricane causes damage to your house amounting to $3,000, and your dwelling is insured for $100,000. If your policy has a 2% hurricane deductible, the deductible would be $2,000, and the company would pay $1,000.

Is flood damage covered?

No. You need to buy a separate flood insurance policy from a private company or through the federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There is typically a 30-day waiting period for a new flood insurance policy to take effect, so you can’t wait until a hurricane is about to hit and expect to buy a policy that will protect you immediately.

To buy flood insurance from a private company, you’d do the same as you would when buying home insurance – shop around and compare rates to get the best price. The rates for the NFIP flood  policies  are set by the government, so the price for coverage won’t vary among insurers. It’s important to know that NFIP policies max out at $250,000 in dwelling coverage, so if you need more protection than that, a private flood insurance policy is the better option.

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