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Best Nevada Homeowners Insurance

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We tend to think of sun and fun in the desert when we think of Nevada, but the state is diverse with regard to its terrain and climate, inviting nearly every type of weather. Nevada was named after a Spanish word that means “snow-covered” and parts of the state get plenty of it. Whether you’re in Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, Sparks, or Carson City, your home insurance rate will vary based on these weather conditions. 

In other areas, flooding is a major risk to homes. In drier parts of the Sagebrush State, wildfires are a real concern; Nevada is in the top ten states with homes at high risk for wildfires.

Read more about Benzinga’s choices for Best Homeowners Insurance across the country.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Nevada

Average Annual Premium in Nevada

Homeowners insurance rates are driven by risk and insured value. The good news is that one of the largest risks to homes—hurricanes—isn’t a concern in Nevada, which is buffered by land on all sides. Less overall risk brings lower rates and Nevada is among the least expensive places to insure a home, with average home insurance rates of $709 for the state compared to a national average of $1,132. Don’t spend it all at the tables, though. You might need it if your insurance policy lacks important coverages.

Finding the Best Premium for Your Home

Insurers tempt with promises of low rates, but are you giving up coverage you might need in exchange for a lower premium? Nevadans have the advantage of lower-than-average rates, allowing you to purchase coverages and options that other states with higher rates often go without.

Your home insurance policy has three main coverage areas but the way in which those areas are covered differs depending on your policy. For example, if wind damages your roof and the roof needs to be replaced, your claim might pay several thousand dollars—or it might pay something close to zero, depending on the structure of your policy.

Dwelling coverage. Most of your insurance premium goes toward dwelling coverage, which insures the house itself against covered perils. You can think of a peril as a risk to your home.

Home insurance policies come in different types, usually designated with an “H” at the beginning, although many insurers don’t emphasize the policy type when binding coverage. An H-03 policy is often referred to as an All-Risk policy, and covers all risks to your home, except the ones it doesn’t. Even the best policies will have a list of named exclusions, such as earth movement and floods.

The other option, still commonly sold, is an H-02 policy, which only covers the perils specifically named on the policy. While the named perils on an H-02 policy seem to be comprehensive, nature and bad luck know no limits in the ways they can damage a home. An H-02 policy provides less protection for your home than an H-03.

Personal property coverage. Insuring your house is the biggest part of your homeowners insurance premium, but the things inside your house help make your house a home. Personal property coverage provides protection for your belongings in a covered claim. In some cases, your homeowners insurance policy will even cover your belongings even when they are not in the home, such as when traveling.

However, because there is a deductible for each occurrence, coverage for less expensive items is somewhat theoretical—or more applicable if part of a larger claim. If your $800 laptop is stolen from your car and your insurance deductible is $1,000, you won’t be paid for the claim.

Personal property coverage comes in two types and sometimes you’ll be able to upgrade to the better type by choosing an endorsement on your policy. The two types are Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost Coverage.

Actual cash value means you’ll be paid a value adjusted for wear and tear due to age. To revisit the $800 laptop again, if it’s a few years old, it’s worth much less with actual cash value coverage. That laptop might only garner $400 in a claim, or maybe less.

The other option, replacement cost coverage, pays up to the value it costs to replace the damaged or stolen item with the same item or a comparable item. Your deductible will still apply, reducing your claim payout by the amount of the deductible, but your belongings will have better coverage.

In a worst-case scenario, a total loss of your home in covered claim, replacement cost coverage will pay enough to replace your belongings. Actual cash value coverage might leave you with several empty rooms because it pays a depreciated value for personal property.

Personal liability coverage. Lawsuits happen. Someone might slip and fall at your home, or injure himself doing trick dives into the pool, or maybe your normally docile dog bites a child. If you’re found liable for injury to others or for damage to the property of others, personal liability coverage will pay toward covered claims. Even if you aren’t found to be liable, you will have legal costs and personal liability coverage will pay toward your legal defense as well.

In many cases, your personal liability coverage follows you around—because risk can also follow us around. If you hold a door for someone at a store and a gust of wind pulls the door from your hand, causing it to hit the other person, you might find yourself being sued for their injuries. Your personal liability coverage can help pay the costs associated with the lawsuit.

The real key to coverage for personal liability is that the damage or injury must have been unintentional. Liability incurred during an illegal act isn’t likely to be covered either.

Most home insurance policies come with $100,000 in personal liability coverage. You’ll have the option to upgrade your coverage to $300,000 (a recommended minimum) for about $20 per year. If considering a higher amount, ask your agent about an umbrella policy, which extends new types of liability coverage (including libel and slander) and also extends expanded liability coverage to your vehicles.

