Homeowners Insurance in Buffalo, New York
- Homeowners Insurance in Buffalo, New York
Buffalo was nationally ranked as one of the hottest cities to move to in 2024, making homeownership there even more valuable than usual.
Whether you’re one of the many shopping for a new home or switching your insurance on an existing property to save money, we’ve got you covered (pun intended).
Use this guide to help find the best homeowners insurance in Buffalo. We break down average rates, cost factors, and more.
How Much Is Homeowners Insurance in Buffalo, New York?
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Buffalo is $1,269 annually, which is under the statewide average rate of $1,489 per year.
New York state generally ranks in the middle of the pack or below average for home insurance rates countrywide. Rates are highest in New York City, where property values and risk of hurricane damage are greater, while the rest of the state is relatively affordable, like Buffalo.
Your rate can vary within Buffalo, though. One of the most significant influences on insurance costs is your home’s value. Larger, nicer houses have higher rates, as evident in the table below.
|Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance in Buffalo
Insurance companies typically determine home value through its replacement cost, which would be the amount needed to rebuild your house after it suffers damage. Bigger homes cost more to rebuild and, thus, more to insure.
Rates are also impacted by many other factors, including what company you choose.
Cheapest Home Insurance Companies in Buffalo, New York
Travelers had some of the cheapest homeowners insurance in Buffalo, but you may find it differently once you get quotes. Several factors affect rates, and you won’t know which company is the most affordable for you until you get quotes due to differences in underwriting procedures.
Travelers and State Farm came in well below the city average, as shown in the table below.
|Average Rates of Home Insurance Companies in Buffalo
Allstate, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, Heritage, and New York Central Mutual are additional common home insurance companies in Buffalo. We recommend comparing rates from several companies before choosing your provider so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal. You can also consult an independent insurance agency in Buffalo for help finding coverage.
We partner with the nation’s top homeowners insurance companies so you can get a custom policy at an affordable price.
What Does Buffalo Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Regardless of where you get the plan, every home insurance policy covers six core areas of your property and liability, briefly summarized below.
|Buffalo Homeowners Insurance Coverages
|Dwelling coverage financially protects the physical structure of your home, including the roof, walls, flooring, permanent fixtures, pipes, and more.
|Other Structures Coverage
|Other structures coverage guards features on your property not attached to your main house, such as fences, sheds, detached garages, and carports.
|Personal Property Coverage
|Personal property coverage safeguards your belongings, including furniture, clothes, electronics, jewelry, tools, and more.
|Loss of Use Coverage
|Loss of use coverage helps pay for living expenses if your home suffers major damage and you’re forced to temporarily relocate until it’s rebuilt or repaired. Your insurer can cover lodging and groceries while you’re displaced.
|Liability coverage assists if you’ve been found responsible for causing injuries or property damage to someone else. Your insurer can cover medical bills, legal fees, and more.
|Medical Payments Coverage
|Medical payments coverage is designed to cover minor medical expenses if someone is injured around your property, regardless of fault.
Policies protect your property from damage from several possible sources of damage, formally called perils. The most common covered perils include fires, hurricanes, theft, and water damage.
How to Get the Best Homeowners Insurance in Buffalo
The best homeowners insurance in Buffalo will cover your property and liability at a price you can afford. All policyholders are different, so there’s no one company or policy offering that will work for all. The right coverage depends on your budget and coverage needs.
Understand exclusions and coverage amounts to shape your policy by adjusting your limits and considering endorsements as needed. You should also always compare rates from multiple carriers to find the best price.
Understand Coverage Details
Recognize what perils and items are covered by your policy to ensure your needs are met. If needed, you may be able to enhance certain coverage areas through endorsements to protect your property more thoroughly.
For example, while jewelry, art, and memorabilia are covered under your personal property coverage, these potentially valuable items are typically subject to sub-limits and only insured up to $2,500 or $5,000. If you have especially expensive jewelry, art, or souvenirs, consider a scheduled personal property endorsement to cover the item entirely.
Other common endorsements include water backup coverage, home business coverage, and inflation guards.
You should also recognize how your policy covers damage. Know if and when your insurer will reimburse you for actual cash value (where depreciation is subtracted before a payout) or replacement cost. Replacement cost coverage provides better payouts but is the more expensive option.
