As someone who either owns property to live in or as an investment in Connecticut, you must protect what is yours in every way possible, and one of the most important among these is the presence of an insurance policy.
After all, you are dealing with a state that is particularly susceptible to flooding, after all, and the last thing you would want is for water to cause extensive damage to your home and some elements of your personal property without any potential for recourse.
This is why some insurance companies will partner with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which falls under the umbrella of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Sure, flood insurance is something that you'll typically need to purchase on its own, the value that it can give you when there is a flood is unmatched.
There are some great home insurance options in the state to choose from, which may leave you wondering what your best option is, and that is the reason we decided to put this guide together for you. After all, we want to ensure that you know everything that can help you to secure a homeowners insurance policy that is among the best that's available.
Some of the key pieces of information here are understanding the types of insurance coverage that are recommended based on what hazards are challenges for Connecticut, as well as five top companies you may want to look to for your insurance coverage needs.
Understanding Connecticut Homeowners Insurance
While there is a lot to explore about homeowners insurance, it's a good idea to at least understand the concept at a basic level. This holds true for standard homeowners, as well as those who fall under the umbrella of investment property owners, landlords, or property managers.
By law, there is no homeowners insurance required in the state of Connecticut. However, we would go as far as saying that it's one of the essentials considering that there is no telling what will befall your home, and you do want to ensure that your investment, as well as the valuables it may contain, are protected.
Average Homeowners Insurance Cost in Connecticut
Before diving into average Connecticut homeowners insurance rates, it's a good idea for you to remember that there are a slew of factors that will affect the final cost. This means that two homeowners can potentially pay vastly different charges, though based on the location and value-based similarities, you may think that they would've had the same kind of premium.
Connecticut is a state that has a lot of rivers. While this is great from a leisure perspective, it can be a huge concern and risk factor for any company that will be providing you with homeowners insurance in Connecticut.
On the cheapest side of the spectrum, the cities in Connecticut with the lowest insurance rates are New Canaan, Shelton, Trumbull, Cos Cob, and New Britain. The costs are $1,072, $1,087, $1,088, $1,104, and $1,104, respectively, on average annually. These all fall within the range of 11% - 14% lower than the state's average annual cost.
Now, you can't just blindly use this to try to estimate what your own costs will be since your insurance company will be considering several factors, which include, but are not limited to:
- Age of the home
- Claims history
- Exact location
- Flood insurance coverage
- Special coverage options
- Property value
- Property condition
It's always a great idea to shop around as much as you can to try to access discounts, and you also want to be taking advantage of features such as bundle-based discounts. You will sometimes find that if you take out a bundle consisting of homeowners insurance and auto insurance, for example, the relative cost of each happens to be lower than it would be otherwise.
Apart from just trying to get the lowest cost for your home insurance coverage, one of the most important reasons for shopping around is trying to ensure that you get the best value in terms of what the different types of coverage from the different companies will offer.
Insurance is a cost center that is meant to give you a measure of protection when you're in some of the worst binds that you can find yourself in as a homeowner, so the last thing you want is to misunderstand something or lack the necessary coverage when the time comes. To that end, ensure you're getting all the clarification you possibly can before you decide to settle on any company or policy.
Homeowners Insurance Vs. Landlord Insurance
Considering that landlords and homeowners can fall under the same umbrella of property owners, people may think that these two terms are simply interchangeable and refer to the same thing, but that couldn't be any further from the truth.
Landlord insurance is specifically designed for those who own investment properties and fulfill the role of a landlord. Much of the coverage is based on income that you may lose and incidents that may arise from tenants that would create huge liabilities for you.
On the other hand, homeowners insurance in Connecticut is the standard variation that is more geared towards the home itself and the belongings within. While you are free to use such a policy on a home that you are using as a rental property, you must do so understanding that this type of insurance is hardly far-reaching enough to give you the measure of protection that you would need.
The reality is that whatever context you own a home in will determine the kind of risks that come along with that ownership and the onus is on you to ensure that whatever kind of coverage you obtain aligns with that.
Bear in mind though that you also have a responsibility to uphold your end of the bargain as an insured party. It's not just on the insurance company to uphold its end of the agreement by covering you in the event of an incident.
You must also ensure that you abide by the terms and conditions that have been set out. There are typically guidelines speaking to the way the property is being used, for example, and your specific policy and its associated costs will be based on this.
Therefore, you want to ensure that you're not misrepresenting the truth here as that would mean violating the policy and potentially preventing yourself from accessing the coverage that was meant to protect you.
