Best and Cheapest Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance
- Best and Cheapest Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance
With plenty of coastline, history, and residents for its relatively small size, Massachusetts has a lot of attractive qualities that draw people of all ages to live and stay there. Unfortunately, the state also has its fair share of weather-related hazards and other perils that can cause damage and destruction to your house and property.
Getting homeowners insurance is the best way to financially protect yourself and your family in case of unexpected tragedies of any scale — from thefts and accidents to natural disasters.
Millions of residents hold home insurance policies in Massachusetts. This guide below will help you find out what home insurance in Massachusetts covers, how much it costs, what affects rates and more, so you can make the right decision.
What Is the Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts?
The average cost of home insurance in Massachusetts is about $1,368 per year, using an average dwelling value of about $272,000. This number is based on a combination of several top insurance agencies and companies in Massachusetts. But, know that your premium could vary based on many factors.
When determining how much is home insurance in Massachusetts, one of the largest variables, naturally, is how much you need. Companies determine how much coverage you need primarily based on your property’s value.
When looking at different home values, homeowners insurance in Massachusetts average costs change to about $1,005 per year for $200,000 of dwelling coverage, $1,509 for $300,000 of dwelling coverage, and about $2,012 per year for $400,000 of dwelling coverage.
Average Cost of Home Insurance in Massachusetts
Cost of House
What Does Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts Cover?
Although the price of every Massachusetts homeowners insurance policy will vary, the standard coverages included in every plan typically say the same. They are as follows:
Coverage A: Dwelling
This covers the physical structure of your home and the components that make it, such as the roof, siding, windows, and floor. Since it protects the actual home itself, the amount of Coverage A on your policy should be the equivalent, or slightly more, than your home’s value.
Coverage B: Other Structures
Other structures are permanent fixtures and features on your property that are not attached to your house. These include fences, sheds, gazebos, detached garages, and more.
Coverage C: Personal Property
This is designed to protect the policyholder’s belongings within and around the home. Covered items include clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, and more. Some especially valuable things, like art and memorabilia, will have specific sub-limits.
Coverage E: Personal Liability
Personal liability coverage can cover bills and legal expenses for incidents on the policyholder’s property. Coverage extends to incidents like dog bites, major injuries and accidental deaths.
Coverage F: Medical Payments
Similar to personal liability, medical payments to others covers minor injuries that occur on the policyholder’s property — whether or not they’re found liable for the incident.
Best Home Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
The best home insurance companies in Massachusetts are the ones that satisfy all your coverage needs at a price that works. Since every person and company is different, you must shop around to find the best policy. What may be the best provider for you may not be the best for someone else.
Usually, national providers will have the easiest ways to get homeowners insurance quotes online in Massachusetts. The most popular national insurance companies in Massachusetts are:
- Liberty Mutual
Additionally, regional carriers are especially popular in Massachusetts, perhaps because of their history and expertise in dealing with insurance specific to Massachusetts. According to the Commissioner’s Report on Home Insurance in 2020, the most recent year available, five of the top ten home insurance companies in the market are regional carriers that offer coverage primarily in the Northeast. Some of these popular smaller insurers are:
- Quincy Mutual
You’ll likely want to get quotes from several options to know who charges what and who has coverages you may want. You can also look at things like company reviews and their financial stability ratings to get a complete picture of property and casualty insurance companies in Massachusetts.
Who Has the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts?
Based on the table below with approximate averages for company rates at different levels of dwelling coverage, Andover, Arbella, and Mapfre have some of the cheapest home insurance in Massachusetts. But, you may be able to find a cheap policy from many providers based on your situation and the coverages you want. Look at the table below for more information.
Average Cost of Home Insurance in Massachusetts
Cost of House
Again, the cheapest homeowners insurance in Massachusetts will vary by person. And, the cheapest policy isn’t the same as the best policy. Skimping on protection might hurt you when you actually need to use your coverage. But there are ways to get the best homeowners insurance in Massachusetts and save money while doing so.
Ask your provider or agent directly if there’s anything you can do to save money. You should also consider making a home inventory list, so you don’t overestimate your personal property coverage.
And, consider shopping around for a new policy if you feel that you’re currently paying too much. You can always shop around at any time.
