Home insurance rates have increased, and New York is among the Top 20 most expensive states for it. Here’s why home insurance is always a good idea regardless of rate highs or lows.

New York homeowners may decide the cost of living is high enough and that home insurance is one bill too many. It’s true that living here costs more than some other states— we’re currently number 3 in the 10 most expensive states to live.

Last year’s report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners rates New York as the 15th most expensive state for home insurance with an average premium of $1,309. Nobody wants more bills but living in our state and owning a home anywhere comes with inherent risks.

These facts create legitimate reasons for that price difference in home insurance. Here’s why having this coverage in place can actually help New Yorkers ensure that homeownership isn’t more expensive than necessary.

Home insurance helps New Yorkers cope with weather

Mother Nature could drop her worst on your property with little to no warning. Our state was recently the first million-plus population in the nation to declare a state of climate emergency.

While some may think that a few extra degrees of temperature won’t harm their home, extra heat is a recipe for increased storm activity. Here’s what every homeowner should consider with regard to weather:

  • High to Hurricane-force winds – A quick look at this video shows what hard winds can do to a home. From stripping the exterior to tearing apart the interior, it only takes a 50-mph wind to do serious damage. Such wind speeds and above are no stranger to New York, as this warning illustrates. High winds also make destructive projectiles out of any object they pick up.
  • Torrential rains and flooding – New York is more prone to flooding, which means ground-level water rising and entering home interiors while potential wind-driven rain causes exterior damage. Home insurance will cover rain damage to your home, but flood damage will require a separate policy.
  • Seasonal shifts – Year-round weather changes present their own potential risks to a home. Winter snow and ice can compromise structural integrity if they gather too much weight on a roof. Increased heating use during cold spells can cause fires. Pipes can freeze and burst. And a dry summer can cause shifts in a home’s foundation or lead to weakening and damage of porches and support beams.

Homeowners can gauge some extreme weather risk by checking if they live in a hurricane or flood-prone zone. And remember to look after yourself as well during periods of extremely hot weather by following New York’s Beat the Heat guidelines.

First-time buyers should protect themselves

New York provides plenty of help to encourage new home buyers and there is certainly a demand for this assistance.

Perhaps more than any other group, first-time buyers need home insurance to mitigate the risks to property and personal possessions that come with a new house. The financial programs we highlighted in our previous blog can save New Yorkers a significant amount of money; savings which can offset any spike in home insurance rates and make it easier to afford.

It also pays to remember that home insurance covers more than structures and things—it also provides for people. For example, should an accident or injury befall a guest while they’re under your roof, you could be held liable for this and be required to pay medical fees. Home insurance offers a cushion against that kind of risk.

Home insurance may be critical to even finding a home

Many mortgage lenders won’t even consider someone for a home if they don’t have a homeowners insurance policy in place (even though having insurance is not a state requirement in New York). The lack of a personally chosen policy means that a mortgage lender may put force-placed coverage into action.

This creates a double risk of higher home insurance rates because it takes all agency away from the homeowner and lands them with a premium that could be more expensive than if they had proactively shopped around. The homeowner will also have little say in terms of coverage.

NY home insurance may have risen, but it’s worth the expense

Avoiding a monthly home insurance premium is generally a bad idea, given the risks and the wide protection these policies provide. Ignoring it means one less bill, but it’s potentially opening the door to a great many others that could leave a homeowner high and dry for repairs/rebuilding, temporary living expenses, legal liability, and more.

Even in the face of rising rates, home insurance offers true peace of mind and proactive protection from serious financial loss in the future.

Need insurance or reliable advice? NICRIS Insurance provides a free, personalized review or you can connect with us by dropping us a line!