The Best Vermont Homeowners Insurance Companies
Homeowners in Vermont have it pretty great. Vermont has one of the lowest rates for property and personal crime nationwide, and it’s one of the states least likely to experience a natural disaster. So it’s no surprise that Vermont is also one of the cheapest places to insure your home.
How We Found the Best Vermont Homeowners Insurance Companies
Using our review of nationwide homeowners insurance companies as a guide, we evaluated the top four Vermont providers by market share. We looked for strong performance in four categories: financial strength and stability ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and S&P Global, customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, breadth of coverage and discounts, and competitive quotes. While our sample quotes provide an idea of where insurers fall on the affordability scale, true plan costs are highly variable depending on your specific location, home, and risk factors. To find the best Vermont homeowners insurance for your particular circumstances, we’d suggest getting quotes from all four of the below providers.
The 4 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Vermont
Vermont Homeowners Insurance Reviews
State FarmState Farm is our first choice for homeowners insurance in Vermont, thanks to its excellent customer satisfaction. Its 825/1000 was the highest J.D. Power score for overall satisfaction of any of our top picks. This rating encompasses factors like customers’ happiness with billing, pricing, and the claims process. State Farm’s impressive rating, combined with competitive quotes and a broad range of coverage options, gives it an edge.
A standard State Farm policy will cover all major weather and non-weather related damages including wind, storms, fire, hail, theft and vandalism. They don’t stop at the basics either; you can choose to add a personal property rider to extend coverage to virtually anything of value that you possess. The rider will cover both belongings at home plus property that you carry with you when you travel, like camera gear or your laptop. State Farm’s other unique coverage option is its Identity Restoration coverage, which will protect you, your spouse, relatives and dependents under 21 years old from the rising risk of identity theft.
If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, State Farm has a handy home inventory tool available through their website, which allows you to take a stroll through your house and make note of each piece of valuable property while estimating its approximate value so you can tailor your personal property coverage accordingly. We suggest doing this before purchasing any plan, no matter what company you go through.
State Farm’s main drawback is that it lacks the discounts offered by Allstate and Liberty Mutual. (Allstate offers a “Welcome Discount” for new customers, for example.) So we weren’t surprised, during our quote evaluations, to find that State Farm returned the highest yearly premium by $100 (which works out to about $8 more per month). Still, State Farm’s highly acclaimed customer experience and broad coverage options are the easiest way to feel totally secure in your coverage, qualities we felt were worth a few extra bucks per month.
AllstateAllstate’s overall customer satisfaction comes in a few points behind State Farm by J.D. Power’s metrics, and two points behind by Consumer Report’s. But Allstate makes up for this with one of the most transparent, easily navigable websites we’ve seen — accompanied by a host of informational tools. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of buying homeowners insurance for the first time, we’d suggest starting with Allstate. Allstate’s entire online experience is excellent. The company’s suite of educational offerings includes a Common & Costly Claims tool, which shows the top five most frequent and expensive claims within your ZIP code, a good way to figure what types of coverage you’ll need. Their interactive Allstate Premium Gauge lets you play with the major variables that affect coverage costs in order to estimate where your premium might fall. The tool explains how factors like the age of your home and number of previous claims can affect your estimated premium. We also loved Allstate’s Rent vs. Own Calculator, which uses a bevy of intricate data like interest rates and current market trends, plus your personal info, to calculate whether you’d save more money buying or renting over any given timespan. None of our other finalists came close to offering this wealth of interactive resources. (You can also check out the articles on their tools and resources page, complimented by a full suite of FAQs.)
Another reason we love Allstate? Its discounts. Of our finalists, they have the largest number of advertised savings options. New clients can trim 10% off their premiums for a full two years by switching to Allstate, and new homeowners are also offered up to 10% off. Other standout discounts include savings for retirees, auto-pay customers, homes with protections from fire or burglary, storm-shutter discounts, and early sign-up savings. The only thing missing from Allstate’s line up is savings for homes built from environmentally friendly materials or for homeowners who have LEED certified houses. (If these categories are of interest, check out Travelers, a few paragraphs below.)
Liberty MutualLiberty Mutual received a slightly lower customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power than State Farm and Allstate (797/1000), but its Consumer Reports Score was slightly higher (83/100).
Much like our favorite, State Farm, Liberty Mutual offers a wide variety of optional endorsements to compliment a basic full coverage plan. Riders for accidental water discharge/backup, replacement costs for both dwelling and personal items, and a scheduled valuables coverage make for a well-rounded plan. They also offer a couple of more unusual coverages, like Identity Fraud Protection and Inflation Protection, which automatically adjusts your coverage limits to keep pace with inflation.
