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Best Homeowners Insurance in North Carolina

North Carolina is well-known for its temperate climate and mild weather. Although some trauma may happen near the coast, the Appalachian Mountains shield the state from storms and extreme temperatures in the west.

This makes homeowner’s insurance more affordable in North Carolina compared to the national average. However, prices can still vary according to the county. Areas more prone to tornados, hurricanes, and flooding can lead to higher premiums.

Average annual premium in North Carolina

Annual homeowner’s insurance premiums in North Carolina average at about $1,075. This amount is slightly lower than the national average of $1,034.

Considering the low rate of natural disasters and calm weather, North Carolina’s homeowner insurance premiums are correspondingly lower. Although rates are lower than the national average, premiums can vary drastically depending on the insurance provider.

Finding the best premium for your home

There are a variety of factors to consider when looking for the best homeowner’s insurance premiums in North Carolina. Premium rates depend on a number of different aspects, so it’s important to compare rates before buying a house. Some factors to take into consideration include:

  • Your credit and insurance score – Insurance companies have come up with a magic number called an insurance score. This score takes your age, marital status, credit score, and other factors into consideration when figuring out the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Having a good credit score can mean your premiums are much lower than someone with the same house and a poor credit score.
  • Age of the home – The build year of your home can have a substantial influence on the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Newly built homes receive a New Home Discount for the first ten years. The older the house becomes, the higher premiums tend to be.
  • Type of construction – Homes in North Carolina are typically categorized as either Masonry Veneer of Frame. Veneer homes are covered in a majority of brick or cement fiber and usually have lower premiums compared to frame homes. Frame homes, made of aluminum, wood, vinyl, etc. are considered to be higher risk and carry higher insurance premiums.
  • Marital status – Some insurance companies in North Carolina offer discounts to married couples. Similarly, premiums can be higher for singles and unmarried couples.
  • Public Protection Class rating – Depending on the proximity of fire departments, fire hydrants, and available fire department resources, your home will receive a Public Protection class rating from 1 to 10. Whether or not you have a fire hydrant within 1000 feet of your home could mean hundreds of dollars difference in premiums each year. Ratings are determined by the fire station that serves your property.
  • Your deductible – A higher deductible will lower your premium. However, it’s important to weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of a high deductible. The split deductible option is a new choice available to North Carolina insurance customers. Homeowners can now choose a separate deductible for wind and hail claims, while other deductibles stay the same. The wind and hail deductible usually ranges from 1% to 5%.

Inclement weather in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of four southern states that lead the nation in weather-related disasters. Hurricane Irene was the most recent storm to strike in 2011.

This was the first hurricane landfall in the nation since hurricane Ike in 2008, causing billions of dollars of damage. Damage from hurricanes:

  • Hurricane Irene (2011) – $15.6 billion
  • Hurricane Floyd (1999) – $6.9 billion
  • Hurricane Fran (1996) – $3.2 billion

In addition, tornados can happen at any time of year, especially from March to May. Flooding can also occur without warning, at any time, and in almost all areas of North Carolina. Even counties that normally have mild winter conditions can occasionally be hit by snowstorms and severe cold.

Although extreme weather conditions can occur, North Carolina still remains relatively free from natural disasters most of the year. This makes insurance premiums lower than the national average.

Flood insurance

Many flood-zone areas are eligible for special protection from the National Flood Insurance Program.

This particular insurance is available through the federal government and can often be purchased through your current homeowner’s insurance. Visit the following link for more information about the National Flood Insurance Program or call 800-638-6620.

The North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program (NCFMP), an initiative created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is helping communities in North Carolina better prepare for flood disasters. Up-to-date, digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) allow communities to calculate and manage flood risks.

This allows for real-time forecasting of flood threats with state-wide coverage. Through modernized floodplain mapping, residents of North Carolina can better prepare themselves and their property when a natural disaster strikes. The goal of this project is to provide more accurate flood maps, increase public awareness, and ensure more affordable rates for flood insurance.

Comparing rates by county

Many factors can contribute to the price of insurance premiums, especially the location of your home. Insurance companies not only look at the county of your house, but also the zip code, including those extra last four digits.

Homeowner’s insurance in Wake County, for example, is more affordable than insurance in Johnston or Durham County. Housing in Johnston and Durham County are usually more affordable, whereas Wake County homes tend to be more expensive.

Although buyers think they’re getting a good deal on a home, they may be paying for it in the long term with higher homeowner’s insurance. Below are the most affordable counties in North Carolina for homeowner’s insurance. The examples are based on a frame home worth $150,000 under the HO-3 policy.

County Rate Description
Caldwell $540 Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Cherokee $591 This county is in the far west corner of North Carolina.
Haywood $603 Located on the west side of the state.
Cleveland $626 Found in the western Piedmont at the south of the state’s border.
Avery $628  The newest addition to North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Other areas with similar price ranges include Mitchell, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Swain, Transylvania, Alleghany, Ashe, Buncombe, Catawba, Henderson, McDowell, Polk, Watauga, Yancey, Lincoln, and Rutherford Counties. Below is a list of the most expensive counties in North Carolina, also based on a frame house worth $150,000.

County Rate Description
Brunswick $2,649 An area with beaches and islands in the southernmost part of the state.
Dare $2,259 The largest county in North Carolina.
Onslow $1,808 Home to the city of Jacksonville.
New Hanover $1,302 Smallest in size, but dense in population, this county is home to beautiful beaches and the city of Wilmington.
Tyrell $1,193  The least populous county in North Carolina.

Other expensive regions in North Carolina include Washington, Jones, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Chowan, Craven, Beaufort, Camden, Pamlico, Pender, Carteret, Currituck, and Columbus Counties. Beach and coastal areas have a tendency to have higher home insurance rates compared to drier western counties.

