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Buying a property is a big investment and it can be a huge boost for your portfolio, especially if you can acquire it in the right place. Rhode Island has quite a few of these "right places," which can lead you to want to purchase real estate there.

Unfortunately, your whole investment can end up going up in smoke if unfortunate circumstances should strike. The question is, what do you do if such a situation should occur? Realistically, what can you do? The answer to this depends on when you act.

What you want to do is put the right protection measures in place before such a disaster strikes. If you wait, until after, then you're setting yourself up for a pretty unfortunate outcome.

The protection being mentioned in particular comes in the form of insurance. Rhode Island home insurance can come in quite a few flavors, and navigating them all to choose the right one is not the easiest thing in the world.

Thankfully, we created this guide to get you through the process. You may think that acquiring insurance coverage is as easy as calling an insurance company, paying some money, and you're set.

However, it's not that straightforward. For one thing, you must ensure that you have the right coverage for the potential incidents that may occur. With that being said, there are likely different insurance companies that may be able to meet your needs. How do you choose between them? Why don't we give you these details?

Understanding Rhode Island Homeowners Insurance

Before you jump at the first home insurance company you see in Rhode Island, understand that the protection starts with you doing your due diligence to ensure that your unique needs are met.

People have found themselves in situations where they realize that they don't have the coverage they need when something goes wrong. At that point, it's too late and you have to just accept your losses. No one wants that for you.

Average Home Insurance Costs in Rhode Island

On average, Rhode Island insurance companies will charge roughly $1,233 annually for a policy that provides you with $250,000 in dwelling coverage. Considering that the average cost for this kind of policy in the USA is $1,428, Rhode Island falls just below that barrier, which makes it comparable to what you can expect to pay in neighboring states.

Even armed with this information, you may find that what you end up having to pay is vastly different. There could be a few valid reasons for this. Remember that your insurance will be factoring in several essential variables including but not limited to:

  1. Claims history
  2. Personal liability coverage
  3. Dwelling coverage
  4. Property condition
  5. Location
  6. Age of the home
  7. Security implementations

Insurance is technically a risk management business and that doesn't just hold true for you as the consumer. The companies need to manage their risk too as they offer policies to homeowners. Whatever you end up paying is a direct reflection of the extent to which you are a risk for the company to take on.

Note, however, that discounts can be a big deal and can significantly impact your final payments. Don't be shy to ask homeowners insurance companies what kinds of discounts are available.

For example, you may find that if you bundle your home insurance policy with auto insurance, you get to save some cash.

Homeowners Insurance Vs. Landlord Insurance

While a standard homeowner doesn't necessarily need to worry too much here, if you fall under the umbrella of a landlord or a property manager, understanding the distinction between homeowners insurance and landlord insurance is crucial.

Landlord insurance is a pretty comprehensive offering that's meant to cover rental properties. With these kinds of policies, you get protection for the structure, as well as certain costs you may incur because of your tenants.

For example, you can lose income from unpaid rent. Having a solid landlord insurance policy can help you to recoup these kinds of losses.

On the homeowners insurance side of the spectrum, it's just meant to cover building structures and belongings. There is nothing to help you in the context of using the building for hire.

If you do, you could be violating the stipulations of your insurance policy, which will typically put a stop to your ability to claim, even if something well within your contract should happen.

It's always a great idea to let the insurer know what you're trying to achieve. By doing that, you can get sound advice that will likely end in your knowing what kinds of coverage will meet these specific needs.

Bear in mind that some situations would see you potentially using homeowners insurance, even though the idea is to rent out the place.

One example is known as a transitionary period. Though you plan to rent a property, you may choose to live in it for some time before. Since there is no tenant to speak of, having a landlord insurance policy would be a waste. What you could do is get homeowners insurance while you are present, with the landlord variation coming whenever you do decide to start renting the property out.

Similarly, the property you own may be in a vacant state and you probably expect it to be that way for some time. Again, since no one is there as a tenant, a landlord policy probably isn't a good idea. You could simply get a homeowners insurance policy during this time just to ensure that your valuables are highly protected.

