Best cheap homeowners insurance in Boston
The average annual premium for home insurance in Boston, Massachusetts, is $1,481 for a $250,000 dwelling. This is on a par with the U.S. national average of $1,477 and slightly above the average for the entire state of $1,258 annually. Boston is known as a renters city. From 2015 to 2019, only 35% of housing units were owned. The median value of homes occupied by the owner for the same period was $532,700, and the median monthly mortgage payment was $2,442.
Weather patterns are one of the most important factors influencing home insurance rates. With Boston located on the northeast Atlantic coast, it is subjected to severe weather patterns like blizzards, storm surges and floods. Property crime is higher in Boston than in other areas of Massachusetts, with a chance of one in 51 residents becoming property crime victims.
In selecting home insurance companies for this article, we’ve looked at a wide range of factors, including J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction ratings, the quality and breadth of policy offerings, coverage protection against specific risks in Boston, prices, available discounts and customer service.
Best home insurance companies in Boston
The J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study rated home insurance companies based upon their customer service reputations. MetLife and Allstate both scored above the average score of 823. Though Chubb did not receive the same high score, other factors such as excellent policy choices kept the company on our list. USAA is not included in the official J.D. Power rankings but was studied and received one of the highest scores.
|Home insurance company||Average annual premium for $250K dwelling||J.D. Power score|
*USAA is not included in the official ranking because, with its customer base limited to past and present members of the military and relatives, it does not satisfy J.D. Powers’ criteria.
MetLife was founded over 150 years ago and, with its experience and financial strength, has developed affordable home insurance policies and a reputation for responding well to claims. MetLife’s website is very informative and customer-friendly, with many interactive tools to educate customers about home insurance and help in selecting coverage.
MetLife offers robust coverage for homeowners, which may benefit locations such as Boston, which face challenging weather conditions year-round. With numerous options and discounts available, Metlife, though not the cheapest, can offer affordable coverage to meet most needs.
Learn more: MetLife Insurance review
Allstate is also a well-known and established large company and leverages these strengths to offer customers a wide range of policy choices. Allstate has an extensive network of independent agents throughout the country, which can be particularly helpful as you sort through policy choices and a host of potential discounts.
Allstate policies can also be purchased directly from the company. The insurer has a user-friendly website and sophisticated apps that help identify insurance needs, obtain quotes and submit claims. Allstate also has a host of discounts, including various creative bundling options to combine insurance needs and save money.
Learn more: Allstate Insurance review
USAA is known for its dedication to customer service, as reflected in a 2020 J.D. Power score of 889. Though USAA only serves military members, veterans and their families, this focus and a military-type discipline have helped enhance USAA’s home insurance offerings.
A USAA homeowners policy can be customized to address the particular risks associated with a major metropolitan area like Boston with its significant weather threats. USAA also offers numerous options, including medical and flood coverage and a bundling program that can save up to 10% in premiums if an auto and home insurance policy are combined.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
Chubb offers unique coverage options that help the company stand out in the home insurance industry. The Valuable Article policy, for example, specifically covers your valuable possessions (jewelry, antiques, expensive wine and fine art) in the event they are stolen, damaged or lost.
Chubb’s premier home insurance policy, Masterpiece, is designed to meet wealthier homeowners’ needs with significant assets. This is not to say that you cannot acquire a more affordable policy with Chubb by taking advantage of the many available options. In the end, however, Chubb’s offerings may not be the cheapest compared to other providers available.
Learn more: Chubb Insurance review
Home insurance considerations in Boston
Though Massachusetts law does not require a Boston homeowner to insure their dwelling, your lender will usually require it. Homeowners insurance protects your investment in your home and compensates you to the extent of your policy limits for unexpected physical damage to your home and personal property. Often overlooked, a homeowners policy may also protect you when you are responsible for an accident or injury to another person.
Specific coverages to consider in Boston include:
- Dwelling coverage: Almost two-thirds of U.S. dwellings are not insured with a sufficient amount to replace and rebuild a home if it is destroyed. Many homeowners insurance policies automatically increase the policy replacement cost limits each year by a certain percentage. This increase may not be sufficient, so it is wise to check with your agent to review your coverage limits periodically.
- Personal property coverage: The coverage limit to set for your personal belongings is the amount sufficient to replace all of your items. However, this amount is not always easy to determine, and the first step is to understand what you own by listing every item. Take photos of your more expensive or precious items and work closely with your agent to set a reasonable limit based upon current replacement cost estimates.
- Liability coverage: Liability coverage is an important component of your homeowners policy that helps protect you if someone is injured on your property. Less well-known and understood, liability coverage may also cover claims made against you for defamation.
Boston homeowners should also consider flood insurance, which is often excluded from home insurance policies. Depending upon the location in Boston, rising sea levels and storm surge risks make flood insurance imperative.
Home insurance discounts in Boston
In looking for the right home insurance, it is important to remember that a base policy premium is only a starting point. Every company we list offers a host of discounts, many of which may not be apparent initially. It is important to ask to know about every discount that may be available to you. Here are some examples:
- Bundling/multi-policy discount: Most companies have various discounts to encourage additional interest in other company products. One of the most popular discounts of this type is bundling, a discount of up to 10% offered when a homeowner obtains both home and auto insurance from the same insurer. This can also simplify things for the insured who only needs to deal with one company rather than two.
- Monitored burglar system discount: Steps taken by homeowners to help protect insured assets may earn a discount. For example, having a security system not only helps disrupt burglaries but also can be a deterrent preventing the attempt in the first place.
- Claims-free discounts: Insurance companies will look for ways to incentivize customers to take steps to reduce claims. As discussed, these steps often involve installing security or fire alarm systems. Many companies also reward insureds directly by offering discounts to those who file no claims for a certain time period.
There are many other discounts available to Boston homeowners from the insurance companies we have listed. You can usually find different and sometimes unexpected ways to save money on home insurance if you research different carriers and obtain several quotes.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best home insurance company?
We have selected some of the best companies to provide your home insurance in Boston. There are certainly others that may be particularly suited for your needs. One size does not fit all, and it will be important to compare several until you find the right fit for you.
How much does home insurance in Boston cost?
The average annual rate for home insurance in Boston is $1,481 for a $250,000 dwelling. Remember, however, that insurance rates may fluctuate dramatically depending upon the location and condition of your Boston home. Premiums will also differ based upon rating factors like your claims history, age and marital status.
How much home insurance do I need in Boston?
An agent can help you understand your insurance needs based upon the nature and value of your assets and your personal preferences. Remember to always be aware of inflation’s impact on your policy limits. You should make a point of reviewing your home and personal property replacement cost limits at least once annually.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:
- Coverage A, Dwelling: $250,000
- Coverage B, Other Structures: $25,000
- Coverage C, Personal Property: $125,000
- Coverage D, Loss of Use: $50,000
- Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
- Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000
The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required).
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.