Deductibles. Insurers use deductibles to lower premiums and help manage risk. The deductible is “deducted” from your claim payout for each occurrence. Most homeowners insurance claims only involve one occurrence, meaning the damage happened all at once. Imagine how much insurance would cost for everyone if people placed a claim every time they broke a dish or clipped the holiday lights with the hedge trimmer. Deductibles effectively eliminate the smallest claims but in some cases, they can take a big chuck out of a larger claim as well.

You’ll probably have two deductibles on your policy. One will be for wind and hail damage. The other will be for all other covered perils. If you’ve added endorsements for other coverages, such as earth movement, you may have additional deductibles. These deductibles can be structured as a fixed amount, usually a minimum of $500, or they might be set as a percentage of the total dwelling coverage.

The second option, percentage-based deductibles, is the one that sometimes catches people by surprise during a claim. A deductible of two percent doesn’t sound high—until you realize that it’s two percent of the dwelling coverage, which may be hundreds of thousands of dollars. A home insured for $300,000 with a two percent deductible leaves the homeowner responsible for the first $6,000 of damage in a covered claim. It’s important to understand how your policy is structured and to inquire about other deductible options—before you have a claim.

Discounts. If you’ve ever looked closely at your home or particularly your auto insurance documents, you may have seen a massive number, which is your base premium. Then the insurer starts applying discounts because nobody would willingly pay that much. Almost everyone will qualify for some basic discounts which help bring the premium back down to earth, but there may be some additional discounts available.

  • Bundling home and auto insurance with the same company is a common discount and can save you money on both policies.
  • The age of your home can earn you a discount. Newer construction usually earns a better premium and homes with more safety features are likely to earn more discounts for those features.
  • Membership in certain groups or organizations can earn extra discounts.
  • Some insurers offer discounts for seniors.
  • New home buyers often get discounts.
  • Claims-free customers can earn a discount.
  • Customers who have been with a previous insurer for a long time often get discounts with new insurers.
  • Some insurers now offer “welcome” discounts, “new customer” discounts, or “early-signing” discounts. These can all help to reduce your premium, but be aware that these types of discounts usually expire within two or three years.

Be sure to ask about which discounts are available for your homeowners insurance. You might qualify for one or more discounts you didn’t know existed.

Inclement Weather in Nevada

Earthquakes aside, (though they’re nothing to scoff at) Nevada truly doesn’t have much in the way of terrible weather. However, if Nevada residents do experience a lot of rain at once, they could have flash flooding.

Because the state is so large and marked by diverse terrain, weather can vary significantly depending on location and time of year. Some parts of the state get up to 70 inches of snow per year. Other areas get none at all.

Wildfires can be a concern in drier parts of Nevada, with many of the state’s homes in high-risk wildfire areas. Fire and lightning cause the highest amount of damage, an average of almost $45,000 in homeowners insurance claims. Insurers refer to this as the severity of claims, meaning how much the claims cost.

Floods are a risk in low lying areas or areas with poor drainage—and unlike flooding related to coastal storms, there’s often little warning. Flooding can damage homes, but it’s also a major cause for sinkholes as the rush of water erodes the soil.

Flood Insurance

Water damage to your home is often covered, but it depends on the source of the water—and floods are not covered by a home insurance policy. If the water touched the ground before entering your home, insurers will call that condition a flood and deny the claim. However, common household mishaps involving spills and overflows can lead to water damage that probably is covered by your policy.

Most insurance agents can quote and bind coverage for flood insurance, a separate policy from your homeowners insurance policy. Like any other type of insurance, rates are based on risk and insured values. Expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars per year for flood coverage, with some policies reaching into the thousands for higher value homes or homes in high-risk areas.

Earthquake Insurance

Home insurance policies cover a lot of perils, but they seem to exclude some big ones that can leave homeowners without a home and with no money to start over. Earthquakes fall under an exclusion called Land Movement on most home insurance policies. While earthquakes are a very specific risk that everyone understands, land movement is very broad and includes earthquakes, settling, heaving, shifting, sinkholes, and any other way in which land can move. None of these risks are covered with a standard home insurance policy.

Even if an earthquake never damages a home, ground settling and sinkholes of various sizes are extremely common and can be costly problems to fix. Settling often requires specialized equipment to lift the house and put in piling to level the foundation. Sounds expensive? It is—but there may be a solution, and perhaps without a separate policy.

A dedicated earthquake insurance policy (including coverage for land movement) can be purchased through agents, but unlike flood insurance, coverage for land movement can sometimes be added to your existing home insurance policy. This is called a rider or an endorsement. Expect another deductible for your land movement coverage, usually set as a percentage of the insured dwelling value. Whether a rider or a separate policy, land movement coverage is better suited for larger claims due to the high deductibles associated with this coverage.

Most Affordable Cities

Insurers sometimes use thousands of data points to determine risk when setting a policy premium. Location is among these data points, but it isn’t about playing favorites among cities and towns; it’s still just a reflection of risk as determined by the insurer.

