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The 5 Best New York Homeowners Insurance Companies
Latest Update August 4, 2017
New York’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the higher side — on average $1,256 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average of $1,132. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address. Use our tool to find your best rates:
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Find the best homeowners insurance in New York
Enter your ZIP code to see the best rates in your area:
As a homeowner in New York it’s hard to avoid extremes. There’s snowmageddon in the winter; heat waves in the summer; and just when you have things figured out, the extremes get, well, more extreme. Since 2011, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has declared a disaster nine times in New York, nearly twice as many as the national average of five. Whether you’re tucked away on an upstate farm, or living in the city, finding the right home insurance policy is a must.
The average homeowners insurance premium in New York comes in at $1,256 per year, which is a few dollars higher than the nationwide average of $1,132. Higher premiums in New York City drive the statewide average up, though, so if you’re not in the city, don’t let that price tag scare you. Compare rates for your area using the quote tool below. (The best way to get a good rate is simply to shop around.)
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in New York
When we set out to find the best homeowners insurance in New York, we followed an approach similar to the one used in our review on nationwide companies. We started by identifying the largest home insurance companies in New York, and then we evaluated their coverage options and discounts, and compared their financial strength, claims management, and customer service. We went through the quote process, read the fine print, and tested all their online tools. And finally, we gathered up all the data and ranked each provider based on their overall performance in each category. Here’s how they measure up.
New York Homeowners Insurance Reviews
State Farm topped our list because it has better claims management than any other provider we evaluated. In Consumer Reports’ homeowners insurance survey, State Farm’s reader score (a key rating based on input from 90,000 Consumer Reports subscribers) was an astonishing 15 points higher than Allstate, and edged out both Liberty Mutual and Travelers by two points (Chubb was not included in the study). In addition, it was the only provider among those we evaluated to receive a 4 out 5 for damage amount, an indication that customers are happy with State Farm’s damage estimates, which ultimately impacts the amount of money you receive when you file a claim.
State Farm fared well in our evaluation of its educational materials. (If you’re a first-time homeowner or are new to home insurance, these online educational materials can help you get more familiar with your coverage options and make more informed policy decisions.) State Farm’s resources include a quote tool, a home inventory calculator, and a decent learning center that’s good, but isn’t the industry leader. That prize goes to Allstate; it’s website has better versions of all these resources and a really useful Common Costly Claims tool to help you determine which coverage options you should prioritize based on your ZIP code.
Allstate doesn’t just lead the pack with its learning center; when it comes to discounts, Allstate is most impressive, too. All five providers we evaluated offer basic discounts for things like remaining claims free or signing up for multiple policies, but Allstate distinguishes itself right off the bat — it’s the only provider that offers a welcome discount. This unique discount gives you 10 percent off your premium for the first two years just for signing up with Allstate. If you’re over 55 and retired, you qualify for an additional 10 percent deduction, another discount unmatched by any of the other top providers. Allstate’s multi-policy discount can even reach up to 30 percent, which is 8 percentage points higher than State Farm’s.
Allstate’s reputation for claims management isn’t so perfect. In Consumer Reports’ homeowners insurance survey, Allstate’s reader score was the lowest of the 14 providers included in the survey. However, Allstate is on par with the competition in J.D. Power’s more comprehensive US Household Insurance Study, which takes into consideration policy offerings, pricing, billing, payment, and contacting the insurer, in addition to claims. Allstate makes up for the flaws in its claims process with strengths in these other areas.
Liberty Mutual is one of the most competitive all-around providers. It came in a close second to State Farm for claims management and just behind Allstate for customer service. Liberty Mutual was one of the most well-rounded providers we evaluated, but the company’s unique benefits really set it apart. For example, Liberty Mutual’s Emergency Home Repairs service is available 24/7; if you suffer a covered loss, call and the company will immediately send professionals to begin repairs. If a major storm puts a hole in your roof or fills your basement with water, it’s nice to know you can get on the phone and get help quickly. All of the home insurance providers we evaluated have a 24/7 claims management service, but only Liberty Mutual offers immediate repairs service.
Liberty Mutual’s exclusive group discounts also mean that if you’re part of participating groups, associations, or work for one of the 14,000 employers that take part in the program — including the New York Public Employees Federation Membership Benefit Program, and many SUNY alumni groups — the coverage may be even cheaper. And it’s not offered by either State Farm or Chubb.
Similar to Allstate, Travelers stood out for its wide variety of discounts. Though not as competitive as the 30 percent multi-policy discount offered by Allstate, bundling your home insurance with an auto, umbrella, boat, or personal articles policy can save you up to 15 percent. In addition, you’ll save another 5 percent for signing up for auto-pay, a deduction only offered by Travelers and Allstate. And, Travelers is the only company that offers a discount for certified green homes, that’ll save you as much as another 5 percent.
We’d caution anyone with older homes to take note that Travelers doesn’t offer ordinance and law coverage for residential homes with a replacement cost of less than $1 million, an endorsement both State Farm and Allstate offer. Ordinance and law coverage is particularly important for older homes that may be required to upgrade electrical, plumbing, or other systems to meet new ordinances and laws after an incident. That $1 million floor may be totally reasonable if you live in NYC, but considering the statewide median home price in residential counties is $128,000, that $1 million benchmark is pretty steep. Without ordinance and law coverage, you’d be on the hook for any upgrade expenses.
If you’re looking for white-glove service and extended coverage options, Chubb is the provider for you. Chubb offered many of the same endorsements as the other four providers we evaluated, plus several distinguishable extended coverage options. For example, with Chubb’s Masterpiece plan, an appraiser will personally visit your home, estimate your home’s replacement cost, and help you determine how much coverage you need. Standard policies from Allstate or Liberty Mutual may not even come with jewelry protection; the standard policy with Chubb includes $5,000. Most flood insurance policies are written by the National Flood Insurance Program, with standard dwelling coverage of $250,000 and personal belongings coverage of $100,000, but Chubb offers an alternative flood plan that can provide up to $15 million in total property coverage. You get the point.
Did You Know?
Save money by comparing quotes from multiple home insurance providers.
One of the best ways to save money on homeowners insurance is to get quotes from more than one provider. To demonstrate why this is important, we went through the online quote process with three different home insurance companies in cities across the state. The thought of going through the purchasing process with multiple providers may not be very appealing, but as you can see in the chart below, the same $200,000 home in each city received different quotes from each provider.