Additional Homeowners Insurance Considerations in Massachusetts
Homeowners insurance in Massachusetts covers many of the same standard areas that you would experience in other states. You’ll generally be insured against fire and similar emergencies that are not specific to any location.
Beyond that, you’ll need to consider flood insurance based on state flood maps, particularly if your home is near the coast.
The good news is that, according to the state government’s insurance frequently asked question page, most home insurance plans will cover any damages
that occur due to ice dams that emerge due to the extreme winter weather common in the state.
However, it’s important to note that such plans only cover the initial damages. If you neglect repairs and the problem expands, you may end up paying for not moving quickly.
Special insurance types that are particularly important in the state
Many coastal regions of Massachusetts face significant flooding potential due to storm surges in hurricanes and blizzards. Snowmelt can also create high risks of flood in certain regions.
If your home features components or environmental issues that prevent you from getting insurance from a licensed company, the Massachusetts Property Insurance and Underwriting Association offers a FAIR Plan coverage option with coverage of up to $1 million.
As of 2017, the last time government data was available, the FAIR Plan covered
40 percent of all homeowners policies in the Cape and Islands market.
Specialty coverage for unique items
The Massachusetts homeowners insurance FAQ recommends that homeowners seeking to insure a dwelling with specialty items, such as hand-carved woodwork or stained glass windows, ask about specific coverage for those assets.
As a state featuring many older homes, it’s important to consider specific building elements that may require specialty coverage.
3 Tips for Buying Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts
Before getting to specific tips for Massachusetts, one universal rule should be kept in mind: Shop around.
Homeowners insurance companies can offer significantly different rates for comparable coverage. Taking the time to obtain and compare quotes is critical. Beyond that, a few quick tips specific to Massachusetts include:
- Account for winter: Whether your home is on the coast or in the mountains, harsh winter weather can bring high winds, fallen trees, and related ice/water damage that you’ll want to ensure is covered.
- Consider value, not cost: The costs of home insurance in Massachusetts can be high, but the value depends on what you’d have to pay to make repairs in the aftermath of a disaster. Consider the high costs and complexity of construction in your region as you decide whether or not homeowners insurance is right for you.
- Be aware of coverage policies: Massachusetts law indicates that insurers can choose not to renew your policy, but they have to give you 45 days to seek alternative coverage. In the event you have trouble finding an insurer, the state’s FAIR Plan option may be worth pursuing.
Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Bottom Line
All told, Massachusetts is a relatively expensive place to insure a home. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the national average premium for homeowners insurance was
$1,173 in 2015, which represents the most recent data available. In Massachusetts, the state average premium was $1,451.
This may seem like a steep price to pay, but it may help to know that you aren’t paying a high cost because you’re likely to face a disaster. Based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency gathered by the NAIC, the state of Massachusetts only experienced one official disaster from 2013 through 2017, making it one of the safest states in the country.
Instead of paying against a disaster, you’re instead paying primarily because of the high value of homes in the state. The average home purchase price in the U.S. was $307,700 as of the first quarter of 2019, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found. According to Zillow, the average home price in Massachusetts was $409,600.
In Massachusetts, you aren’t paying a high insurance premium because a disaster is especially likely, you’re paying it because the cost of significant damages are typically high, meaning you may find yourself particularly appreciative of insurance if you do ever need it.
*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that “timely” information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.