How to Choose a Rhode Island Homeowners Insurance Company

Now you should be sure if you want homeowners insurance in Rhode Island or not. If it is what you need, then the next step is to choose the best homeowners insurance company in the state. Truthfully, it would be different for different homeowners considering that they may not require the same coverage limits or types.

As far as Rhode Island goes, there are two considerations. The first speaks to coverage options that cover elements that are more unique to the state. These should be at the forefront of your mind alongside the general insurance considerations.

Thankfully, both categories are covered below, meaning you should be able to make a pretty informed decision once you're ready.

Unique Policy Needs for Rhode Island Homeowners Insurance

As a Rhode Island homeowner, you will have some basic elements to your coverage such as personal belongings dwelling, and more. However, you will almost certainly want to give the following some thought.

Debris Removal Coverage

Remember that Rhode Island happens to be a coastal state. Therefore, you do run the risk of facing hurricanes if you should own a home there. Bear in mind that these come with debris being scattered all over sometimes and removing it is a nightmare. The best bet is usually to pay to have the removal done by professionals but this can be a pretty costly decision.

Thankfully, if you have debris removal coverage, you can access the service without needing to worry about potentially paying an arm and a leg. Bear in mind though that there are coverage limits that you will need to remain within the boundaries of.

Dwelling Replacement Cost Coverage

Hurricanes can yet again be one of the biggest concerns here. As you know, many people have lost their homes to these weather systems. Of course, there are other things that could destroy your home too. If you have dwelling cost replacement coverage, then you will be able to acquire assistance in paying for the full cost of replacing your home's structure.

Note however, that not every house in Rhode Island will qualify so you will need to check with whichever provider you have your eye on to ensure that this is a kind of coverage that you can get access to if you so desire.

Water Backup Coverage

Unfortunately, water can back up in drain lines or sewers and the damage that this can cause to your home problems. If you have crawlspaces or a basement, then the risk of your having this problem increases quite a bit.

Flood Insurance

The risk of flooding in Rhode Island is pretty high and there's an obvious reason for this given its location. Your standard homeowners insurance policies will usually not cover flooding, meaning that you will need to get a flood insurance policy going.

There are two options here. You can go through the federal initiative known as the National Flood Insurance Program. Alternatively, you are free to get private flood insurance if that is more appealing to you. This is a more expensive option on average, but it does offer you the peace of mind of knowing that you have greater coverage and flexibility to address your needs.

Other Rhode Island Insurance Factors to Consider

With the special considerations out of the way, it's time to look through a more general lens. Here are some of the things to do to choose your insurance provider correctly:

  1. Think about what kinds of needs you have. Why is it that you even want to take out an insurance policy? What specific elements are you trying to protect? Is the company you're considering offering these kinds of coverage?
  2. Financial strength ratings from independent bodies such as AM are a good source of information on where many of these companies stand. Some will have no issues honoring claims, but others may not be in the position to be able to reliably do so. These ratings help you understand where the companies you're considering stand.
  3. You can't leave cost out of the mix. Sure, it's not going to be the only thing you think about, but it's pretty important since you need to get the best value. No one is saying that you should look to work with the cheapest homeowners insurance company, but you at least want to get a few quotes to see where you stand.
  4. Get recommendations and look at reviews on what the customer experience is like. While having polite agents is great, the bigger concern here is how helpful the staff complement is and how efficiently claims are handled since when disaster strikes, you need proper assistance as soon as possible.
  5. Don't run into signing off on a policy blindly. Not only do you want to ensure that you know what you are signing up for, but you also need to understand the terms and conditions that you need to abide by. Is there a deductible? What kind of actions on your part can render your policy void? What does the claims process look like? What are the limits of your coverage?

Best Home Insurance Companies in Rhode Island

We've gone through just about the whole thought process associated with making insurance company selections. The only thing that's left for us to do is to specifically talk about some companies that may just be perfect for Rhodes Island homeowners.

1) Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual has an AM ranking of A, which, while not at the top of the pecking order, does indicate that the company would be able to honor the claims of its clients quite well. The standout feature here is the fact that you'd be dealing with one of the easiest claims processes on the market.

Additionally, there is a host of educational material for homeowners, which is free from a bunch of technical jargon, making it very understandable. This works out well considering that many homeowners really don't understand much of what is going on with insurance and hope that they paid for the right coverage options when disaster strikes.

