Best cheap homeowners insurance in Durham

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Durham is home to over 321,000 residents and is one of North Carolina’s most populated cities. Over 54% of the population owns a home, which is below the current national average homeownership rate of 65.8%. Those who do own a home likely purchase insurance for their property, and the average cost of homeowners insurance in Durham is below the national average, with rates averaging $1,217 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. The national average annual premium for homeowners insurance is $1,312 per year.

To find the best cheap home insurance in Durham, Bankrate’s editorial team reviewed multiple insurance carriers. We compared average premiums, overall customer satisfaction, coverage options and discounts offered to Durham residents to determine the best homeowners insurance companies in Durham.

Best cheap home insurance companies Durham

To determine the best cheap home insurance companies in Durham, Bankrate first obtained current quoted premium information from Quadrant Information Services. We then analyzed each company based on its average premium, coverage offerings, discounts and J.D. Power overall customer satisfaction scores. Based on our research, the five best cheap home insurance companies in Durham are:

Home insurance company Average annual premium for $250K dwelling coverage J.D. Power score
Kemper $757 Not rated
Travelers $878 803 / 1,000
USAA* $1,345 889 / 1,000
Nationwide $1,374 808 / 1,000
MetLife $1,405 824 / 1,000

*USAA is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions

Kemper

Kemper may not be a household name, but the company has over 30,000 agents and writes over 6.2 million policies. Although the company was not rated by J.D. Power in the 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study, Kemper does offer the lowest average premium on our list.

For its home insurance product, Kemper offers three different levels of coverage: Home Essentials, Home Enhanced and Home Prime. The Essentials plan is relatively basic but does include the option to broaden your coverage by adding options like personal property replacement cost and water backup coverage. The Enhanced and Prime plans build on the Essentials option by increasing the number of automatically included coverages and increasing the coverage limits that are available.

Travelers

Travelers offers a substantial number of coverage options, both standard and optional, to tailor your policy to your needs. Travelers offers the standard home insurance coverages, like dwelling coverage, other structures protection, loss of use coverage, personal property protection and personal liability coverage. If you are looking for optional coverages, Travelers does not disappoint. You can add green home coverage, coverage for jewelry and valuable items, personal property replacement cost coverage and water backup coverage.

Although Travelers’ average premium is already lower than Durham’s average premium, Travelers offers discounts that might help you save even more. Discounts include multi-policy savings, a home buyer discount if you have purchased your home within the last 12 months, protective device discounts and claims-free discounts.

USAA

If you are an active member of the military, a veteran or an immediate family member of a service member, you may want to consider getting a home insurance quote from USAA. Although the company is not eligible for ranking due to its eligibility requirements, USAA consistently receives high scores from J.D. Power.

USAA’s average premium is higher than the average in Durham, but the company does offer discounts that might help you lower your premium. You also have access to military-specific coverages, like uniform coverage.

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.

Although Nationwide did receive a below-industry average score from J.D. Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) awarded Nationwide with a lower-than-average complaint index score. A score of 1.00 means that the NAIC receives an average number of complaints about a company. Nationwide’s home insurance product has a score of 0.85, meaning that the NAIC receives fewer complaints than average.

MetLife

MetLife, which was recently acquired by The Farmers Insurance Group, offers robust policy options for homeowners. Not only can you customize your policy with optional coverages, but you have access to a variety of discounts. Discounts such as bundling with your auto insurance and remaining claims free could help you save on your premium with MetLife.

MetLife has an above-industry-average rating for overall customer satisfaction from J.D. Power. The company’s home insurance product also has a non-existent complaint index score from the NAIC, which may mean that the NAIC receives few, if any, complaints about MetLife’s home insurance.

Home insurance coverage options in Durham

Home insurance is not required in the state of North Carolina, but it can be a good way to protect what could be your largest investment. A homeowners insurance policy can help you pay to repair or rebuild your damaged or destroyed home, if the damage is from a covered event, as well as providing financial protection for your 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 if you damage someone else’s property. Other coverage options that Durham residents may want to consider are:

  • Water backup: This option offers additional coverage if your home is damaged by water backing up in a sewer or drain line.
  • Jewelry and valuables coverage: If you own any high-value items, such as antiques or jewelry, then you may want to consider purchasing additional protection for these specific items.
  • Replacement cost for contents: If your items are damaged due to a covered event, this option replaces the items based on the actual replacement cost, so you do not lose money due to depreciation.

Although homeowners insurance is not legally required in Durham, you will very 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 than it is in the country overall, taking advantage of as many discounts as possible could still save you money. Durham residents might want to consider the following ways to save:

  • Bundling policies: If you purchase your home insurance policy from the same carrier as your auto insurance, you could be rewarded with lower premiums for both policies.
  • Installing 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.
  • Updating 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 mean savings.
  • Increase your deductible: Your deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket if you file a claim. Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. You should choose a level that you can reasonably afford to pay if you file a claim.

In addition to discounts, comparing quotes from several insurance carriers may help you to find the coverage you are looking for at a lower price.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best home insurance company?

Finding the best home insurance company in Durham depends on what factors are most important to you. You may want to look for carriers with strong customer service ratings, competitive rates, a wide range of coverage options, discounts that you can take advantage of and digital tools. When you shop for insurance, you may want to get quotes from several companies who can meet your needs.

How much does home insurance in Durham cost?

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Durham is $1,217 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage, which is lower than the national average of $1,312 annually. However, your premium will vary depending on your unique rating factors, including your ZIP code, the age of your home, your credit score, the coverages you choose and your claims history.

Methodology

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.

Written by
Sara Coleman
Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman has three years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
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