The Best New Hampshire Homeowners Insurance Company
New Hampshire’s average annual premiums for homeowners insurance are right in line with the national average — $941 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to $1,173 nationwide. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address. Use our tool to find your best rates:
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Home to the White Mountain National Forest, a portion of the Appalachian Trail, and picturesque granite formations, New Hampshire is known for its natural beauty. The state’s geography also mean that there unique environmental factors — winter storms, ice dams, and elevated radon levels among them — that New Hampshirites must consider when purchasing homeowners insurance.
Of course, premiums fluctuate based on numerous factors, including your home’s age, location, construction materials, the value of its contents, as well as what discounts you qualify for and your deductible amount, so shopping around is crucial.
To determine the best homeowners insurance in New Hampshire, we began by selecting the five largest insurance providers based on market share. From there, we applied the methodology established in our review of national companies. That meant talking to local real estate agents along with analyzing each company’s discounts, endorsements, financial strength, customer service, and claims process. Finally, we examined quotes for homes throughout the Granite State. Read on to see how they stacked up.
New Hampshire Homeowners Insurance Reviews
When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, details are crucial. As evidenced by its customized coverage and 24-hour Emergency Home Repairs, attention to detail is what sets Liberty Mutual apart from the competition. That extends to Liberty’s online quote process, which requests the percentage of carpet, tile, and wood flooring in your home, along with other specifics. In other words, grab floor plans, your home’s history, and a detailed home inventory before sitting down for a quote. Fortunately, all that work may pay off in the long run: Based on data from the New Hampshire Insurance Department, Liberty Mutual’s premiums are some of the most affordable among the state’s top five insurers.
On top of low premiums, Liberty boasts numerous discounts, including premium reductions for University of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University alums. For the most part, Allstate’s discounts are easier to qualify for, but that Liberty alone offers a radon detector discount caught our eye.
Allstate’s website is by far the easiest to navigate. Others insurers’ sites required searching in various places to get a complete picture of available coverage, discounts, and endorsements. But Allstate’s site was upfront, with policy features, optional coverage, discounts, and claims information clearly outlined in one location. The site makes it easy to get in, get key information on coverage, and get out.
Consider sticking around a bit longer, though, as the site also has some unique and useful features. The most notable of these is the Common and Costly Claims tool, which lets shoppers type in their ZIP code to see the most common claims in their region, complete with average dollar amounts for those claims. Spoiler alert: water and physical damage were common in zip codes throughout New Hampshire. For an even closer look, the GoodHome home report is particularly helpful, (even if it is a little creepy), as it plays a Google Street View video of your home while listing potential risks, local hazard data, and prevention tips.
Beyond its best-in-class website, Allstate offers a substantial number of discounts (eleven!), including many options for which most consumers qualify, such as a 10 percent discount for the first two years customers are insured, and up to 5 percent off when customers arrange for automatic payments from their checking or savings account. Other discounts, like the multi-policy one, require only slightly more effort, but they come with bigger savings — for example, bundling your home and auto insurance can save you up to 30 percent.
Time and again, USAA earns top financial ratings. Likewise, J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Property Claims Satisfaction Study found that USAA has a high level of satisfaction among customers, particularly water-related claims, which are common in New Hampshire. And Consumer Reports gave USAA a score of 92, at least nine points above New Hampshire’s other top insurers.
USAA’s standard coverage also goes above and beyond other insurers. For example, up to $5,000 of identity theft coverage is automatically included with each policy, and USAA’s replacement cost coverage includes your home and personal belongings with no depreciation factored in.
There were a few important factors, however, that bumped USAA down from the top spot. First and foremost, USAA is only available to current and former members of the US military and families, so you may not be eligible for the insurer’s services. And although USAA offers 24/7 claims access, it doesn’t offer any New Hampshire locations where you can meet with a representative in person.