Best Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts
The best homeowners insurance in Massachusetts will cover your home completely and comfortably. It should include Coverage A-F and may have even more, if necessary, depending on your home and location.
For example, let’s say you have a $250,000 home. The best possible policy will have at least $250,000 of dwelling coverage, if not slightly more. Normally, a policy will cover your other structures for about 10% of your dwelling coverage, so you’d have at least $25,000 in other structures coverage in this scenario.
Measure that this is right for you based on the number of other structures you have. For example, detached garages or pools are likely the most costly other structures you can have on your property. If you don’t think your policy would pay to mostly or fully rebuild these after a disaster, bring it up with your provider.
Companies have different ways of calculating the recommended levels of personal property coverage you should have. You don’t need to go with their suggestion. Make sure you have enough to cover everything you own fully. If you don’t have a lot of things, you can lower it, so you’re not paying for coverage you don’t need. And, be wary of items with sub-limits. The best insurers will let you schedule high-value items like art, furs, and jewelry, in most cases.
Policies also typically come with at least $300,000 of liability coverage. You can increase your liability limits at little cost, so it’s always safer to air on the side of caution. If you have a large family, often host many visitors, or own a substantial amount of financial assets, you have even more reason to protect your finances and increase your liability coverage.
Medical payments coverage is also easily adjustable. The cost difference between $3,00 and $5,000 limits, for instance, might be a few dollars per year, if anything at all. Additionally, loss of use coverage is typically between 10-30% of your dwelling limit. You may need to adjust this based on the cost of living in your area.
You should also stay on top of your policy, updating your dwelling coverage to reflect notable changes in home value. For instance, if you’ve done extensive renovations in the last year but haven’t changed your home insurance plan in several years, you’re probably underinsured since your policy won’t reflect your house as it currently stands.
The best homeowners insurance in Massachusetts will allow you to easily make changes to your policy and consult your provider or agent without question.
Factors That Affect the Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts
The average cost of homeowners insurance is influenced by several variables relating to your home’s risk level. Insurance companies are concerned about the potential of your property spawning a claim, which costs them money. Your premium reflects that risk of covering you accordingly.
A list of factors that affect the average homeowners insurance in Massachusetts and how they can affect your premium is below:
Massachusetts Home Insurance Pricing Factors
- Home Age
- Home Replacement Cost
- Home Features
- Policy Deductible
- Claims History
Effect on Premium
- Being in a flood zone, tornado-prone area, or high-crime area can raise your premiums.
- Older homes tend to have more issues that can lead to claims, such as old roofs, faulty wiring, outdated HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, and more. Older houses tend to have higher premiums.
- We touched on this earlier, but the value of your house influences how much dwelling coverage you need. Insurers determine your home’s value by its replacement cost, which is how much it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch.
This is why larger, more expensive homes generally have higher premiums than smaller, simple houses.
- Certain features that you can usually change influence your premiums. Having a wood stove, trampoline, or pool can raise your rates. Alternatively, having a home security system or deadbolt locks can lower your premiums.
- You choose your deductible when you get a policy. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premiums and vice versa.
- Insurance companies examine a property’s claims history and a potential policyholder’s claims history. Someone who files a lot of claims, or someone who lives at a place that generates a lot of claims, presents a bigger risk for providers. Carriers will charge this person higher rates as a result.
In Massachusetts, the Department of Insurance reports that the most filed claims are for water damage and wind damage. Insurers will look for properties that are susceptible to these issues. Insurers may take special notice of related components such as old or leaky pipes, worn siding, and, of course, location.
Homeowners Insurance for Coastal Risks in Massachusetts
Coastal properties in Massachusetts are especially susceptible to certain types of damage, such as flooding and wind damage. Although you might not think it initially, the state is vulnerable to hurricanes. Additionally, Massachusetts residents can expect nor’easters and winter storms that can bring tremendous winds and rain even after hurricane season, so properties are at some sort of risk year-round.
When one of these storms comes, coastal homes are most vulnerable to potential storm surges and direct impact from hurricane winds from the ocean. These can be devastating. As a result, insurance companies are especially watchful of properties on or near the coast, and they tend to have higher premiums.
