Although New York doesn't mandate home insurance, your mortgage lender may require you to get it. It's important for homeowners to know how to compare home insurance rates and what affects rates. It's also important to understand the laws in New York that affect how you buy home insurance, and whether or not you qualify.
Home location and deductible amount affect how much you pay for home insurance. Other factors that affect your premium include your home’s proximity to water (such as the ocean, or a river) or the fire department. Think about what kind of coverage you need to make sure you buy the right insurance. This is especially important if you live in a flood zone. Insurance companies or an insurance agent can provide you with more information about the options available.
Comparing New York Home Insurance Rates
New York home insurance costs vary considerably. Your insurance will cost more if your home has certain risk factors. For example, you'll pay more for home insurance if you live in a high crime neighborhood or if you own a pool. These risks increase the likelihood you'll file an insurance claim.
You should think about many factors when you shop for home insurance, including:
- Location, age, and type of building (single or multiple story, mobile home, etc).
- Distance of your home from a fire department.
- Deductible amount.
- Premium discounts available.
- Damage covered by the policy.
- How much coverage you have for personal property, replacement costs, etc.
Home insurance plans typically don't cover flood damage. You can, however, buy it through the National Flood Insurance Program, run by the government. This program makes flood insurance affordable and available to those in high risk zones.
How Home Insurance Works in NYC and Other Parts of New York
Your credit rating might affect how much you pay for home insurance in New York. However, insurance companies have to follow strict state laws if they check your credit rating and must do the following:
- Notify you they will check your credit.
- Notify you if your insurance rate will be higher because of your credit score.
- Let you know that you have the right to fix errors in your credit report.
Your insurance company must check your credit score every three years and cannot cancel your coverage or raise your premium if your credit score gets worse.
Many people are unaware that their credit report may have errors on it. You should check your credit report and fix any problems before you shop for home insurance. You'll likely pay less for insurance if your credit score is good. You may even get a rate reduction if your credit score improves when your insurer reviews it after three years.
Also, New York requires houses, condominiums, and cooperatives to have carbon monoxide detectors installed.
Frequently Asked Questions About New York Home Insurance
1. What is a hurricane deductible?
A hurricane deductible is how much you pay out of pocket for repairs before your insurance coverage kicks in. It usually costs 1 to 5 percent of the home or insurance value. Insurance companies usually require hurricane deductibles.
2. Does home insurance cover earthquakes?
Most home insurance plans don't cover earthquakes. Some insurance companies sell separate earthquake insurance policies and these typically come with high deductibles.
3. Does home insurance cover water backups?
Some home insurance policies cover water backups like sewer backups and sump pump problems. These plans usually cost a little bit more than regular coverage but can be worth it for older homes.
4. What is actual cash value?
Actual cash value is the amount of money needed to repair or replace lost property minus depreciation. A typical home insurance plan covers the contents of your home according to actual cash value.
5. What is personal liability coverage?
Personal liability coverage protects you and family members living in your home against lawsuits. These claims relate to bodily harm and property damage from others resulting from negligence. However, this coverage won’t cover you if you’re found to have intentionally caused harm or damage to other people or property.
How to Get Great Rates on New York Home Insurance
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New York Home Insurance Resources
NY Department of Insurance
Consumer information on various kinds of insurance and preventing insurance fraud