This is due to the higher risk associated with hurricanes and storms. Although coastal homes are often more attractive, the price of home insurance can be more than twice as much as in western parts of the state.

Best insurance companies

The following list below contains the five highest rated insurance companies in the state of North Carolina. Each company offers basic homeowner’s insurance as well as a variety of supplemental policies.

There are a wide variety of insurance policies available that can fit the needs of any homeowner. Below is a short summary of each insurance company, information about their customer service, and description of what sets them apart from the competition.

North Carolina Farm Bureau

North Carolina’s largest domestic property insurance company is located in Raleigh. The Farm Bureau serves farm and non-farm customers in all 100 counties of the state. With an A.M. Best Company, Inc. rating of A and over $1 billion in annual premiums, the North Carolina Farm Bureau has been offering their policyholders security and peace of mind since 1953.

The mission of the Farm Bureau is to provide affordable insurance to farmers. However, over the years, the company has branched out to offer a wide range of policies to meet the needs of North Carolina homeowners. This insurance company is particularly proud of their personalized customer service. Here, customers can expect quality service from real people.

Members of the Farm Bureau receive access to a diverse range of services and policies aimed towards protecting families and property. North Carolina Farm Bureau differs from other companies because:

  • It is a non-profit farm organization, owned and controlled by the policyholders.
  • Membership with the North Carolina Farm Bureau offers access to special savings and additional benefits. Some of these include Carolina Partner Plus discounts, New Home discounts, and rewards for equipping your home with smoke detectors.

How to obtain a quote:

  • Visit the website to find a nearby agent and receive a quote.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual has been serving customers for over 100 years, providing insurance coverage nationally and internationally.

Customers can easily manage their accounts, file claims, and make payments online. Liberty Mutual, also with an A rating from A.M. Best, stresses the importance of seeing customers as human beings. This is an insurance company dedicated to the safety and well-being of its customers by providing exceptional service.

Liberty Mutual differs from other companies because:

  • They offer a Personal Property Replacement® service. With this additional service, customers can quickly and easily have damaged property replaced.
  • The Home Protector Plus® policy provides full replacement of all lost belongings, including accommodation costs while the home undergoes repairs.
  • Emergency Home Repairs takes care of repairs within a 24-hour period.

How to obtain a quote:

  • Quotes are available directly from the website. Customers can also try the call center or just drop by a local office and speak to an agent directly.

Nationwide

Established in 1925, this insurance company has an A.M. rating of A+ and assets of over $158 billion. Customers have the opportunity to take part in a Nationwide On Your Side® review, which is a free annual consultation service.

This offers homeowners the chance to change their deductibles, review coverage options, and make policy updates. Nationwide differs from other companies because:

  • They protect your family and property as well as your home.
  • Additional coverage, such as the Brand New Belongings policy, helps pay for damage to property in the home. The Better Roof Replacement policy offers additional protection for your roof.
  • They offer unique savings options for homeowners over 60 years of age, multi-policy discounts, and rewards for claims-free customers.

How to obtain a quote:

  • Customers can obtain a quote directly from the Nationwide website, call center, or through a local agent.

Allstate

Allstate has been protecting its customers since 1931, with an A.M Best rating of A+. This insurance company is well known for its Good Hands slogan and mission to make a difference in communities.

Through Allstate’s catastrophe response network, reputation as innovators, and community involvement, the company has been able to see through on its mission. This insurance company has an excellent reputation for customer service.

Through its use of innovative new products and online support system, Allstate offers some of the best customer service available. Allstate differs from other companies because:

  • In addition to high-quality coverage, customers can expect extensive customer service options. The Allstate website provides a variety of educational tools and resources to inform homeowners of relevant safety information.
  • Homeowners have the ability to customize policies with additional coverage. Some of these extras include electronic data recovery, identity theft restoration, musical instruments, sports equipment, yard and garden, water backup, and green improvement reimbursement.

How to obtain a quote:

  • Quotes and local agents are available directly on the Allstate website.

Farmers

Established in 1928, Farmers insurance serves over 10 million customers nationwide. This company has an A.M. Best rating of A, has embraced change over the years in order to accommodate homeowners’ evolving needs.

As one of the nation’s largest home insurers, Famers is owned by policyholders and managed by a board of directors. Farmers differs from other companies because:

  • They constantly look for ways to keep insurance affordable using a unique tool called the Risk Assessment Indicator
  • Discounts are available for customers with updated heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. Similarly, homeowners with security systems, smoke alarms, and new roofs receive additional savings.
  • They offer additional options to protect possessions. Identity Management Services assist homeowners who have lost important documents due to damage. Eco-Rebuild is an extra option that provides funds for green materials. With Contents Replacement Cost coverage, policyholders are reimbursed for the new value of lost items, as opposed to the depreciated value.

How to obtain a quote:

  • Customers can receive quotes directly from the Farmers’ website and get in touch with local insurance agents.

Due to mild weather and a temperate climate, homeowner insurance premiums in North Carolina are typically lower than the national average. Some areas, especially those prone to damage from hurricanes, tornados, and flooding have higher premiums.

Home insurance in coastal beach areas and cities low on the floodplain map can expect to pay higher premiums as well.

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Before searching for home insurance, it’s a good idea to review the needs of your family and your home. The age of your home, your marital status, deductible, type of construction, and public protection class rating all affect the price of your premium.

Additionally, your credit and insurance scores will have an impact on the cost of insurance. Although North Carolina usually experiences mild weather, inclement weather conditions can still strike at any time. Since flood insurance isn’t included in most standard home insurance policies, it’s necessary to explore additional options.

Want to learn more about insurance? Check out Benzinga’s guides to the best car insurance companies in Charlotte, the best affordable health insurance and the best life insurance companies.