With its more southern location and milder winters, Kentucky is a homeowner’s dream for many. However, Kentucky residents do experience extreme weather, such as tornadoes and windstorms in the spring and early summer, which affects the cost of homeowners insurance in the state.
The Best Homeowners Insurance in Kentucky
Average Annual Premium in Kentucky
The Bluegrass State is a land of colorful personality, and its residents know there’s nothing average about Kentucky—except its home insurance rates. Rates in Kentucky come in slightly below the national average, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute, which gathers statistics for insurance.
While risks from wind damage may be higher than in some other states, more modest homes in some areas which cost less to rebuild help keep home insurance prices down.
Finding the Best Premium for Your Home
Home insurance consists of three primary coverages: dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and personal liability coverage. These coverages usually have some available options as well as add-ons you can choose. Finding the best premium requires understanding the coverage you’re buying and then finding a policy the meets both your coverage needs and your budget.
Home Insurance Policy and Coverage Types
Homeowners insurance for single family homes comes in several types, with H0-3, also known as special form, offering the most comprehensive protection for your home and belongings. An H0-3 policy will cover all perils to your home except for those perils that are specifically excluded. A peril is a risk, and typical exclusions will include things such as intentional acts, floods, earthquakes or earth movement, and mold—if not caused by a covered claim.
Other types of home insurance policies, such as H0-1 or H0-2, are more limited in covered perils, covering only those perils specifically named, and can leave larger gaps in coverage.
For the best coverage, you’ll want a special form policy, but there’s another consideration. Coverage for personal property (belongings not attached to the house) and for parts of the house itself, usually roofs, are often covered for actual cash value. What this means is—in the event of a covered claim, the claim payout will be adjusted for wear and tear based on the age of the damaged item. This means you’ll probably be paid less than it will cost to replace the item.
A better choice for more complete coverage is replacement cost coverage, which provides coverage for the full cost to replace the item. This may be available as an optional endorsement to your policy, although some companies offer replacement cost coverage as standard on some policies. The situations where actual cash value vs. replacement cost most commonly come into play usually involve roofs, mobile homes, and personal property. Many insurance policies treat these items as wear items and depreciate the insured value for these items over time.
Endorsements to your policy
Available endorsements, which you can think of as add-ons to your policy, may include water backup and sump pump overflow as well as earth movement. Not all insurance providers make all endorsements available for their policies, but these two items are particularly important to inquire about because they are not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy and can be common causes for costly damage to homes.
If you have any particularly expensive items, you may want to consider covering these as “scheduled” item endorsements, meaning these items have an appraisal which states their value and are insured for that value. Some insurers don’t offer this option, but offer a separate personal articles insurance policy instead.
Personal liability coverage
Another primary coverage on a homeowners insurance policy is personal liability coverage. Every homeowner (or renter) has a risk of exposure to personal liability lawsuits.
Personal liability is bodily injury caused to others or unintentional damage caused to the property of others for which you are responsible. If someone is injured at your home, or sometimes even away from home, and the accident is your fault— per the court decision, personal liability coverage will pay toward the judgment amount up to your coverage limit. In most cases, your defense costs are covered outside of your coverage limit, meaning the cost of your defense won’t reduce the amount of coverage available to pay the liability.
Increasing your personal liability coverage is among the least expensive changes you can make to your policy. Raising your liability coverage from $100,000 to $300,000 usually costs about $20 per year.
The deductible is the part of the claim you are responsible for paying. In effect, you are assuming some of the risk with your deductible, so choosing a higher deductible will lower your premium.
Most insurers set a minimum deductible of $500 to $1,000 but some policies or coverages will require a percentage-based deductible. The percentage will based on the dwelling coverage amount. If your home is insured for $250,000 and your deductible is two percent, your out-of-pocket cost for a covered claim is $4,000 per occurrence. Choose a deductible that you think will fit your finances. A lower premium is great, but if a high-deductible policy leaves you with a crippling deductible it may not be a true fit for your needs.
Your policy may come with a separate deductible for wind and hail damage. If you choose an endorsement for earth movement, your policy may have a third deductible for that specific coverage. Most agents recommend to match these deductibles so that each is number you think you’ll be able to afford in the event of a claim, but these deductibles come with default amounts. Some agents or producers might also structure the quote with a higher deductible to make the premium more attractive. If you don’t choose a different amount, you could end up with a higher (or lower) deductible than you wanted.
Bundling home and auto with the same insurance provider is usually the way to get the biggest discount. However, many insurers allow multiple discounts and there may be more ways to save.
Discounts for the age of the home and safety features are common, and there may even be discounts for seniors, new home buyers, or a “welcome discount” for new customers. Be aware of how much each discount is worth in dollars and cents on your premium and how long they last. Some discounts don’t last forever and a great deal can become less-than-great as discounts begin to expire.
Your insurance history can save you money as well. Expect better rates from most insurers if you’ve been with a carrier for a long time or if you have a claims-free history.
Inclement Weather in Kentucky
With its southern borders nestled against the mid-east states of Tennessee and Virginia, you might think that Goldilocks would love Kentucky’s weather—not too hot, nor too cold, but just right.
That is—until January, when the average lows plummet into the low double digits and the state’s higher-than-average rainfall often turns into a wintery mix of wet misery made of snow and freezing rain. While snowfall totals are lower than in Northern states, Kentucky’s rainfall averages are more than 20 percent higher than the national average.
Spring and summer bring windy storms and the risk of tornadoes begins as early as February. Fortunately for the residents of Kentucky, the beautiful days are so perfect that the rest of the weather is forgiven. But each of the weather events in Kentucky can bring unique risks to homes. Damage from wind and hail usually top the list for covered claims, affecting about one in 35 homes each year. While these claims are the most common, claims for damage from fire and lightning are the costliest, often requiring major repairs or a complete rebuild of the home.