To help you understand even clearer, consider the following scenarios in which you may wish to opt for homeowners insurance in Connecticut instead of going the landlord insurance route.
Period of Transition
Some property owners will proceed to live in a property, then they will rent it. If you're living in the space, then it stands to reason that it's functionally a standard property and not one that is being used as a rental one.
Therefore, getting landlord insurance would be a waste since the specific circumstances it is meant to provide you against would not exactly be a concern. That means you'd want to get homeowners insurance while you're living there, eventually making the switch to landlord insurance once you do start renting.
Maybe you own a vacant property and so it isn't currently in use by any tenants. After all, if this is the case, certain instances that would lead to losses from rental agreements aren't possible since no such agreement would obtain.
You may also not be living there, which means that you're simply trying to protect an empty property, considering that it is still susceptible to certain challenges.
Note that long vacancies can change the way your coverage works and you need to be open about them. Therefore, if the property is expected to be vacant for some time to come, you'll want to let the insurance company know about this as soon as possible.
Naturally, you should be getting landlord insurance if there are any plans to rent the property out for the long term. However, there may be situations that may lead to a homeowner being away for a designated period. School or work, are examples of this, and such situations may mean that the home will be rented on a short-term basis.
If this is the case, then going the homeowners insurance route may be best. Be that as it may, different situations can be very unique and the best way to know what is recommended is to discuss with the insurance company, which will help you to learn what direction to go.
Home sharing is a situation in which you will live within your property primarily but you will be renting out some portion of it to someone else.
These policies are very specific, which means that different insurance companies will likely offer vastly different versions of them.
One option is to get another type of coverage atop your standard homeowners insurance to offer you protection in specific scenarios. Liability coverage is a good idea, for example.
Bear in mind though, that a house you're generating income from in the form of rent can be a grey area, with insurance companies refusing to cover events for such homes. You may just find that landlord insurance is needed.
How to Choose a Connecticut Homeowners Insurance Company
Let's say that after all the considerations, you're certain that homeowners insurance is for you. The next step would be to identify the company and policy that you will be looking to use. Here are some insights that will likely be invaluable.
Special Coverage for Connecticut Homeowners
Different states will have special conditions that may affect recommended forms of coverage. For example, some states may be susceptible to hurricanes while others are less so.
The Connecticut State Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will tell you that the state is at high risk for river and coastal flooding.
Typically, your homeowners insurance in Connecticut will cover rain damage or water damage from burst pipes. Be that as it may, water damage, which is the result of flooding, will typically not be covered. Therefore, you will often be required to have flood insurance if you want the kind of coverage that will ensure that you are taken care of if an overflowing river should damage your home and its contents.
Note that if you're in a high-risk flood area of the state, government-backed mortgages mandate having flood insurance.
The Northeast States Emergency Consortium indicates that Connecticut has experienced no earthquake since 1791. However, there are earthquakes in neighboring states that can affect the citizens.
A standard policy will not usually cover you if there is destruction related to an earthquake. However, you will find that you can purchase earthquake coverage at an additional cost.
Other Coverage Elements
With the Connecticut-specific elements out of the way, here's a look at some more general areas that you will want to have in mind as you choose the insurance company that you will be working with.
This goes without saying. Any insurance company worth working with will have a strong reputation that you can ascertain from customer reviews. Look for specific information on coverage provision, claims handling, and other essentials.
There's a reason why we'll be talking about five different insurance companies below. Even if the first one you reach out to seems to have amazing pricing, you never truly know unless you see what the competitors have to offer.
This is not to say that you're specifically trying to choose the cheapest company. You want the one that offers the best combination of cost and features that you need to form a part of your insurance coverage.
The Right Coverage
What are the kinds of risks that you need to protect your investments from? This is where you ensure that whatever policy you're considering aligns with your needs. Ask all the questions you must to get the right assurances before you make any moves.
Financial Stability Ratings
Independent bodies will typically provide these kinds of ratings. Realistically, insurance claims can mean huge payouts and if an insurance company isn't in a position to honor claims, that can be very problematic. You'll want to be assured that the company has the financial strength to honor your claims.
This feeds into what was said above about evaluating the reputation of insurance companies. Some will be known for how responsive they are, as well as how efficient they are at processing claims. Get these insights and ensure that you are comfortable.
People all around you are using insurance. You may have family members, friends, or colleagues that will have experience with one or more insurance companies, which means that they can provide great insight into what you can expect. You can also take the time to read independent documentation about the companies, as you're about to do here.
