For many, home insurance is one of the most expensive – and important – purchases of a lifetime. Home insurance is what can protect your home from damage and losses from events ranging from fire and flood to litigation from people injured on your property. The key to finding great home insurance in New Hampshire lies in discovering what the typical New Hampshire policy looks like. What premium prices are normal? What factors alter the price of home insurance? Once you can answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to finding your ideal policy.
- Fun fact: The first free public library in the United States was established in New Hampshire in 1833.
Average Rates in New Hampshire
New Hampshire home insurance premiums, averaging at $972 annually, are somewhat more expensive than national prices, which average at $1,211. Virginia and Iowa both have similar prices, with average premiums of $999 and $964 respectively.
New Hampshire renters can get even more savings with renter’s insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute’s 2017 rankings, New Hampshire was among the top ten least expensive states for renter’s insurance, with premiums averaging at $149. Granted, there aren’t a wide range of prices in renter’s insurance (nationally, premiums average at $180). Still, New Hampshire keeps company with states like Utah ($151 average premiums) and Virginia ($152 average premiums) that offer some of the cheapest renter’s insurance.
New Hampshire Legal Insurance Requirements
No laws mandate the purchase of home insurance in New Hampshire. Home insurance is most often a requirement of a loan from a mortgage – if you don’t choose a home insurance plan yourself, a mortgage company can enroll you into their own home insurance. This is usually more expensive than if you had chosen a home insurance plan yourself.
While there’s no requirement to purchase home insurance, there are some aspects to home insurance coverage that apply to all standard policies in New Hampshire. Home insurance will usually cover:
- Dwelling: This coverage will pay for damages to your house and attached structures, as well as damages to plumbing systems, air conditioning and heating systems, and electrical wiring.
- Other structures: This will offer coverage to structures unattached to your home, like garages, tool sheds, guest homes, and fencing.
- Personal Property: Will allow you to replace your personal possessions that are necessary for daily living, like clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics. This coverage extends outside of the limits of your home – so if one of your possessions is lost or damaged off-site to your property, your insurance will still cover it.
- Loss of Use: In cases where damage to your home makes it uninhabitable, this will pay for the extra expenses involved in renting rooms or apartments. It can also pay for other living expenses, like food costs and storage costs.
- Personal Liability: If someone sues you for damages to their property or person, this will help you pay the legal fees necessary to resolve the issue.
- Medical payments: Medical bills can be expensive, and if someone besides you or your family is accidentally injured on your property, this can help pay for the medical expenses.
In New Hampshire, this coverage is offered in various policy “forms.” The main differences between these forms lie in what kind of “perils,” or damaging events your insurance will cover.
- The Basic Form will insure a property against the following perils: fire, smoke, windstorm, hail, lightning, explosion, vehicles, civil unrest, theft, and vandalism
- The Modified Coverage Form in New Hampshire covers the same perils as the Basic form. This is most commonly offered to older homes with replacement cost values that far exceed current market value. The form is distinguished by the policy being based on a home’s actual cash value rather than its replacement cost
- The Broad Form, in addition to the perils covered in the Basic Form also protects against: trees and falling objects, weight of ice snow and sleet, the freezing rupturing or overflow of plumbing systems and air conditioning systems. For renters, this coverage is offered only for personal possessions through the Tenant’s Form. Condominium owners also get their own form.
- The Special Form is a popular form that will insure your home against all perils, EXCEPT those names in the policy as exceptions. Common exceptions include war, nuclear accident, flood, earthquake, sewer backup, identity theft, and mold.
Common Risk Factors in New Hampshire
New Hampshire faces low risks from tornadoes, earthquakes, and wildfires – in fact, it was among the top 10 most protected states from wildfires, according to the Insurance Information Institute. According to New Hampshire’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the top threats to properties in New Hampshire come from hurricanes, flooding, and winter storms.
With broad form coverage or above, damages from winter storms like structural collapse from the weight of ice and show are insured. The same coverage can protect you if your pipes end up leaking or bursting due to sudden drops in temperature. However, damages from flooding are NOT covered by standard home insurance. You must instead purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Because a community must opt into the program to be able to offer coverage, some gaps in New Hampshire exist where flood insurance is not available.
Insurance Demographics/Statistics in New Hampshire
What are some of the factors that influence the price of your home insurance? While the overall value of your home is one of the biggest predictors of your policy price, demographic information like crime rates and even your personal characteristics as a homeowner can also play a role.
Your Home’s Value
Your home’s value is the basis upon which your home insurance policy is created – usually the “face” amount of your policy is determined to be a percentage of your home’s value. There are two ways insurance companies measure home value. If they measure your home’s replacement cost, that means they’re looking for how much money it would take to rebuild your home with similar materials, and with current labor costs. If your home’s value is evaluated based on its actual cash value, that means its replacement cost minus any devaluation to the home due to wear and tear or existing damages.
New Hampshire average home values of $299,333 run above the national average of $248,857 by tens of thousands. To understand the value of your home, bear in mind that the sale price of your home is NOT equivalent to its value in terms of replacement cost or actual cash value. Included in the sale price of a home is the price of the land the home is placed on – and land value does not factor into the replacement cost of your home.
Local Crime Rates
Insurers want to minimize losses from paying out insurance claims in areas where property crime is prevalent, so places with high property crime may pay more for their home insurance. New Hampshire’s property crime rate (not including auto theft) as calculated by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program is 1.18%, a good deal below the national rate of 1.97%. This can lessen the price of home insurance in New Hampshire.
Your Income and Education
Insurance companies can also consider your own characteristics to determine whether you’re “high risk” or “low risk” for making an insurance claim, and to find out how likely you are to make your payments. In general, insurance companies favor people who have good credit. Higher incomes and a college degree are associated with good credit scores. The good news is that in New Hampshire, household incomes are higher and people have a higher rate of college education than the national average. The 2018 average household income reported by the Census Bureau was $74,991 while the national average was $62,179. And, amongst those aged 25 and up, 36.5% of people in New Hampshire had obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 32.06% of people did so nationally.
Where To Purchase Home Insurance in New Hampshire
Getting a picture of average policy rates and property risks is only the first step to finding the best home insurance for you. Next, you can find policies tailored to your specific situation by searching and comparing the policies of many different insurance companies. Agilerates.com can help, giving you accurate quotes for all the top insurers in your region quickly and easily. Even if you already have homeowners insurance, comparing different insurers can help you as your policy renews. According to the Pulse Whitepaper from iii.org, only 44% of homeowners compare prices of different insurers at renewal time, and only 17% do so online. That means more than half of all homeowners are leaving money on the table at renewal time. Use Agilerates.com online form to get matched with a local agent, get free quotes, and shop around!