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The Best Vermont Home Insurance Companies

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Whether you’re buying a historic home in downtown Manchester or a modern dwelling in a Burlington suburb, you need to protect your investment with a homeowners policy. Luckily, Vermont home insurance doesn’t cost much, and many of the best insurers operate in The Green Mountain State.

According to the latest United States Census Bureau data, nearly 71% of Vermont homes are owner occupied, with a median home value of around $224,000. In 2017, Vermont insurers wrote $1.3 billion in property and casualty insurance premiums and incurred losses of over $564 million.

When shopping for Vermont home insurance, look for a policy that contains all major coverages, including:

These standard coverages provide basic protection, but many homeowners need more. Optional coverages enable you to tailor your homeowners policy to meet your specific needs. If you live in a flood zone, you may also need flood insurance. Most homeowners also need identity theft protection, which many insurance providers offer as a rider to home insurance policies. Folks who work from home may need additional coverage for business equipment and homeowners with expensive personal belongings, like artwork, jewelry or musical instruments, need customizable protection.

Most carriers only offer actual cash value for personal property losses, which means you’ll only receive a depreciated value if a covered peril destroys belongings such as furniture or a television. However, many of the best insurers offer optional replacement cost coverage, which allows you to replace your belongings at current prices. Some providers even offer dwelling replacement cost coverage to help completely restore your home, even if losses exceed your dwelling coverage limit.

Also look for an insurer that offers great discount programs. Most major carriers offer discounts for bundling your homeowners policy with auto coverage, but you may also qualify for discounts if you purchase a new home, equip your house with a security system or install an impact resistant roof.

The top home insurance companies in Vermont

With so many insurance companies in the market, it’s difficult to know which one can provide the best coverage for your home. Our top choices provide a great combination of coverages, discounts and price for Vermonters and all ranked above average in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Home Insurance Study.

Amica Mutual

Amica earned J.D. Power’s #1 spot on the 2019 U.S. Home Insurance Study, with five out of five stars. The provider’s standard policies include all the coverages many homeowners need, but its Platinum Choice Home package stands out in the crowd. The package includes all standard coverages, plus dwelling and personal property replacement cost coverage, credit card protection, water backup and sump pump coverage, computer coverage and up to $500,000 in personal liability coverage. Besides homeowners insurance, Amica also offers:

  • Auto insurance
  • Boat insurance
  • Condo insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Small business insurance
  • Umbrella insurance

Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (AAA)

AAA ranked third in the Power’s study, with four out of five stars. To help homeowners achieve a more affordable home insurance rate, AAA offers fantastic discounts. AAA auto club members can save up to 10% on home insurance and Vermont homeowners with newer dwellings can save up to 25%. AAA also extends up to a 15% discount on homes built with fire resistant materials and up to a 10% for retirees and homeowners 55 years of age or older. Save up to 15% when you install a burglar alarm system or fire alarm and up to 12% when you renovate one of your home’s major systems. AAA has a broad portfolio of insurance products, including:

  • Auto insurance
  • Boat insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Small business insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Umbrella insurance

State Farm

Ranked fourth in the 2019 Power’s study, State Farm offers a personal touch, with local offices in 17 Vermont cities. State Farm’s standard policies include coverage for your home and personal property and its discounts reward homeowners who install impact-resistant roofs and home alert systems, like burglar and smoke alarms, or purchase multiple policies. State Farm is a great choice for homeowners who also own a business. The carrier writes policies for all types of businesses, including, medical offices, distributors, nonprofit organizations, restaurants and retails stores. State Farm covers all types of property and vehicles, offering:

  • Boat insurance
  • Car insurance
  • Condominium insurance
  • Farm and ranch insurance
  • Manufactured home insurance
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Motorhome insurance
  • Off-road vehicle insurance
  • Rental property insurance
  • Renters insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance

Ranked fifth in the Power’s study, Auto-Owners Insurance writes Vermont home insurance policies through its member company The Concord Group. Concord’s optional home insurance coverages go the extra mile, offering up to $15,000 in identity theft expense coverage and equipment breakdown coverage to help pay the high cost of replacing appliances and air conditioning and heating systems. We particularly like Concord’s optional green endorsement, which adds up to $20,000 in dwelling coverage to rebuild your home using energy- efficient systems and eco-friendly building materials. The Concord Group also sells a wide variety of other insurance products, including:

  • Auto insurance
  • Business insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Commercial umbrella insurance
  • Condo insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Mobile home insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Off-road vehicle insurance
  • Snowmobile insurance
  • Trailer insurance

Methodology

To select Vermont’s best home insurance companies, we examined the Better Business Bureau’s consumer ratings and turned to the expertise of market research leader J.D. Power. We also considered each insurer’s coverage options, as well as premium rates and discount offerings.

