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Best cheap homeowners insurance in Durham

Aerial view of residential households in an American suburb
Ryan Herron/Getty Images
Aerial view of residential households in an American suburb
Ryan Herron/Getty Images
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Durham is home to over 326,000 residents and is one of North Carolina’s most populated cities, with over 55% owning a home. One way Durham homeowners can protect their financial investment is to buy home insurance. Bankrate has analyzed dozens of insurance carriers offering coverage in this area to help you find the best cheap home insurance companies in Durham. Each company’s third-party financial strength ratings, customer satisfaction scores, average premiums, coverage options and available discounts were compared to help Durham homeowners save on the coverage they need from the best carriers.

Best cheap home insurance companies Durham

The top three best cheap home insurance companies in Durham are Kemper, Travelers and State Auto, according to our analysis of data from Quadrant Information Services. In Durham, the average cost of home insurance is $1,294 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage.

To help you choose the right company for your needs, you can compare companies on the basis of its Bankrate Score, which is an overall Score out of five possible points that comprises a company’s average premiums, J.D. Power score and other key measures for coverage and customer experience and satisfaction. Based on our research, the five best cheap home insurance companies in Durham are:

Home insurance company Bankrate Score Average annual premium for $250K dwelling coverage J.D. Power score
Kemper Not rated $784 Not rated
Travelers 3.7 $928 852/1,000
State Auto Not rated $1,129 Not rated
State Farm 4.7 $1,193 876/1,000
Nationwide 4.1 $1,479 878/1,000

Kemper

Although the company was not rated by J.D. Power in the 2022 Property Claims Satisfaction study and has yet to receive a Bankrate Score, Kemper offers the lowest average annual premium among insurers in our study. For its home insurance product, Kemper offers three different levels of coverage: Home Essentials, Home Enhanced and Home Elite. The Essentials plan is its basic plan with options to add endorsements like personal property replacement cost and water backup coverage. The Enhanced and Elite plans build on the Essentials option by increasing the number of automatically included coverages and increasing the coverage limits that are available.

Learn more: Kemper Insurance review

Travelers

Travelers offers a substantial number of coverage types, both standard and optional, to tailor your policy to your needs. Besides the standard home coverage, Travelers offers optional add-ons like green home coverage, jewelry and valuable items coverage, personal property replacement cost and water backup coverage. Although Travelers’ average annual premium is well below the average for Durham, it falls short on property claim satisfaction, with a below-average J.D. Power score, and its Bankrate Score totals 3.7 out of a possible 5.0 points.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

State Auto

State Auto is a regional insurer with coverage in 33 states and an average annual premium just below Durham’s city-wide average. Like Kemper, it offers three levels of home insurance coverage, with each package expanding coverage to meet Durham homeowners’ unique home insurance needs. This carrier was recently acquired by Liberty Mutual, which allows homeowners to benefit from more extensive policy offerings and digital capabilities for policy management. Although it has competitive rates in Durham, it has yet to receive a Bankrate Score, and it was not included in the J.D. Power Property Claims Satisfaction Study for 2022.

Learn more: State Auto Insurance review

State Farm

As the largest national insurer, State Farm is one of the most recognized brands for insurance. This carrier offers just below-average rates for Durham homeowners. Coverage can be personalized for homeowner needs to protect unique personal items used for hobbies, nature, home and garden and keepsakes, like fine arts and jewelry. State Farm received the highest Bankrate Score among insurers in Durham on our list and ranks above average (in seventh place) in the 2022 J.D Power Property Claims Satisfaction study. However, it offers few home insurance discounts, which may be less attractive to homeowners looking to earn several discounts on coverage.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide offers standard home coverage, but does have some unique endorsements that may be worth considering. The Better Roof Replacement option, for example, will replace your roof with stronger materials if it is damaged or destroyed by a covered loss. The carrier received the highest ranking in the J.D. Power study (fifth place) among companies included in our study of the best cheap Durham insurers. Although it also receives a strong 4.1 Bankrate Score, its average annual rates are above the average for Durham, and are the highest among companies on our list.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Home insurance coverage options in Durham

Home insurance is typically not required in the state of North Carolina unless you have a mortgage, but it can be a good way to protect what may be your largest financial investment. A homeowners insurance policy can help you pay to repair or rebuild your damaged or destroyed home, if attributed to a covered loss, as well as provide financial compensation for any lost or damaged personal belongings. The liability portion of a home insurance policy may pay for medical expenses and legal fees, if you are found at fault for someone’s injuries or you damage someone else’s property. Other coverage options that Durham residents may want to consider for increased financial protection include:

  • Water backup: This option offers additional coverage if your home is damaged by water backing up in a sewer or drain line, or the sump pump fails or overflows. The average claim for water damage and freezing is over $11,000, which could be covered completely or in-part if you have this optional coverage.
  • Jewelry and valuables coverage: If you own any high-value items, such as antiques or jewelry, you may want to consider purchasing additional protection for these specific items. For a nominal additional cost, the replacement cost for these damaged or stolen items may be included in your home policy.
  • Replacement cost for contents: If your items are damaged due to a covered peril, this option replaces the items based on the actual replacement cost so you do not lose money due to depreciation. If you own older items, you may receive a higher claims payout with replacement cost compared to actual cash value on your belongings.

Although homeowners insurance is not legally required in Durham, you will likely have to purchase a policy if you have a mortgage or other type of loan on your home.

Home insurance discounts in Durham

Although homeowners insurance is generally less expensive in Durham compared to the national average cost of home insurance, taking advantage of as many discounts as possible could help you save even more.

Durham residents can review the following tips to explore more ways to save:

  • Bundle policies: If you purchase your home insurance policy from the same provider as you purchased your auto insurance, you could be rewarded with lower premiums for both policies by bundling them together.
  • Install safety equipment: If your home is equipped with smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers or a security system, you may be eligible for additional savings.
  • Update your roof: If you have a new roof, you may qualify for a home insurance discount. Roof upgrades, like wind or hail resistance, may also translate to policy savings.
  • Be claims-free: Many of the best home insurance companies offer this discount if you have not filed a property claim in three or five years.

Often, the bundling discount is the most impactful for savings on your annual premium. Having a centrally-monitored burglar and fire alarm system not only provide you peace of mind, they can have a considerable impact on your premium as well. In addition to discounts, comparing quotes annually from several of the cheapest home insurance carriers in your area may help you to find the coverage you need at a lower price.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 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.

Bankrate Score

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength and customer experience in addition to analysis of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services, spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We know it is important for homeowners to be confident their financial protection covers the likeliest risks, is priced competitively and is provided by a financially-sound company with a history of positive customer support.

To determine how well the best home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, S&P, NAIC, and Moody’s had the most impact on the companies’ Bankrate Scores. As price is a common consideration for homeowners, we analyzed quoted premiums based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a home policy with $250,000 in dwelling coverage. This profile, assessed across nearly 35,000 ZIP codes in the U.S., provided a basis on which homeowners may compare each provider.

While coverage options, insurer availability, affordability and customer experience are often the top priorities, Bankrate also analyzed each insurer’s online and mobile resources for policy management and claims handling. Insurance is rapidly evolving to keep pace with our digital world, so these aspects also carried weight in determining Bankrate Scores.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Insurance Editor