The presence or absence of discounts doesn't necessarily contribute or take anything away from how good an insurance company is, but it does help if you're looking to save on your policy. As indicated before, you may find that there are deals available when you bundle different insurance types.
Best Connecticut Homeowners Insurance Companies
Now that you have all the preliminary details you could need, let's take a look at the top insurance companies in Connecticut for homeowners.
USAA is a bit of a weird one, considering its products are only available to US military members, pre-commissioned officers, veterans, as well as their spouses and children. An A++ AM financial strength is nothing to laugh at and all the standard elements of protection are offered including home sharing protection, theft protection, replacement cost coverage, and even lost military uniforms.
For an additional cost, insured parties can also get access to flood, earthquake, and valuable items coverage. Some actions insured parties can take to access discounts when they are insured with USAA. These include installing a home alarm system, remaining claim-free, or purchasing multiple policies with the providers.
State Farm is a pretty well-known name in the insurance space and it stands as one of the best options on the market in the state of Connecticut. Again, you're dealing with an A++ AM rating here. The standard policies on offer include all the essentials.
However, where State Farm shines is the broad range of additional protection options that you can get access to. These include home systems, service lines, waterbed liability, childcare liability, business property, and more.
As far as discounts go, you can get access to a very substantial one if you should choose to bundle auto and homeowners policies. Discounts are also offered to those who remain claims-free, install new roofs, and have an automatic sprinkler system setup,
State Farm has also shown initiative in the form of making its experience as modern as possible. Policyholders can take advantage of mobile applications to contact agents, file claims, and send in the required documentation. Note, however, that State Farm is one of the options here that does not offer flood insurance coverage, so bear this in mind if you're in a high-risk area.
Amica has a solid A+ rating for its financial strength and also stands among some of the best options in Connecticut. All of its standard policies will give you the basic elements of coverage you need. You are allowed to add additional coverage options such as identity theft, flood, personal property replacement cost, earthquake insurance, and valuable items coverage.
You can also optionally get access to home business coverage and special coverage that deals with expensive computer equipment. You'll get access to an impressive discount selection as an Amica customer, which you can access by making decisions such as using the automated payment offering. Additionally, you can opt to buy multiple policies or remain claims-free. Discounts are also offered to those who outfit their homes with alarm systems.
Note that you can add several additional elements to your policy by default by opting for what Amica calls its Platinum Choice. There are higher liability and medical payments here, as well as greater coverage for your valuable items such as your computers or your jewelry. Some of the add-ons that are rolled into the offering include personal property replacement cost, dwelling replacement, and even water backup coverage.
If you value personalized coverage options, then you may be hard-pressed to find a better option than Travelers home insurance. Be that as it may, while the company is known for its wide-reaching auto insurance offering, the home insurance side of things can feel limited by comparison.
The standard policy will offer the basics that you'd expect, and depending on the circumstances, you may be able to add other options including water backup, partnered flood, identity theft, green home coverage, and special coverage for your valuables, such as your jewelry.
You will find that the offerings from Travelers are some of the most robust on the market, offering a significant amount of customization to fit your unique needs, and this is where its competitive advantage comes from. Additionally, the types and number of discounts available are incredible, to say the least.
For example, you may have seen green home coverage alluded to above. As a traveler customer, you can access discounts based on the fact that you have green home implementations present.
The last option to be discussed for homeowners insurance in Connecticut is Farmers Insurance, which holds an A rating from AM. Your standard policy will include all of the usual suspects, except other structures. This will need to be purchased separately as an add-on. However, valuable item coverage is a part of the standard policy, which allows you to circumvent the usual additional payments.
Add-ons are also available in the form of earthquake, flood, identity theft, green improvement reimbursement, and personal property replacement.
The standard policies are complemented by more premium plans that will come with higher limits and greater coverage. The "Premier" policies feature dwelling coverage that will reimburse you for the whole 100% of your rebuild costs.
Connecticut can be a great place to own a home for your own use or one that you plan to have as an investment property. Of course, it does stand to reason that you must protect your investment, and one way to do this is to ensure that you have the coverage that you need.
Choosing the right home insurance provider is no joke, and much of it comes from ensuring that your choice aligns with your needs.
Consider the information you've been given above on the elements you should be thinking about, as well as the different companies that make for great choices in the state.
It's not just about trying to find a company that will offer prices around the level or lower than the national average. There's the matter of value matching by ensuring that in the event of an incident, you can rely on your provider to offer the coverage you need.
Ask all the questions you need to so you know what the basic coverage involves, and the extent to which you'll need to get add-ons to protect yourself.