Our homes are one of our most valuable possessions, and something that it pays to protect. Home insurance can offer that protection, enabling you to repair your home from damages from floods, fires, or even vandalism without draining your bank account. Home insurance premiums in North Dakota run near the national average, and fortunately many of the most common risks to homes – tornadoes and heavy snows – are protected by basic North Dakota insurance. But what makes for good home insurance in North Dakota? Understanding some statewide insurance trends and concerns can help you find out.
- Fun fact: Nearly 90 percent of North Dakota is made up of farmland and ranches.
Average Rates in North Dakota
According to the 2017 rankings from the Insurance Information Institute, North Dakota is the 19th most expensive state for home insurance, with $1,253 average annual premiums. This is very close to the overall national average of $1,211 premiums, and means buying home insurance in North Dakota will likely neither break the bank nor offer substantial savings. Some of the places in the United states with similar home insurance premiums include Washington DC ($1,235 average premiums) and Georgia ($1,267 average premiums).
North Dakota is the cheapest state for renters’ insurance, with $120 average premiums. There isn’t a large range of renters’ insurance premium prices, meaning that this is only $40 below the national average of $180 premiums. South Dakota and Wisconsin have the most similar renters’ insurance prices to North Dakota, with average premiums of $123 and $134 respectively.
North Dakota Legal Insurance Requirements
State law does not require you to purchase home insurance in North Dakota. It is, however, a nearly universal requirement of mortgage companies and lenders. Your landlord may even request you get renter’s insurance.
In North Dakota, insurance companies offer the following types of policies, which cover against “perils” or damaging events:
- Basic form (HO-1), which insures a dwelling, detached structures, and personal belongings from a small subset of basic perils. These include: fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, smoke, vandalism and malicious mischief, theft and glass breakage.
- Broad form (HO-2) In addition to the coverage of the Basic form, this insures for volcanic eruptions, falling objects, weight of ice, snow or sleet, building collapse, plumbing problems related to accidental discharges of water as well as cracking, bulging, burning, and freezing, or accidental damage from electrical discharges.
- Special form (HO-3). Rather than insuring for a list of known perils, this protects your home, and structures from all perils save for those explicitly excluded in your policy (such as flood or earthquake). It also offers Broad form coverage for your personal belongings. This is the most common type of form, but it comes with a higher price tag and may not be offered by all companies.
- Modified coverage form (HO-8). This form is most often offered to older homes, or other homes with risks from pre existing damage that would disqualify a home from other types of coverage. It only protects against the perils listed in the Basic form, and is usually done on the basis of actual cash value, due to the significant depreciation of the home that would make its replacement cost much higher than its sale value.
- Renter’s form (HO-4) covers the same perils listed in the Broad form, but this applies only to your personal belongings. Your landlord is responsible for insuring the physical structure of your residence.
- Condominium form (HO-6) like the renter’s form gives Broad form coverage to your personal belongings. It also insures the floor, ceiling, and portions of the condominium that you own (as opposed to the entire condominium complex).
In addition to coverage from perils, all home insurance policies in North Dakota provide liability coverage and medical insurance. This means that if you’re sued or a claim is made against you for injury or damage caused by negligence, your home insurance will help you pay for legal expenses. Also, if someone besides yourself or a family member is injured on your property, a limited amount of money (usually around $1,000) will be available to help may for medical expenses.
Common Risk Factors in North Dakota
In North Dakota, the biggest threats to homes come from floods, tornadoes, and damages related to winter weather – including hail storms and heavy snow. Floods can warp the structure of the home, destroying personal belongings, flooring, and structural supports. Flood insurance is NOT covered by standard home insurance, and must instead be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program, if you live in a community that has opted into the program.
Tornadoes are common in North Dakota, which is often included in “Tornado Alley.” An average of 32 tornados touch down on the state every year, and can occur in any county. Tornadoes cause significant property damage, pulling homes off of their foundations, ripping up unattached structures and semi-attached porches – even smashing objects into homes. Luckily, damages from tornadoes and windstorms are covered with even the most basic of North Dakota home insurance policies.
Another threat to North Dakota homes can come from heavy snows. In particular, the heavy weight of snow can cause roof damage, which is a common cause for insurance claims in the state. While damages caused by the weight of snow are not covered by Basic form insurance, Broad form coverage and above can give you the insurance you need for his common peril.
Insurance Demographics/Statistics in North Dakota
The final price of your home insurance is influenced by a number of things – your home’s value, crime rates, and even some of your personal characteristics as a homeowner, like your credit score. But how exactly does this information contribute to the expense of the premiums you pay? Let’s dive in and find out.
Your Home’s Value
Chief among the calculations that determine your home insurance price is the value of your home. Insurance companies measure home value in two ways. First and most commonly, they look at your home’s replacement cost – how much money would be needed to rebuild your home from scratch, using similar materials and with current labor costs. Alternatively, they may calculate home value in terms of actual cash value – this is the replacement cost minus any deductions in value coming from already-present damage, wear and tear, or depreciation.
North Dakota homes are on average valued at $237,454, just slightly below the national average of $248,857. This could translate into somewhat lower costs for home insurance. Keep in mind, that when you’re calculating the value of your home, that the number will not match the sale price of the house. Included in the sale price is the cost of the land attached to your home – this isn’t considered important to home insurance companies, who base their calculations on the material value of the home exclusively.
Local Crime Rates
If your home resides in an area with high property crime rates, it may inflate the cost of your health insurance, as you may be considered at “high risk” of filing an insurance claim for property crime-related incidents like vandalism and theft. The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program puts out state-by-state statistics on property crime – after excluding car theft, the property crime rate in North Dakota in 2018 was 1.81%, below the national rate of 1.97%. This means your home may be safer from property crime, and you could experience savings in your insurance as a result.
Your Income and Education
Insurance companies acknowledge that the personal characteristics of a homeowner can affect their likelihood to file an insurance claim. In some states, for instance, retirees can get discounts based on the assumption that spending more time at home means they may be quicker to notice a leak or fire and prevent damages. Generally speaking, insurance companies also give competitive pricing to people with good credit – high incomes and a college education are factors associated with good credit that may come into play.
Average household incomes in North Dakota slightly exceed the national average, with $63,837 annually, compared to the national average of $62,179. Educational attainment falls a little below the national average. According to the Census Bureau, around 29.5% of people aged 25 and up in North Dakota have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 32.06% have done so nationally.
Where to Purchase Home Insurance in North Dakota
Understanding average premium prices and common property risks is an excellent starting point to finding home insurance in North Dakota, but your search needn’t end there. To find your ideal home insurance, it’s best to compare the plans and prices from many different insurance companies. Agilerates.com can help, putting accurate quotes from a plethora of insurance companies at your fingertips. With some research, you can even prepare yourself for discounts at renewal time, if you already have homeowners insurance. 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!