Massachusetts Wind Deductibles
The Department of Insurance reports that all but four insurers in Massachusetts have mandatory wind deductibles. The most significant wind deductibles are in the coastal parts of Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties. Wind deductibles are typically 2% to 5% of your dwelling coverage.
Massachusetts Wind Deductibles by Company
- American Family
- Plymouth Rock
- Quincy Mutual
Maximum Wind Deductible
Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Dog List for Breed Restrictions
Another factor to affect your insurance rates is your family pet, namely some dog breeds. Insurance companies are wary of breeds known to be aggressive and will raise your premiums or deny you coverage altogether if you own them in some cases. Sometimes, a provider may offer you a policy, but exclude liability coverage, which means you won’t be covered for dog bites.
High-risk dog breeds are:
- Pit bulls
- Wolf dogs
- Chow Chows
- Mixes of these breeds
Different companies have different stances towards dogs, and acceptance will vary by provider. When getting quotes, most companies will ask if you have a dog. You must answer this question truthfully, as concealing your dog from your provider can result in canceling your policy or worse.
What to Know About Massachusetts Property Insurance Inspections
When getting a homeowners policy in Massachusetts, don’t be surprised if your carrier wants to inspect your property. Insurers require inspections of many homes to gauge risk accurately and verify information in your paperwork.
Insurance companies use property records, claims history, and more to check the information you tell them about your house. Sometimes, they need additional information to fill in gaps, especially if you haven’t had an inspection done in a long time, you’ve made renovations, or you’re switching carriers. When needed, insurers send one of their inspectors.
The extent of an inspection will vary per house. The inspector may just need to walk or drive around the exterior in newer homes. But, sometimes, they’ll need to come inside to check for worry signs, like ventilation issues that could exacerbate fire or freezing issues, mold, or other clear signs of disrepair, neglect, or wear and tear.
An inspection can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. Bigger, older homes may take longer to inspect. If an inspector spots a major red flag on your property during an inspection, they can cancel your new policy during the underwriting period.
Is Homeowners Insurance Required in Massachusetts?
No, homeowners insurance isn’t required at the state level anywhere, including Massachusetts. But, mortgage lenders typically mandate that their lessors maintain coverage to protect their investment.
No law requires you to have property insurance in Massachusetts, whether you’ve paid off your home or not. However, most people who own homes have mortgages. Mortgage lenders require coverage so they can recoup the value of your house from the insurance company if something happens to it.
If you drop coverage or stop paying for your policy, your lender can force place insurance on you. Force-placed insurance is less comprehensive and more expensive than normal policies, so try to avoid it. Your mortgage may refer to it as lender-placed hazard insurance in Massachusetts.
Lenders requiring coverage isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most people would recommend maintaining house insurance in Massachusetts even if you’ve paid off your home, since homeowners insurance is the best way to financially protect yourself and your property. You don’t want to be without coverage in the worst-case scenarios.
Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Laws to Know
Homeowners insurance companies in Massachusetts have certain rules and regulations they need to follow when offering coverage. They often pertain to how an insurer offers coverage and specific time limits to make decisions.
For instance, if a company decides to non-renew your policy, they generally have to provide written notice 45 days before the expiration date. If they choose to cancel your policy outright, they need to give you at least a five or 10-day notice and your mortgage lender a 20-day notice.
The underwriting period is the time right after your policy is activated when your insurer is finalizing your coverage and double-checking everything. An insurer can only cancel your policy outside the underwriting period, typically the first 30 or 60 days, for a small number of reasons, like if they found you submitted erroneous or false information. But, you can cancel your policy at any time for any reason.
In Massachusetts, you should also be aware of heating oil coverage, which is protection from fuel spills or mishaps related to oil heat systems. Most policies in the state don’t include this coverage automatically in plans, but providers are required to offer it optionally. You also should be notified of your wind deductible clearly.
How to Get an Online Homeowners Insurance Quote in Massachusetts
As we outline above, there’s a lot to keep in mind when getting home insurance quotes in Massachusetts. Thankfully, you can compare quotes from multiple providers easily with Clovered. It just takes minutes to input your information into our quoting platform and get a policy with one of our many partners.
We partner with the nation's top homeowners insurance companies so you can get a custom policy at an affordable price.
The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.