Coverage for water damage and floods
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover water damage to your home, but only if the damage occurred in certain ways. Floods from rain or nearby water sources won’t be covered by your homeowners insurance policy and require a separate flood policy if you think your home may be at risk.
Water damage caused by leaky roofs or siding also won’t be covered unless the damage to the roof or siding were sudden, like a tree falling on the home or damage from wind. Insurers see some types of claims as being the result of unaddressed maintenance issues and will deny the claim, ruling it to be because of neglect.
However, if the bathtub overflows or a pipe bursts suddenly, those are covered perils on most policies. Sudden and accidental claims are usually covered unless that risk is excluded from your policy, like flood damage. Be sure to ask your agent about coverage for water backup and sump pump overflow as well. These two risks are often bundled together under an optional coverage—and if you don’t have that coverage, claims due to these perils won’t be covered.
Most Affordable Cities
Your home (and auto) insurance rates can be affected by where you live in Kentucky. Climate and terrain in The Bluegrass State can vary vastly and bring lesser or greater risks to homes, depending on location. Risks or relative safety are reflected in higher or lower premiums. Some areas also may have different average rates due to their distance from a fire station, local crime rates, or common home construction types.
Among the most affordable areas for home insurance in Kentucky are:
Most Expensive Cities
Among some of the more expensive cities in Kentucky for home insurance are:
Some areas may have higher or lower premiums, on average, but home insurance premiums are driven by individual risk, local risks, and by insured value.
Top Picks for Kentucky
Everyone is familiar with Allstate’s blue and white signage. The national insurer has agents throughout Kentucky, making it likely that you’ll find an agent nearby. Allstate’s commitment to customer service is evident in the size of its agent network, and connecting customers with a knowledgeable local resource for questions, customer support, and to bind coverage.
Discounts are available for bundling auto and home insurance and Allstate also provides welcome discounts, early signing discounts, and a discount for being claims-free.
2. Liberty Mutual
Mutual insurance companies, owned by policyholders as opposed to investors, date back to the 1700’s in the U.S.
Liberty Mutual, has been insuring its customers since the early 1900’s and still prospers as a mutual company owned by its policyholders. The nationwide insurer offers special discounts to local groups and organizations, such as the University of Kentucky and employees of the state.
As expected, discounts are available for bundling home and auto with Liberty Mutual and the company’s flagship home insurance offering, Home Protector Plus, provides expanded coverage for your home, full replacement cost coverage for personal property, and a concierge service that helps you to locate replacements for your personal property damaged in a covered claim.
3. State Farm
Similar to Allstate, State Farm has a massive agent network, boasting about 18,000 agents nationwide. State Farm agents are exclusive agents, meaning they only sell State Farm products, and as a result, most agents and representatives know the company’s products inside and out.
Every insurance company has its forte, and State Farm does home insurance better than many of its competitors. Offering comprehensive policy choices ranging from renters insurance, to homeowners insurance, to landlord policies for multi-family properties, is an insurer that can meet your needs no matter where you are in life. Discounts are available for a claims-free history and for bundling home and auto insurance.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA), provides a lot more than auto insurance and can offer some great benefits to those who qualify with the company. USAA serves active military, some who are enrolled in academies, and veterans. However, membership is also available to family members of existing USAA members, spreading the insurer’s reach much further.
Consistently topping the lists in customer satisfaction surveys, USAA seeks to provide outstanding service and exceptional value to its policyholders. The company offers replacement cost coverage for personal property, insuring your belongings to the full cost of replacing the item, and lowers home insurance premiums by up to 10 percent for bundling home and auto.
5. Kentucky Farm Bureau
In an industry dominated by sometimes-faceless national players, it’s good to find a home-grown insurance company that can hold its own against the big boys. Kentucky Farm Bureau is the largest property and casualty insurance provider domiciled in Kentucky.
This Bluegrass State insurer offers a highly desirable Special Form policy, which covers all perils to your home and belongings except those specifically excluded. Full replacement cost for personal property is also available, as is earthquake (earth movement) coverage. Kentucky Farm Bureau provides discounts for bundling multiple policies and prides itself on its efficient claims handling.
Living in Kentucky has its unique risks, along with all the state’s rewards. From winter’s snow and ice (and even the occasional winter tornado) to spring and summer storms, bringing wind, rain, hail, and falling trees, homeowners have plenty to protect.
Finding the best policy is really about finding a policy that covers your home in the best way your budget allows. Not every company offers the same type of coverage. Even if coverages sound similar, it’s important to question the details of your coverage so you can choose a policy that will last as long as your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How does home insurance liability coverage work?
Most home insurance policies provide liability coverage that can help protect you and your family against several types of lawsuits or liability claims. Coverage limit options usually begin at $100,000 and can go as high as $1 million. Your liability coverage provides coverage for common mishaps, like slip and fall accidents or animal bites and can protect you even when you are away from home. However, home insurance liability coverage does not provide coverage for automobile-related liability or liability related to business activity. Get the best home coverage and policy through our top providers today.
2) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?
Wind and hail claims top the list with nearly 40% of all home insurance claims due to these two acts of nature. Fire and lightning are the second most common, but claims due to fire tend to much bigger than claims dues to other types of risk. The possibility of a total loss is why it’s so important to insure your home for the full cost of rebuilding. Get a custom quote today.
3) Q: If I drop my computer, will home insurance cover the cost of replacement?
Home insurance policies usually cover personal property for a specific list of risks, called named perils. These perils might include fire, theft, burst pipes, and more, but dropping your laptop or TV or spilling soda on your new game console isn’t covered. See the best home insurance providers for a custom quote.