Adjust Policy Limits
You have much freedom when determining how much coverage you need in each area of your policy. You can adjust your coverage limits to fit your budget while maintaining sufficient protection.
You can usually set your dwelling limit between 80% and 100% of your home’s replacement cost. Opting for more dwelling coverage will notably increase your premiums, but it will cover you wholly in case of a total rebuild.
You can also easily adjust your liability limits. Most insurers require at least $100,000 in liability coverage, but we always recommend more. Increasing your liability limits to $300,000 or $500,000 is relatively inexpensive and will more adequately cover you in case of a serious lawsuit. After major accidents, medical bills and legal fees can pile up quickly, and you don’t want to be caught short on liability coverage.
We recommend creating a home inventory to determine the precise amount of personal property coverage you need. By tracking and evaluating all your items, you’ll come up with a total cost for how much you paid for your possessions. This total is the amount of personal property coverage you should choose.
Providers will suggest an amount based on the information you provide, but creating a home inventory will tailor the coverage to you and potentially save you money by avoiding unnecessary limits.
Shop Around to Save Money
Once you know the coverage details and amounts you need in your policy, you should compare rates from several providers to see who has the best price for your desired coverage. Every company has slightly different ways of underwriting its policy, which creates price differences in the market. Take the time to shop around and find the cheapest quote.
You can also compare possible discounts on your search. Some carriers may offer more or better price reductions depending on your characteristics. Discounts vary by company, but you can usually find ones for having security systems, staying claims-free, and bundling your policies.
What to Know About Flood Insurance in Buffalo
We mentioned the many perils that home insurance covers you from, but one that’s always excluded is flooding. Homeowners insurance never covers flood damage, the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster.
It’s not a bad idea to look into flood insurance in Buffalo, where heavy rains and rapid snowmelt have caused flooding issues in the past. The NFIP recalculated its rating system in 2022, and you may find discounted premiums if you’re in a low-risk zone. Also, a growing number of private flood insurance companies are entering the marketplace and may offer more comprehensive protection options.
Do you want to pay for costly and common flood damage yourself or have an insurance policy pick up the tab?
Buffalo Homeowners Insurance Cost Factors
The average homeowners insurance in Buffalo is about $1,269 annually, but you may pay less or more depending on many factors. Some of the most common variables affecting Buffalo home insurance rates:
- Home age
- Home construction
- Home features
- Claims history
- Policy deductible
Older homes tend to incur damage more easily and suffer issues relating to wear and tear. Dated siding, roofs, pipes, and wiring can be red flags to providers. Insurers prefer new construction without possible wear and defects. Companies will often want to inspect an old home before insuring it, and they may charge higher rates to offset the increased chances of a claim.
Insurers examine many of your home’s construction aspects to help determine premiums. Companies will ask about square footage, number of floors, foundation types, and roof details. Larger homes need more insurance and generally always cost more to insure.
Certain features in your home can raise premiums. For example, attractive nuisances such as trampolines, playground equipment, and pools increase your liability risk and raise premiums. Owning certain dog breeds can have the same effect. Conversely, security systems and deadbolt locks can give you discounts and lower rates.
Having a history of filing multiple insurance claims will raise your premiums. Someone who has filed several claims in the past three to five years is a larger financial risk to insure for a company than someone who has never filed a claim.
Is Home Insurance Required in Buffalo?
Homeowners insurance is only required in Buffalo if you’ve got a mortgage, as lenders stipulate it as part of all their home loans. Otherwise, no law requires you to have home insurance.
Lenders put significant amounts of money down when they give mortgages. To protect their investments, they require home insurance as part of the mortgage agreement. This way, if your house gets destroyed, you and your lender can recoup the money you’ve put into the house from the insurance payout.
If you don’t find and maintain coverage on your own, your lender will force place insurance on you, which we don’t ever recommend choosing. If you bought your home with cash or paid off your mortgage, no entity will require you to have home insurance. However, going without a policy puts you at personal financial risk for all property damage.
How to Get Home Insurance Quotes in Buffalo
Comparing homeowners insurance quotes in Buffalo is essential to save money and find the best coverage. You should never settle for the first quote you get. An independent insurance agency, like Clovered, makes shopping around easy. We partner with several of the top insurers in New York to find you the coverage you need at the price you want.
You can use our online quoting platform to compare your options easily on your own time. Just input some information about yourself and your property, and we’ll bring you as many quotes as possible.
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.