Homeowners Insurance in Rhode Island
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UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021
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Are you looking for home insurance in Rhode Island? Well, chances are it’ll be slightly easier than finding a home of your own in your densely populated state. But don’t relax just yet; if you’ve never shopped for homeowners insurance before, it can be a little intimidating at first. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy homeowners insurance shopping guide – so you can get the best deal.
In Rhode Island, home insurance policies are often referred to as “forms”. The special form policy – known more commonly as HO-3 in other states – is one of the most popular policies you can buy. It provides coverage for virtually anything on your land, including your dwelling, personal property, and additional structures. Below, you can see examples of coverage most commonly applied to a $200,000 home.
|Types of Coverage||Coverage Amount|
|Replacement Cost (Dwelling)||$200,000|
|Replacement Cost (Contents)||$100,000|
It may seem strange that such a tiny state has such expensive homeowners insurance premiums. But it’s more about geography than size. Many of the homes in Rhode Island were built around 60 years ago, which makes them more susceptible to damage. Additionally, Rhode Island has hundreds of miles of coastline bordering the tumultuous Atlantic Ocean, where hurricanes have been traveling farther and farther north each year. There are a lot of expensive perils that can force you to file damage claims, which is why local insurance companies raise their rates.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t save money on your premiums. Shopping around and getting multiple quotes from different companies in your area is a great way to make sure you’re getting the best deal. As you can see from the chart below, you could save around $200-$300 per year over the life of your home.
Laws and Requirements
Homeowners insurance isn’t legally mandated the way other policies, like car insurance, is. But that’s mostly because it doesn’t need to be. For starters, the vast majority of homeowners are paying for their house with a mortgage. And almost all banks will require you to carry insurance on your home while you are paying off that mortgage. But even if your home is fully paid for, you’re going to want to protect that asset (and the contents within). Otherwise, you could be facing financial ruin after the next hurricane or hail storm tears through your area.
Taking a home inventory may seem like it’s not that important, but it’s actually essential for getting the best deal on your insurance premiums. Some people underestimate their property’s worth so that they can buy less coverage and get a more affordable premium. But this can be dangerous since, if you do have to file a claim, you might not get a payout big enough to fix or replace your property. On the other hand, overestimating your property’s value may lead you to purchase too much coverage. And the more coverage you buy, the higher your premiums will be.
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Choosing What (and How Much) Coverage
The basic HO-3 policy that many Rhode Island home insurance companies offer is really only the tip of the iceberg. On top of your basic policy, there are many other factors to consider. Such as:
- Floods – The entire southern border of the state is coastline, along with several islands. Needless to say, the risk of flood damage in Rhode Island is pretty high. Unfortunately, you won’t find any private insurance companies willing to sell you flood coverage. If you are concerned about flooding, as you should be, you’ll want to contact the National Flood Insurance Program and ask them for information on flood insurance.
- Damage from Winter Storms – Rhode Island gets about 34″ of snowfall each year on average. This may not be as much as some other northern states, but it’s nothing to sneeze at, either. Thankfully, most special form policies have ample protection from winter storm damage. But you should still go over them with your agent to make sure what is and is not covered.
- Covering Your Property – Homeowners insurance, especially the special form policy, isn’t just about protecting your outer structure. Your personal property on the inside of your home is just as important, if not more. That’s why these policies cover a minimum of 50% of your property’s total worth. And if you are particularly worried about the contents of your home, you may have the option to increase this coverage.
- Liability Coverage – Accidents are more common than you might think. And when they happen on your property, there’s a small but real chance there could be legal repercussions. Even if you are found liable, your special form policy will be there to save the day. Most policies offer $100,000 of liability coverage, but you can adjust this as necessary with your insurance agent.
- Umbrella Coverage – Most homeowners won’t actually need umbrella coverage. But if your insurer will only sell you so much coverage, and your home and/or contents are worth more than that, then you’ll want to think about purchasing an umbrella policy.
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value
Choosing whether your provider insures your property by replacement cost or actual cash value will have a direct impact on your premiums. Replacement cost will pay out more on claims – 100% of the replacement cost, to be exact, after you pay your deductible – but your premiums will be higher. Conversely, actual cash value incorporates depreciation into your claim’s payout. This means you will be left with some of the financial responsibility associated with repairing/replacing your property, even after you pay your deductible. But on the bright side, your premiums will be lower.
How Your Credit Score May Influence Your Rate
Before you even request a quote from a company, ask them about how they evaluate your credit with regard to underwriting and rating new policies. Some homeowners insurance companies are limited by how much of your credit history they can take into consideration; others may have the freedom to evaluate your full FICO credit score. Depending on which method they use, you could have either a highly favorable or a less than exemplary credit history in the company’s eyes. And you want your credit to look as good as possible, if you want the best deal on your premium.
For more information, feel free to click any of the links you see in this article. They all lead to more detailed information about homeowner’s insurance, specifics on purchasing a policy, and how to find the best deal. You should also contact local resources in your state, such as:
Or contact them directly through the following resources:
Rhode Island Division of Insurance
1511 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
Phone: (401) 462-9500
Fax: (401) 462-9532