Known as the Ocean State, Rhode Island's coastal location makes it prone to flooding. Beach homes need extra protection, but it’s important to have homeowner’s insurance to protect your home, no matter where you choose to live. While state law doesn’t require that you carry insurance, Rhode Island mortgage lenders often require home insurance coverage when issuing you a loan.
Comparing Rhode Island Home Insurance Rates
Many factors help determine how much you will pay for homeowner’s insurance in Rhode Island. These factors include the number of bedrooms in the home, the home's construction (such as wood, stone, or brick), the age of the home, and the type of electrical system in the home. Your deductible also plays a part in the premium you pay each month. As a rule, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premiums. Typically, home insurance either has a dollar amount deductible (typically $500 to $1000) or a percentage deductible (typically about 5 percent of the value of your home).
You will typically pay less for insurance on an average single-family home in or near the state capital of Providence than homeowners in nearby New England states.
There are things you can do to lower your costs. If you install deadbolt locks in your home, your insurer may offer a discount. Combine the deadbolts with a security system and your premium may fall even more. Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in the home may lower your average rate and you will also pay less if your home is located near fire hydrants and a fire station.
Weather Damage to Rhode Island Homes
Severe weather is a greater risk in any coastal state, and Rhode Island is no exception. Rhode Island doesn't suffer the effects of hurricanes as much as southern states do, but there is still a great risk of hurricane damage.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast in 2012, many Rhode Island beach homes suffered extreme damage, and even total loss. Homes were damaged by sand and debris, and wind knocked down a number of trees, damaging windows and foundations.
In addition to the wind and sand damage, extensive flooding occurred. A standard home insurance policy in any state doesn’t include flood insurance, but residents can purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program backed by the federal government. Some mortgage lenders require separate flood insurance for homes located in flood zones.
Rhode Island is also vulnerable to blizzards and other severe storms – these can cause damage to roofs, home foundations, and personal property.
When purchasing home insurance, compile an inventory of all the possessions in your home (which will make it easier for you if you need to make a claim).
Frequently Asked Questions About Rhode Island Home Insurance
Here are some of the most common questions asked about Rhode Island homeowners insurance, as well as their answers:
1. How do you receive discounts on home insurance?
Residents have many ways to get a discount on home insurance in Rhode Island. One way to save is by bundling your home and auto insurance with one carrier.
2. What does a basic Rhode Island homeowners insurance policy cover?
A basic home insurance policy in Rhode Island covers damage that may occur from fire, theft, wind, lightning, hailstorms, and more. A more comprehensive policy covers damage to personal property in the home, as well as damage from snow, ice, and frozen plumbing.
3. What items fall into the category “personal property”?
Personal property includes jewelry, furniture, and appliances. Home insurance typically covers the cost of replacing these items if they are stolen or damaged, up to the limit you select. However, if you have expensive items of personal property such as jewelry or antiques, make sure that you have enough coverage as some policies may limit how much they’ll pay out for a single item.
4. What if multiple companies refuse to cover my home?
If no company will sell you a policy, the Rhode Island Joint Reinsurance Association can help you. Founded under the Federal Urban Property and Reinsurance Act of 1968, the RIJRA provides basic coverage to homeowners who can’t get home insurance through private insurers.
How to Get Great Rates on Rhode Island Home Insurance
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Rhode Island Home Insurance Resources
RI Island Division of Insurance Regulation
Provides information on insurance laws and regulations that protect Rhode Island consumers