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How to Shop for the Best Homeowners Insurance in Virginia

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Purchasing a home in Virginia is likely one of the biggest and most important investments you’ll ever make in your lifetime. To properly protect this valuable asset and investment over the long run, having adequate and affordable homeowners insurance Virginia coverage is absolutely essential. This type of insurance policy provides crucial financial protection that helps fully repair or even completely rebuild your home if it becomes seriously damaged due to commonly covered events like fire, theft, vandalism, severe storms, falling objects, and more.

Without homeowners insurance Virginia, you’d be faced with paying entirely out of pocket for repairs that could easily end up costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars if your home is badly damaged or destroyed. That’s a massive financial burden very few homeowners can take on by themselves. 

By shopping around for the best homeowners insurance Virginia policy for your needs from a highly-rated insurer, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have an affordable safety net.

Take Time to Understand What Factors Affect Your Premiums

Several criteria determine what homeowners insurance rates you’ll be quoted by insurers in Virginia. Knowing these rating factors can help guide your decisions to keep costs down. Some key elements that affect your premiums include:

  • Location of the home: Homes situated in areas at higher risk for natural disasters and severe weather events like flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, etc. will have higher insurance rates. Certain cities in Virginia like Virginia Beach and Chesapeake near the coast, for example, often have elevated premiums because of their hurricane risk.
  • Specific features of the home: Details like the age and construction materials of your home, the type of roof you have, any security systems or fire safety features installed, the distance to the nearest fire hydrant, and more all factor in. Newer homes with more safety features will typically qualify for lower insurance rates.
  • Your claims history: If you’ve filed previous homeowners insurance claims for your home, especially frequent claims, insurers view you as a higher risk and will charge more. Companies reward long-term customers who avoid claims and have a claim-free history.
  • Your credit score: Most insurance companies will check your credit when initially pricing your homeowner’s policy. Maintaining a good credit score helps you secure lower premiums, while poor credit leads to higher rates.
  • Your chosen deductible amount: One of the easiest ways to reduce your premiums is to select a higher deductible, which is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in on a claim. Just be sure you can comfortably afford to pay the deductible if you need to file a claim. We’ll cover this more later.

Carefully Review All the Details of the Policy’s Coverage

While all standard homeowners insurance policies in Virginia provide baseline coverage for insuring the structure of your dwelling itself, other structures on your property like sheds and detached garages, as well as personal property inside like furniture and electronics, there are some very key endorsements and add-ons that can vary drastically between policies. It’s crucial to review options and exclusions like closely:

  • Replacement cost coverage for personal belongings: This pays to replace your damaged or stolen personal property at current prices, rather than just the depreciated cash value. It’s superior protection but does cost a bit more.
  • Increased liability protection: Policies in Virginia cover liability claims up to a minimum amount if you’re sued, but purchasing increased limits above the state minimum is wise for enhanced asset protection.
  • Flood insurance: Unfortunately, standard homeowners policies don’t include flood damage, but this very important add-on endorsement will cover damage from bodies of water overflowing.
  • Earthquake insurance: Like flooding, shakes, and quakes aren’t covered under basic policies, making this added protection vital for homes in zones around Virginia considered at risk for earthquakes.

Make it a Priority to Compare Quotes from Multiple Insurers

One of the most important steps to take when shopping for a homeowners insurance policy in Virginia is getting quotes from several insurance providers before deciding. Rates for the same home with the same coverage can vary widely between insurance companies. On average, people save over $1,200 a year simply by comparing rates from multiple insurers!

  • When getting homeowners insurance quotes, make sure to include:
  • Larger national insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, Liberty Mutual
  • Regional firms that operate in Virginia like Erie, Cincinnati Insurance, and Auto-Owners
  • Smaller local agents and carriers based right in Virginia

As you evaluate the options and quotes, look at policy costs, of course, but also consider the specific coverage offered, customer service ratings, any discounts available, financial strength, years in business, and more. Working with an independent insurance agent is a great way to compare rates from multiple highly rated carriers all at once, too.

Look into Every Available Discount to Save More on Premiums

Most of the top insurance companies provide a range of discounts to reduce homeowners insurance premiums. When getting quotes, always be sure to ask each insurer about all discounts you may qualify for to maximize your savings. Some of the most common homeowners insurance discounts to keep in mind include:

  • Security system discount – Typically 5% or more off just for having a qualifying alarm system and monitored security
  • Multi-policy discount – Around 5% or more off for bundling your homeowner’s coverage with auto and life insurance too
  • New home discount – Can get up to 10% off insurance for newly constructed homes
  • Safety feature discounts – Savings for fire safety systems, storm shutters, water sensors, surge protectors, and more
  • Claim-free discount – As much as 15% off for going several consecutive years with no claims filed
  • Good credit discount – At least 5% off (sometimes much more) for those with excellent credit scores
  • Early quote discounts – Some savings for getting an insurance quote well before your policy renews
  • Paperless discount – Around 5% off for opting into paperless billing and documents online
  • Long-tenured customer discount – Special savings for being with an insurer for 5+ years

Conclusion

Choosing a higher deductible is one of the easiest ways to get cheaper homeowners insurance virginia in Virginia. Raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 saves 10% on premiums. Unless you file a claim exceeding $500, you come ahead with the higher deductible. Just be sure you have savings to cover the amount before increasing it.

Shopping around, comparing policies in detail, bundling, and boosting your deductible makes finding affordable homeowners insurance Virginia easy. Follow these tips to get the right home coverage at the best price.

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