A provider’s financial strength indicates its ability to pay claims. Except for AAA, all our top picks have earned an A+ or higher credit rating with A.M. Best, the market leader in financial ratings.

J.D. Power Rating Overall Satisfaction Rating A.M. Best Financial Rating Better Business Bureau Rating
Amica Mutual 5 out of 5 stars A+ (Superior) A+
AAA 4 out of 5 stars No rating No rating
State Farm 4 out of 5 stars A++ (Superior) A
Auto-Owners 4 out of 5 stars A++ (Superior) A+

Average homeowners insurance cost in Vermont

U.S. homeowners pay an average annual homeowners premium of $2,305. But Vermonters enjoy the third lowest home insurance rates in the nation, paying an average of $1,212. Vermont also enjoys the lowest homeowners rates in New England.

Average Annual Premium
Connecticut $1,961
Maine $1,833
Massachusetts $1,920
New Hampshire $1,455
Rhode Island $2,125
Vermont $1,212

Vermont’s New England neighbors pay higher homeowners premiums because they face a greater risk of hurricane damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, no Vermont homes face storm surge risk, while more than 150,000 Massachusetts homes are at risk of a Category 4 hurricane.

Home insurance coverage options in Vermont

Standard insurance policies provide the coverages most Vermont homeowners need, including:

  • Dwelling coverage, which pays to rebuild your home following a covered loss
  • Other structures coverage to pay for losses to detached structures, like fences, gazebos and pool houses
  • Loss of use coverage to reimburse you for hotel accommodation and meals if you’re displaced from your house due to a covered loss
  • Liability coverage to pay medical bills and legal expenses if someone outside your household sustains and injury on your property
  • Personal property coverage to replace belongings such as clothing, electronics and furniture after a covered disaster

Vermonters who live in areas prone to flooding may need to purchase flood insurance. Many major insurers sell flood insurance, or you can purchase it through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Providers also offer optional coverages that many homeowners need, such as:

  • Home business coverage to pay for items such as computers, printers, telecom equipment and office furniture
  • Identity fraud coverage to help pay expenses related to restoring your credit following identity theft
  • Personal property replacement cost coverage, which pays to replace your belongings at current prices, rather than a depreciated value
  • Valuable items coverage to cover your most expensive belongings, like artwork and musical instruments

Common causes of home insurance losses in Vermont

Most Vermont homeowners only face the most common risks, like fire and storm damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage, hail and wind cause the most damage to U.S. homes.

However, climate change is altering the course of Vermont’s rivers, creating a greater flood risk for homeowners in low-lying areas. While Vermont doesn’t have an Atlantic coastline, it still lies in the path of tropical storms and hurricanes. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene damaged or destroyed 3,500 Vermont homes, causing more than $700 million in losses. Homeowners who live near the Vermont-New Hampshire state line face the greatest risk of hurricane and tropical storm damage.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best homeowners insurance in Vermont?

Based on our research, Amica Mutual offers the best combination of homeowners coverages and price for Vermonters. Amica also offers great discounts and optional coverages, like identity fraud protection and home office coverage.

How do I get homeowners insurance in Vermont?

Start your home insurance search by requesting quotes from our top four insurers. Most major home insurance companies provide quotes over the phone or online. And several companies operate local offices, where you can sit with an agent and discuss your coverage options.

Is Vermont homeowners insurance expensive?

No. Vermont homeowners pay the third lowest homeowners premiums in the country. The rate you’ll pay will depend on several factors, including, the location of your home, its age and construction and its proximity to a fire station. Adding optional coverages, like flood insurance or home office coverage, will increase your rate, but provide greater protection.

What should a basic homeowners policy include?

For the best protection, make sure your policy includes dwelling, other structures, liability, loss of use and personal property coverages. You may also want to add a few optional coverages, like personal property replacement cost coverage and identity theft protection, to maximize your protection.

Source: on 2020-06-29 08:22:30

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