UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020
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The Rhode Island average cost of homeowners insurance is $897, and are distributed across your policy to provide four main types of coverage, and sometimes even more. Each of those types of coverage protect you against risks and perils in varying degrees. For instance, everything is protected against fire, but some portions of the policy might exclude hail or tornado damage. As the homeowner, it is important to understand the parts of the policy and what they protect you against. Not all risks are faced by all homes, and you can save money by dropping coverage you don’t need, or have a more complete policy by adding coverages that are not covered by a standard home insurance policy. There are even things you can do around the house which will earn discounts on your insurance, saving you money for years in exchange for a little personal responsibility or an initial investment.
Your home is covered under the dwelling portion of your homeowners policy, The dwelling includes the primary residence and any buildings permanently attached to it. This is what the largest portion of your premiums go for, and includes things such as personal injury liability, which pays for medical and legal costs arising out of someone other than you or your family getting injured on the property. The value of the other sections of your policy is based on the value of the dwelling, and each section is usually valued at a percentage of the policy as a whole.
Any man-made item that is built on the property but not connected to the dwelling is listed as an other structure. That includes docks, fences, and support structures such as a pump house, doghouse, and tool sheds. As long as the building is not part of the dwelling, it fits into this category, even other residential buildings, such as a separate apartment or guest cottage.
Personal property includes all of your family’s possessions. Your jewelry, furniture, and appliances are part of your personal property, and so are your music and video collection, sporting equipment, lawn tools, pictures and kitchen utensils. Personal property is a very broad category and the most effective way to list it all is to use a video recorder and move from structure to structure around the property examining every item in every room. Be sure to save all of your receipts as well, because they will not only prove your ownership but provide proof of value for items that may have to be replaced under this part of your home insurance policy.
Loss of Use
Loss of use occurs when one of the risks covered by you policy renders all or pat of the home unusable. A tree falling on your wash house and destroying your washer and dryer creates a loss of use scenario the same as tornado destroying the home would do. To file a loss of use claim, you will need to save your receipts so the insurance company is able to verify the expenses you claim. Loss of use will pay for any inconveniences that prevent you from living in your accustomed lifestyle, including meals and lodging.
Average Rhode Island Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper Rhode Island Home Insurance
Home insurance can be expensive, but you can take steps to keep the costs as low as possible. Little things like monitoring your credit score can affect your insurance rates, and larger projects like installing a security alarm will net you discounts. Some savings only come with time, such as making your home more protected against falling trees and branches, which does not offer immediate discounts but can earn you a savings if you don’t file any claims for a few years.
Living in Rhode Island, you face a home burglary rate of 5.82 for every 1000 homes, compared to the national burglary rate of 5.17 for the same number of homes. To reduce the risks of having your home burglarized or vandalized, you can install a monitored security system that will even net you a discount on your premiums. Other risk and premium reducing measures you can take include installing deadbolt locks on your entry doors, putting burglar bars in your ground floor windows and doors, or installing a fence around your yard.
Reduce Insurance Risks
Just as putting a fence around your property reduces the risks of home burglary, a fence with a locked gate around you pool will decrease the chances of accidental drowning by keeping people without permission from entering the area at all. For long term risk reduction, try removing dead trees or branches, and keeping your roof free of debris such as leaves and fallen branches. Keeping your roof clean will extend the lifetime of the roof, reducing the claims you have to file and eliminating the chance of being denied a roof claim due to lack of maintenance.
Credit Score and Insurance Risk
You may not know it, but your credit score is the method insurance companies use to determine your financial responsibility. Statistics show that people with low credit scores are more likely to be late on making premium, house or car payments as well, which makes it very important for you to keep your credit score as high as possible. With a score of 650 you will begin to see insurance premiums discounts, and the discounts get better as your credit score improves.
Home Characteristics Affecting Rhode Island Insurance Rates
The cost of home insurance is affected by a number of characteristics. For example, the average age of a Rhode Island home is 54 years, which could add to your premiums if the house is not properly maintained. And the cost of the home itself is a major factor, whether your home is worth more or less than the state average home value of $267,100.
Local Natural Disasters Rhode Island Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
Many natural disasters which occur in your area are usually included in a standard home insurance policy, but some facets of them may not be. Read through your policy carefully to find out what is included and what is not, and make arrangements to purchase coverage for any gaps you find, such as buying flood insurance or other special coverages.
Ranked at 41 out of 51, your state is not prone to earthquakes, but they can happen. You can get earthquake coverage either through high risk insurance companies or through high risk pools organized by your state Department of Insurance.
Rhode Island residents filed 1,764 claims in 2009,out of 46,621 flood claims filed around the nation. This makes Rhode Island a high risk of flooding and probably means that you will not be able to get coverage through traditional insurance channels. You can try contating high risk insurance companies, but the most likely scenario is that you will need to contact your state Department of Insurance and ask about the FAIR plan or other high risk pools arranged just for such emergencies.
In most policies, hail damage is included as part of the wind damage portion of the policy. If hail has been specifically excluded from your policy, check with local high risk insurers or call the Rhode Island Department of Insurance for information on where to turn in your area.
Rhode Island is not immune to hurricanes, but most of the damage they caused is probably covered under your standard insurance policy. Flood insurance will have to be bought separately, and check your policy for any other hurricane related exclusions, just to make sure you are completely protected.
Rhode Island only experiences a tornado on rare occasions and this peril probably will not be a problem for you. To be safe, make sure that tornadoes are not excluded in your policy, and if they are, contact the Rhode Island department of Insurance to find out where you can turn in your area to get the coverage.
74,749 wildfires burn in the United States each year, and everyone needs to be aware of the dangers. In most cases, wildfires are included in the fire damages portion of your policy, but in some rare cases you may have to resort to high risk insurers in order to get sufficient protection.
Rhode Island Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverages
Unless you have an aversion to owning property, you probably own more than your home insurance covers. To remedy this, you can either purchase more personal property coverage as part of your home insurance, or pick up a separate personal property protection at a reasonable price. Similarly, if someone gets injured on your property and sues you, the home insurance alone may not be enough to pay the associated costs. To correct this, pick up an umbrella liability policy that will back up your liability coverage for both your home and auto in one policy.
Important Contact Information
Rhode Island Department of Insurance
1511 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
Phone: (401) 462-9500
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