Overall, State Farm was a decidedly well-rounded insurer, but just missed the mark on a few fronts. The company received positive financial ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, as well as above average customer satisfaction scores based on Consumer Reports’ homeowners insurance survey (a key rating based on input from 90,000 Consumer Reports subscribers). However, when we looked closer at the claims process via J.D. Power’s 2017 study property claims satisfactionstudy, State Farm’s customer service satisfaction was was a bit lower.
Similarly, State Farm’s website didn’t top our list, but it was more than sufficient. The site includes an online quote tool, plus an FAQ section and a learning center with useful articles and advice. The company also provides several endorsement and discount options. We appreciated that these could easily and clearly be adjusted during the online quote process, but neither category stood out to us, especially upon noting how high the insurer’s premiums are throughout the state.
Based in — you guessed it, Concord, New Hampshire — Concord Group only offers coverage in New England, providing the insurer with a wealth of local knowledge and experience. In addition, Concord’s premiums were consistently among the lowest when comparing premiums across the state.
But there are some tradeoffs: Concord’s website paled in comparison to those of the state’s other top insurers. There was no online quote tool and limited information on policies, discounts and endorsements. Furthermore, without ratings from Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, and other reputable ratings leaders, it is difficult to determine customers’ satisfaction or how Concord handles claims. That said, if you prefer the personal attention a smaller insurer often provides, Concord is worth considering.
Water Damage and Power Outages Are Top Concerns
New Hampshire is no stranger to harsh winters, whose adverse effects on homes include flooding. In fact, the New Hampshire Department of Safety found that every year, some area of the state experiences flash flooding, main stem river flooding, coastal flooding, or a combination of the three.
The erratic temperature also causes problems. “We have pretty extreme temperature changes,” says Lisa Boucher, who has worked as a Manchester-based realtor and associate for 14 years. “One day it will be below zero, and the next day it will be 25 degrees and we’ll get a foot of snow. And then the following week, we’ll get some kind of weird icy rain mix, and then it’ll warm up.” The result is ice dams, or ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow from draining off. Instead, the water that backs up behind the dam often seeps into homes.
As if those issues weren’t enough, snow- and storm-related power outages are also common, making generators a must-have, Windham-based real estate agent Lisa Anne Landry says.
Many homeowners are going a step further and installing on-demand generator systems, Boucher adds. “Then you don’t have to worry about freezing pipes — and, all the bad stuff that can happen when you don’t have any power in your home.”
In addition to investing in a generator, many New Hampshire homeowners install sump pumps. If you’re especially worried about flooding, it may be worth investing in additional flood coverage, or purchasing separate flood insurance.
Watch Out For Radon and Arsenic
New Hampshire’s expansive rock quarries earned it the title of The Granite State. And while the granite formations are beautiful, they cause some less attractive — albeit largely invisible — issues for homeowners. Most notable are elevated levels of radon and arsenic.
More than 30 percent of residents live in homes with radon concentrations that exceed recommended levels, according to Breathe New Hampshire. That number could be even higher, considering that an estimated 250,000 New Hampshire homes remain untested. That’s why current and prospective homeowners should always test their homes for radon. If your home has elevated radon levels, there are many radon-mitigation techniques and systems available, some of which can reduce radon levels by up to 99 percent.
Additionally, a 2014 US Geological Survey study found that bedrock well water for nearly 50,000 New Hampshirites may contain arsenic concentrations exceeding health standards. As with radon, it’s important for homeowners to test for this contaminant regularly and invest in treatment systems.
Landry sees both issues with her clients, but says “There are systems that mostly nullify the arsenic and radon, and I explain to new buyers that it happens and shouldn’t be a factor to turn them away from their dream home.”
The Bottom Line
High levels of arsenic and radon, as well as inclement winter weather, present unique concerns for New Hampshire homeowners. But the relatively low cost of homeowners’ insurance in the state makes additional coverage and testing less of a burden. Ultimately, finding the best homeowners insurance means comparing coverage options and premiums from multiple providers. Start by entering your ZIP code in the tool below.