The Commonwealth of Virginia is the twelfth most populated state, with over 8.52 million people, and more than 3.18 million households. The rate of homeownership hovers at around 65.9%, which is slightly higher than the United States national average of 63.9%. The Virginia home market is labeled as “very hot” by Zillow — the median property value for a home in Virginia is $291,002, a 3.6% increase from the year prior.
If you’re one of those homeowners, your Virginia home insurance policy can protect your investment and keep your home safe.
Homes in Virginia are more susceptible to damage from hurricanes and floods, so having insurance coverage that protects you against common hazards is important. The good news is that homeowners insurance in Virginia is generally affordable, so you can avoid paying out-of-pocket expenses if you ever have to repair or rebuild your home.
When you start looking for homeowners insurance companies, consider the value of your home, the type of coverage you want, your deductible and any additional coverages you need. For example, homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage, but it can be purchased through a separate policy.
Best home insurance companies in Virginia
With so many different Virginia homeowners insurance companies available, how do you know which one is the best? To make your shopping experience easier, we put together a list of the best home insurance companies using J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study as a reference point.
|J.D. Power top rated homeowners insurance companies in Virginia|
In J.D. Power’s study, Amica earned the top rated spot for overall customer satisfaction. Not only does Amica have exceptional claims handling, but the company also offers a variety of coverage options. In addition to the basics, Virginia homeowners can add personal property replacement cost coverage, catastrophic coverage, home business coverage and dwelling replacement coverage. The company is also one of the few insurers that offers a dividend policy, where you can recoup up to 20% of your annual premium.
USAA technically isn’t ranked in J.D. Power’s study because it’s only available to active duty service members, veterans and their immediate family members. However, it earned a score of 904/1,000, making it the highest rated company on the list. USAA is largely considered to be one of the best, if not the top insurance company on the market. It offers exceptional discounts, good coverage and amazing customer service. USAA’s claims handling process is fast and efficient, so you don’t have to wait around for approval after a covered loss.
The Hartford is another highly rated company on J.D. Power’s list. It has a partnership with AARP to offer home insurance to members of the organization. AARP members can get access to great coverages, a number of discounts and easy claims handling. And if you or your spouse are retired or work less than 24 hours per week, you can qualify for additional savings. While The Hartford mostly serves AARP members and 50 and older customers, others can still purchase insurance through independent agents.
Farmers insurance promises personalized coverage and personalized service. Farmers’ home insurance is unique because it’s offered in three tiered packages—Standard, Enhanced and Premier. With each package, you can adjust your policy limits and add or change coverages. Every Virginia home insurance policy from Farmers includes perks like claim forgiveness, cosmetic damage coverage and a declining deductible program.
Auto-Owners Insurance makes the top five in best homeowners insurance in Virginia for a combination of affordable pricing and excellent claims responses. The insurer also has top-notch financial ratings, such as an A++ (Superior) score from AM Best. Customers laud Auto-Owners Insurance for the 48,000 licensed agents who provide personal service when it’s time to create a Virginia home insurance policy for renovated dwellings, vacation homes and residences under construction, among others.
Average cost of homeowners insurance in Virginia
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average homeowners insurance Virginia cost is about $999, which is relatively affordable compared to the United States average of $1,211 per year.
However, it’s important to remember that the cost of Virginia home insurance depends on a number of factors, including the location of your home. If your home is on or near the immediate Virginia coastline, expect to pay more for your insurance than someone who owns a home inland. You’ll also pay less if you are nearby safety facilities like fire hydrants and police stations.
According to the data from III, Virginia is the 16th least expensive state for homeowners insurance, ranking 34th out of 50. Here’s a peek at how homeowners insurance rates compare to other states in the Mid-Atlantic region:
Home insurance coverage options in Virginia
If you’re in the market for the best homeowners insurance in Virginia, there are a few common types of coverage that you should know about:
- Dwelling Coverage: Pays to repair the structure of your home if it’s damaged in a covered incident. It also covers detached structures, like a garage.
- Personal Property Coverage: This type of coverage protects your valuables and personal possessions if damaged or stolen.
- Liability Protection: This type of protection covers you in a lawsuit if a guest gets injured on your property, or if you cause damage to someone else’s property. This type of coverage can be beneficial if you have a dog because it can protect you if your dog ever bites someone.
- Guest Medical Protection: This type of coverage will help you cover medical expenses if someone on your property gets injured.
- Additional Living Expenses: This type of coverage pays for expenses like hotel, food, parking and laundry costs if you can’t live in your home due to damage.
In addition to these basic coverage options, Virginia homeowners should also consider purchasing flood insurance. Most homeowners insurance policies cover extreme weather damage and theft but do not cover flood damage. You should be able to purchase flood insurance from your homeowners insurance provider as a separate policy. You can also get flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Common causes of home insurance losses in Virginia
Homes in Virginia are more likely to get damaged from severe weather than other states. According to CoreLogic, between 23,000 and 410,000 single-family homes in Virginia are at risk of storm surge damage. To put that into perspective, Hurricane Sandy—the most destructive hurricane in the last decade—caused $295 million in private insurance claims in Virginia in 2012.
The most common causes of home insurance losses in Virginia are related to hurricane and flood damage. Four counties were declared natural disaster areas in 2018 from rain and flash flooding. It’s critical that Virginia homeowners have enough coverage to protect their homes in the event of a hurricane, as well as flood insurance to pay for the damage left behind by floods caused by heavy rain.
Frequently asked questions
Is homeowners insurance required in Virginia?
No, homeowners insurance is not legally required in Virginia. However, keep in mind that if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will probably require you to have a minimum amount of homeowners insurance on your property.
What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in Virginia?
The most affordable Virginia homeowners insurance company is different for everyone. Virginia home insurance rates are highly personalized, and they depend on a number of factors related to the home and the homeowner. Your premium is determined based on the size of your home, the exact location, the materials it’s built with and when it was built. Your lender will also factor in your credit score, financial history, age and income.
How do I get homeowners insurance in Virginia?
To get homeowners insurance in Virginia, you’ll have to submit some basic personal information and details about your home. Be prepared to share your name, age, marital status, the address of the insured property, the age of the home, the size of the home and when you want the policy to start. To see if you qualify for discounts, you might also be asked to disclose any safety features in your home, as well as your history of claims.
What is the difference between homeowners insurance and hazard insurance?
Hazard insurance is the portion of your homeowners insurance Virginia policy that specifically covers your home and personal belongings if they are damaged in a covered natural disaster. The rest of your policy protects you from other types of damage, theft and medical bills if someone were to get injured on your property.