Like Allstate, Liberty Mutual also includes a decent number of discounts. Easy-to-access savings for simple things like installing deadbolts on exterior doors, keeping a smoke-free home, and staying claims-free for three years are likely to make their quotes quite competitive. In our quote evaluation for a home in Burlington, Vermont, Liberty Mutual returned our very lowest quote — over $200 less than State Farm’s. The tradeoff, however, is a considerably higher deductible. Liberty Mutual also has slightly lower financial ratings compared with State Farm and Allstate, receiving an “A” (good) grade from Standard & Poor’s, while Allstate took home an “A+” and State Farm received an “A++”.
Liberty Mutual has a few handy resources for learning about home insurance and interacting with your plan. These tools aren’t as all-encompassing as Allstate’s collection, but we liked their MasterThis blog, which walks you through general home repairs and offers resources if you’re planning a move. The Home Gallery app is an easy way to create a home inventory list if you want to cover valuables inside your home. All in all, Liberty Mutual offers strong coverages, discounts, and resources that will aid any Vermont homeowner.
Rounding out our list of best homeowners insurance in Vermont is Travelers Insurance. They offer fewer endorsements and discounts than the other three providers, lacking nice-to-have options like inflation coverage or a welcome discount for new customers. However, Travelers is still an excellent option for homeowners insurance in Vermont, especially if green home design is important to you. Travelers is one of the few companies offering discounts for anyone using LEED certified practices and materials in their new construction or renovations.
Travelers boasts a modest learning center and FAQ section that covers all the basics you’ll want to understand before going into a homeowners insurance policy. Unfortunately, they do not offer a home insurance app or mobile service, so you’ll be handling your interactions directly through agents or your desktop. Don’t let this scare you off, though; Travelers was one of our most affordable quotes for our sample home and offered the lowest deductible right off the bat. It is definitely worth your time to get a quote from Travelers and look into your coverage options.
Where Travelers really fell behind the competition was its J.D. Power Score of 788/1000 — the lowest of any of our picks. Most concerningly, customers gave it 2/5 for interaction with its website and agents, billing and payment processes, and policy offerings. That said, Consumer Reports painted a much more favorable picture, with an 82/100 overall and “very good” scores for agent courtesy, promptness of responses, and timely payments.
Guide to Vermont Homeowners Insurance
To get a feel for what you can expect, we evaluated the initial recommended coverages for an average home in the Burlington area: approximately $200,000 value with about 1,400 square feet. Our hypothetical home included safety features we figured most people would have, like smoke detectors and deadbolts. Our quotes were for a home with no pets and no attached garage. Of course, every home and homeowner are unique, so we’d recommend completing the quote process yourself with all of our top providers. But the numbers below should serve as a useful jumping-off point.
Consider flood insurance
While Vermont doesn’t pose a particularly high risk for floods, you still might want to consider adding flood coverage to your plan. (You can use FEMA’s floodplain maps to determine your home’s risk for flooding.) If your provider doesn’t offer flood insurance, you may be able to get covered through the National Flood Insurance Program, which paid nearly $43 million in Vermont claims after Tropical Storm Irene.
Catalog your belongings“I recommend that people create video evidence of all their belongings, as well as the inside and outside of their home,” says Jeffrey D. Diamond, adjunct professor of insurance law at Georgia State University College of Law. Most providers have an inventory tool built into their mobile apps, and they’re worth using. “The more ways in which you can establish and prove the features of your home, as well as the quality and quantity of your personal property before a loss occurs,” Diamond adds, “the better your homeowners insurance coverage will serve you at the time of need, if and when the need arises.”
Vermont Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How much is homeowners insurance in Vermont?
Vermont’s average rates for homeowners insurance are on the low side — about $873 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average of $1,173. That’s because Vermont has the rare distinction of being one of the safest states in the country for both property crime and natural disasters.
If risks are so low, why do I need homeowners insurance in Vermont?
While risk indexes from the US earthquake and tornado database give Vermont occurrence ratings of less than a third of the national average, these types of uncommon events can be extra dangerous when they do happen, since area building codes and construction standards (especially of older homes) don’t always take these possibilities into account.
How is Vermont addressing climate change?
Vermont was the first state to issue their own report after the federal government released its National Climate Assessment in 2014. Vermont’s findings show significant changes in the state’s average temperatures and ice-thaw, concluding that flood risk will increase throughout the state. More recent events like Rutland’s “Mountain Wave” and the White River Junction earthquake have added to the discussion surrounding risks related to natural disasters in Vermont.
Local green-development activist Alex Wilson, founder of Brattleboro nonprofit Building Green, has been leading the discussion of resilient design and green building strategies in Vermont, pushing for stronger and more durable architecture to be incorporated into eco-friendly homes and buildings. His recent contributions include a climate change assessment, building designs for the top hazards, and back-up survivability systems to withstand power outages, water shortages or the loss of heating fuel. These have been submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council in order to become a part of LEED certification when evaluating green buildings. As Vermont prepares for the possibility of more climate-created natural events, using designs like these when constructing or renovating home structures could be key in keeping Vermont’s low average home insurance rates at their current levels.