Home Insurance in Washington DC

WRITTEN BY: Amelia Ciffone

UPDATED: MAY 24, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

Property crime, housing prices, and the threat of severe weather are all real problems in Washington DC. Despite this, it’s actually a lot cheaper for you to get a homeowner’s insurance policy than you think. Even though average prices for adequate coverage in the area are over $200 less expensive than the national average, we can still help you get an even better deal. 

  • Fun fact – Monkey’s Brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found in Washington, DC. On a related note, the popular movie Clue – although set in and around the DC area – was actually filmed in Pasadena, CA.

Average Rates in Washington DC

Your typical homeowner in Washington, DC is only paying around $1,035 per year for their home insurance premium. That’s a pretty decent savings, especially when you compare it to the national average of $1,211. Like the neighboring state of Maryland which averages very similar home insurance rates, Washington DC is slightly less expensive than Illinois but a little bit more expensive than New Mexico.

Renters insurance in DC costs about $158 per year. Seeing as how the national average is around $180, that’s not a bad deal!

Washington DC Legal Insurance Requirements

Legally, you don’t have to purchase homeowners insurance in Washington DC if you don’t want to – unless the bank still partially owns your home, that is. There are no legal mandates for homeowners to carry Insurance on their property. But there is likely a contractual mandate between you and your bank if you are currently paying off a home loan or mortgage. This is because they want to protect their investment in case you default on your loan and they have the opportunity to sell the properties of somebody else. But even for homeowners who own the property outright, sharing the financial burden of repairing severe damage or even replacing your home should the worst happen is a smart thing to do. So just because there’s no legal mandate doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a homeowners insurance policy on the property you own. 

Common Risk Factors in Washington DC

DC is located at the head of the Potomac River, along the border of Virginia and Maryland. Naturally, flooding could potentially be a problem, either from nor’easters, the increasing frequency with which Atlantic hurricanes are hitting the northeastern seaboard, or heavy rains. Wind damage from severe storms can also be a problem. Be sure to check with your homeowners insurance agency to make sure their standard policy covers wind damage, and whether or not you have to pay a separate deductible for wind-related damages. Also, look into some sort of flood insurance – whether its an NFIP policy from FEMA, or a private insurer. 

The District of Columbia Property Insurance Facility is the main organization responsible for managing FAIR plans in DC. Given the usually high expense of these plans, you should only shop for one after you have exhausted all other options in the traditional insurance market. Not only will you get more affordable coverage with a standard insurance policy, but you’ll get more comprehensive coverage, too. 

Insurance Demographics/Statistics in Washington DC

Do you know what else influences how much you will pay for your annual homeowners insurance premiums, other than inclement weather? There are many different factors, in truth. But the four factors below carry more weight than most. 

  • Home Price – Washington DC home values are some of the highest in the nation at $636,247 per home. This is more than twice the national average. Because higher home values force you to purchase more total insurance coverage, this will likely make your premiums more expensive.
  • Crime – Unfortunately, property crime is pretty high in DC. Last year, there were 43.74 per 1,000 residents (or a 1 in 23 chance of becoming a victim of property crime) in DC, compared to the national average of 1 in 43.
  • Income – One thing DC residents have going for them are high income rates. The average DC resident makes about $92,266 per household ($26,554 higher than the average US median household income), and making more money is a good way to get discounts on premiums.
  • Education – More than half of DC residents – 58%, to be exact – have a bachelor’s degree or better, which is above the national average of 32%. And more education means more insurance discounts!

Where To Purchase Home Insurance in Washington DC

The vast majority of homeowners – 83%, to be exact – don’t even bother to shop around online for their homeowners insurance policy. Maybe it’s because they get a good recommendation from friends, family, or their mortgage lender. Or maybe it’s because they don’t know about free, convenient price comparison websites like AgileRates.com. 

Even once you’ve secured a policy, it’s still a good idea to keep shopping around every year when your policy is up for renewal. We know that many insurance companies like to maintain return business; but at the same time, companies also frequently lower prices for new customers in order to get new business. Why not check and see if competitors in your area are ready to offer you a better deal? We can help.