Coverage and Features

Your standard Liberty Mutual policy will include the following:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Personal property
  • Other structures
  • Guest medical coverage and liability coverage
  • Additional living expenses

Additional coverage options are available and include:

  • Flood Insurance
  • Earthquake insurance
  • Hurricane coverage
  • Replacement cost for belongings
  • Umbrella coverage
  • Inflation protection
  • Blanket jewelry coverage
  • Water backup
  • Identity theft coverage

Discounts

There is a variety of discounts available, which can make getting your insurance a pretty affordable venture with Liberty Mutual. The discounts are as follows:

  • Multipolicy discount
  • Newly purchased home
  • New roof discount
  • Paperless policy discount
  • Early shopper discount
  • Safe homeowner program
  • Insured to value discount
  • New/renovated home discount
  • Claims free discount

2) USAA

USAA

USAA is next and has an A++ AM rating, which is as good as it gets, so expect your claims to be honored with no hassle from a financial feasibility perspective. The only challenge is that the coverage provided by this company is only accessible to active duty military members, veterans, and the spouses and children of these groups.

Coverage and Features

The coverage you get from a standard policy will include:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Personal belongings
  • Personal liability
  • Loss of use
  • Identity theft protection
  • Replacement cost
  • Other structures
  • Military uniforms

Home sharing and earthquake coverage are available as additions if you want them.

Discounts

On the discount side of things, USAA offers the following:

  • Claims free discount
  • Bundle and save
  • Protective device credit

3) Nationwide

Nationwide

Nationwide has an A+ AM rating, which is very good! It's available in most of the USA, and thankfully, this includes Rhode Island. While the basic insurance protection includes a number of the usual suspects, there are a few unique additions, which are quite welcome.

Coverage and Features

A standard Nationwide policy will include these elements:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures
  • Personal belongings
  • Personal liability
  • Guest medical payments
  • Ordinance or law insurance
  • Loss of use
  • Credit card insurance

Additionally, you can opt for the following:

  • Earthquake coverage
  • Flood Insurance
  • Brand new belongings
  • Valuables plus
  • Water backup
  • Identity theft protection
  • Better roof replacement

Discounts

There are also a few great discounts, which include:

  • Smart home
  • Protective devices
  • Gated community
  • Home renovation
  • Roof rating
  • New home purchase
  • Prior insurance

4) Amica

Amica

Amica also has an A+ rating from AM, rendering it very capable of meeting the claim commitments it has to its customers. It happens to be based in Rhode Island and offers both a standard and platinum choice option for insurance coverage.

Coverage and Features

Your standard choice policy will include:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures
  • Personal property
  • Loss of use
  • Liability

If you want the platinum choice, you'll get:

  • Dwelling cost replacement
  • Liability and medical payment coverage
  • Business property coverage
  • Valuable items extended coverage
  • Water backup/sump overflow
  • Personal property replacement
  • Special computer coverage
  • Credit card coverage
  • Loss assessment plan

Discounts

The discounts you can get are as follows:

  • Alarm system
  • Automatic detection device
  • Loyalty
  • Autopay
  • E-discount
  • Claim, free
  • New/remodeled home

5) Allstate

Allstate

Finally, there is Allstate bearing an A+ AM rating like the previous couple of entries, putting it in the company of insurance firms that can honor claims quite handily. While it is one of the more expensive options, it does a great job of covering its customers optimally.

Coverage and Features

Your standard policy with Allstate will include:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Liability protection
  • Personal property
  • Guest medical protection

You can additionally get:

  • Personal umbrella policy
  • Flood Insurance
  • Identity theft protection
  • Water backup
  • Business property
  • Yard and garden
  • Musical instruments
  • Green improvement reimbursement

Discounts

You are also potentially able to get these great discounts:

  • Early signing
  • Welcome and loyalty
  • Protective device
  • Easy pay
  • Multipolicy
  • Homebuyer
  • Responsible payment

Conclusion

Clearly, there's a lot to think about with insurance, but what is too much when your investment needs to be protected? It may not be required, but it could be the very thing that saves you. Take the time to go over the information we gave you above so you can choose an insurance company wisely to secure what is yours.

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.

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