There’s more to New York state than the concrete jungle of Manhattan. Much more, in fact. From the majesty of Niagara Falls to the beautiful landscape of the Adirondack Mountains, upstate New York has plenty to offer those who want to settle down just outside the city that never sleeps.
Once you’ve bought your dream home down in NYC, Albany, Buffalo or anywhere in between, you’ll need New York home insurance. Check out the guide below to learn more about home insurance rates in your area.
Homeowners insurance in NY costs an average of $1,471 per year — the same price you’d pay for 26 buckets of buffalo wings at Anchor Bar, the upstate New York institution that started the buffalo wings craze back in 1964. And with 50 wings included in each bucket, that’s enough to take home and feed the whole neighborhood!
Once you’ve got your fill of wings and have gone home, you might notice that your actual home insurance premium is different from the nationwide average of $1,200. That's normal, as individual premiums will vary based on your home’s size, location and condition. Your claim history and insurance score will be taken into account as well. This is because all these factors influence how much of a risk your home is to protect each year.
Home insurance isn’t required in NY — at least by the state government, that is. Though the state may not call for you to get a policy when buying a home, most mortgage lenders will, so you’ll likely need to purchase one anyway. Because of this, it's best to start shopping for a provider during the escrow process to ensure you end up with a home insurance company that fits your specific needs and so that you can budget appropriately.
Home insurance in New York covers your dwelling (aka the structure of your home) as well as its contents and your personal liability. While that may sound like the whole package, it’s essential to consider precisely what life in New York entails. With a propensity for severe winter storms, hot summers and the occasional hurricane, there are plenty of things your New York home needs to be prepared for.
Adding on insurance riders such as flood insurance, equipment breakdown coverage and service line insurance can help give you the peace of mind you deserve. New York is also in a high-risk area for damaging wind, meaning your provider may require you to purchase a separate windstorm insurance policy.
Lowering your home insurance premium is possible with a few quick home upgrades and lifestyle changes. Just take New York City, for example.
While New York state is known for a relatively high cost of living, that’s rapidly changing. Within the past year, rent has fallen 15%, and home prices have dropped by about 6%, according to StreetEasy. But that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to save a little extra when you can.
Say you own a condo instead of a traditional standalone home. In that case, while you may not be able to install security cameras everywhere, you can install smart home devices like a ring doorbell, water sensors and a smart thermostat, which can all earn you discounts on your premium.
Another easy way to get that cost down is to raise your deductible and keep your home up-to-date with regular maintenance.
If you own a home in New York or are considering hopping into the NY real estate market, there’s a lot you need to learn. In addition to picking the right real estate agent (and insurance provider) to walk you through the process, New York’s government has created the Department of Financial Services as a resource for seasoned and new homeowners alike.
The NYDFS helps to regulate insurance companies, health care institutions and banks across the state. They provide New York homeowners with access to the most up-to-date information on how to get the protection they need. They also monitor all home insurance providers to ensure they operate fairly and that homeowners are getting what they pay for.
Did you know that New York is the only state that borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes? Add to that the Hudson and East Rivers as well as the 11 Finger Lakes, and you’ll be hard-pressed to drive anywhere in NY without coming across a body of water. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, New York has experienced over 150 significant weather events within the past decade.
All this to say, protection like flood insurance is essential. You can get a flood insurance policy through the NFIP, which is run by FEMA and offers federally mandated protection to homeowners across the country.
If you end up getting dropped by your insurance provider, don’t panic. The first thing you need to do is begin calling other providers in the traditional market to see if you can get approved for a new policy. If that doesn’t work, and you can prove at least three unsuccessful attempts to get coverage, you’ll qualify for New York’s FAIR Plan run by the NYPIUA. Though it’s important to know that this coverage will be minimal, so it should only be considered a last resort.
NYC may be known as The City That Never Sleeps, but the rest of New York homeowners would likely disagree on that philosophy (just visit one of the many B&Bs upstate if you don’t believe us). From cute little cottages to traditional Upper West Side brownstones, your home insurance policy should cover it all. Learn more about the best places to buy a home in NY on our blog.