Some areas may have more risk from storms, other areas might have higher crime rates, and some areas might simply have fewer fire stations. Also, average rates are affected by the average cost to rebuild homes in a given area.

Among the most affordable areas for home insurance in Nevada are:

  • Sun Valley
  • Spanish Springs
  • Gardnerville
  • Fernley
  • Reno

Most Expensive Cities

Among some of the more expensive cities in Nevada for home insurance are:

  • Las Vegas
  • Incline Village
  • Laughlin
  • Boulder City
  • Winchester

Top Picks for Nevada

Pros
  • Website provides helpful information
  • A nationwide network of over 18,000 agents
  • Sizable discount on auto policies for customers who also purchase life insurance
Cons
  • Premiums may be higher than some competitors
  • Less flexibility in term lengths

1. State Farm

Going to an insurance agent office is about as much fun as going to the dentist, but there can be a big benefit in having a local agent who can explain coverages, answer questions, and take care of small problems. 

State Farm built its business on local agents who service their communities and is now among the largest insurers, with about 18,000 agents nationwide. Expect discounts for bundling home and auto insurance as well as for home safety features. If you are among the many Nevadans who are both homeowners and landlords, consider getting a quote from State Farm because the company is highly dedicated to both types of policies.

Check out Benzinga’s State Farm Life Insurance Review.

2. USAA

USAA is a favorite in many states because rates are usually very good and overall coverages tend to be better than with some other major insurers. But there’s a catch. USAA is only available to its members, which would include military members, veterans, and the families of both.

The company also offers membership to the families of existing members, who might have no military affiliation at all, and which broadens its reach considerably. USAA offers multi-policy discounts for bundling home and auto, provides full replacement cost coverage, and ranks among the best for customer service and claims satisfaction.

Check out Benzinga’s USAA Car Insurance Review.

Pros
  • Prepackaged options that make buying easy
  • Other lines of insurance available
  • Above-average claims service
Cons
  • Below-average customer service ratings
  • Must buy coverage through an agent

3. Farmers

Many homeowners don’t place claims due to a fear that their rates will increase. In most cases, they’re right to be concerned. It’s very common for rates to increase after a claim.

However, Farmers is rocking the boat with what the company calls Claim Forgiveness. If you’re with the company for 6 years or more and then have a claim, Farmers will waive the claim surcharge. Replacement cost coverage is available as a policy option and Farmers offers a discount for bundling multiple policies.

Pros
  • Ease of online service or through an agent
  • Clear claims process
  • Useful mobile app
Cons
  • Average customer satisfaction for claims
  • Optional coverage like yard and garden not available in every state

4. Allstate

With an agent network that competes with the largest insurers, Allstate is committed to local service through local agents. Nevada homeowners are nearly certain to find an agent nearby who will spend the time needed to explain your coverage and options.

Get an auto quote as well; Allstate offers discounts for bundling both policies. Discounts are also available for seniors, new homebuyers, being claims free, and home safety features.

Check out Benzinga’s Allstate Home Insurance Review.

Pros
  • A long and considerable list of discounts that can save you hundreds of dollars
  • An excellent roster of online tools, including a comprehensive coverage calculator, and a highly-rated app for iPhone and Android systems
  • Ability to manage and track claims directly from computers or mobile devices
Cons
  • Decent financial stability, but could be improved
  • Customer service and claims handling not always consistent or satisfactory
  • Certain natural disasters, including floods and earthquakes not covered under a traditional policy — a rider needs to be purchased that includes the specific coverage if needed

5. Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual’s Home Protector Plus pays for unexpected cost overruns when rebuilding your home and extends full replacement cost coverage for your belongings. Many insurers only insure personal belongings for a depreciated value—taking points and dollars off for wear and tear based on age.

In the real world, replacing an item requires buying a new one, and replacement cost coverage recognizes this fact. It’s insurance that works the way we expect insurance to work. Liberty Mutual offers more discounts than many of its competitors, increasing the ways to save. Be sure to get a quote and compare coverage.

Take Action

Insurance can be tricky business and the way homeowners insurance policies are structured isn’t always in the best interest of consumers. However, in many cases, you have the opportunity to change the default coverage options, add new coverages, or adjust deductibles to fit your budget.

Finding the best premium isn’t just about the price (though we all like to save money). The best premium is actually defined by the best policy for both our coverage needs and our wallets. Savings that can create high expenses if there is a claim might not be worth the few dollars saved per month.

Ask questions about your coverage, ask which discounts are available, and compare policies to choose the right coverage for you, your home, and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Q: How does home insurance liability coverage work?

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1) Q: How does home insurance liability coverage work?
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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.

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2) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?

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2) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?
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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.

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3) Q: If I drop my computer, will home insurance cover the cost of replacement?

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3) Q: If I drop my computer, will home insurance cover the cost of replacement?
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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.

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