Protect your biggest asset with customized home insurance.
Vermont Home Insurance Consumer Guide
Protecting your financial security starts with insuring your most valuable financial assets, your home. We take a coverage first approach to safeguard your home working with regional and national companies that offer you value and the right balance between coverage and price.
Our experienced Insurance agents will customize your insurance by starting with a risk assessment, determining your coverage needs, and matching you with an insurance company that’s the best fit for your Vermont home insurance. Your Vermont home has unique characteristics that make it special, and your insurance plan should reflect that. Our goal is to help protect your finances and lifestyle by helping you get the most out of your insurance.
We’ll make it easy for you to understand how home insurance works from coverages, exclusions, policy limits, endorsements, to the process of keeping your insurance up-to-date and in tune with your family’s financial protection needs. If you want to learn more, read through our Guide to Home Insurance in Vermont.
For expert advice and guidance, consult with one of our agents, or you can get started by clicking the Quote Button.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Guide to Home Insurance in Vermont
Get the most out of your insurance by understanding how home insurance works. This guide provides an overview of how to purchase home insurance, common terms, and definitions, and information about the claims process.
How to Purchase Vermont Home Insurance
3 Reasons why you need home insurance
Some people may question whether they need home insurance. Here are three reasons why.
- Homeowners’ Insurance is required by your lender. Lenders have a financial interest in protecting the property. For that reason, to secure a loan for your property, most mortgage companies require that you get home insurance.
- Homeowner’s insurance protects more than your house. A Vermont home insurance policy also covers attached structures, personal property, personal liability, and more according to the terms of your policy.
- Homeowner’s insurance provides financial security. With proper coverage in place a home insurance policy protects your finances. Your policy will cover losses and damages per the terms of your policy if they occur. The result? You can rest easy knowing you’re protected from financial loss.
How do I purchase home insurance in Vermont?
Purchasing home insurance is easy with the help of an independent agent. Your agent can help streamline the process, access the best possible quotes, and quickly identify an insurance company and a policy to best suit your needs.
Here’s how it works:
- Connect with Colby Insurance Group today by requesting a quote through this page or calling one of our local offices in Vermont or New Hampshire. [click to call 800-392-6532]
- Your agent will ask for basic information about your property and your insurance needs.
- We’ll gather the most competitive quotes from our carefully selected insurance companies.
- Your agent will select the best quotes for you to review.
- Discuss the options with your agent and decide on a policy that maximizes coverage and value.
- Your agent will help finalize the paperwork to obtaining coverage and pass your proof of insurance to your lender.
How much does it cost to buy home insurance in Vermont?
People are eager to know how much home insurance cost. Insurance is one of the expenses associated with owning a home and is part of your overall housing budget. Unfortunately, when it comes to price there is not simple answer because one size does not fit all. Our agents want you to get value from your home insurance. That means striking a balance between coverage and price and partnering with financially strong insurance companies that we can rely on to provide excellent service to our customers, from underwriting to claims.
Below are average home insurance costs for the state of Vermont. The example represents a typical home with standard coverage. Many variables factor into the price of home insurance. The best way to get a price is to talk to an agent. They can provide you with a no-obligation quote.
In 2022 the national average cost for home insurance is approximately $1,300 per year.
The average cost for home insurance in Vermont is approximately $900 per year.
What factors determine the cost of home insurance in Vermont?
Insurance companies use complex calculations to determine the price of insurance. They considered your home’s attributes combined with a risk assessment as part of the pricing process. Each insurance company has their own formulas, calculations, and underwriting standards. Here are some common things insurance companies look at to help determine the cost of your insurance.
- Area in Square footage
- Year Built
- Are there outbuildings such as detached garage, barn or shed
- Condition or how well your home is maintained
- Attraction Nuisance(s) – such as a pool or trampoline
- Distance from nearest fire station or fire hydrant
- Crime statistics for your area
- Upgrades, renovations, or custom features
- Your claims history
- Age and condition of your roof
- Age of your home systems, such as HVAC and Plumbing
- Dwelling coverage limit
- Property limit and liability limits
- Replacement cost estimates
These are some of the questions your agent will ask about your home. For a detailed list of the information your agent will ask you download this Vermont Home Insurance Checklist.
Independent agents have access to multiple insurance companies and will use the information your provide to shop around for the right coverage and price fit for you and your home.
What are coverages included in a home insurance policy?
Home insurance provides four main areas of coverage, including structure coverage (your home), personal property coverage, liability coverage, and additional living expenses.
How much insurance do I need for my Vermont home?
Your insurance company determines the value of your home by the amount it will cost to rebuild it to its condition before the loss. The cost to rebuild is also called replacement value. Many people confuse this amount with the market value of their home. Market value is not the same as replacement value which is the total cost to rebuild your home from the ground up. Insurance agents and companies use cost calculators to estimate the cost of materials and labor rates for your area to determine the replacement value amount. Insuring for market value leaves labor and like-in-kind materials out of the equation and could leave you underinsured.
Other structures coverage is also included in the price if you have detached buildings on your property such as a barn.
Coverage is also provided to help cover living expenses if you are displaced during reconstruction of your home.
Home insurance companies also provide personal property coverage. Personal property is a different separate from the coverage for the structure (your home). Personal property includes items in your home such as furniture, electronics, clothes, and jewelry, to name a few. Personal property are the items that aren’t attached to or a permanent part of your structure. When estimating the value of your personal belongings consider If you own any high-value items such as jewelry, artwork, collectibles, or antiques. High value items may require additional coverage.
Your home insurance also includes coverage for liability claims. Liability claims could result if another person or another person’s property is damaged, and you are at fault.
There are also endorsements available to help cover the gaps in insurance that are not covered by a standard home insurance policy. Examples of home insurance endorsements are:
- Water and sewer backup.
- Equipment breakdown coverage.
- Identity theft coverage.
- Home-based business-coverage.
What is the best home insurance in Vermont?
At Colby Insurance Group, we’re proud to partner with regional insurance companies such as Co-operative Insurance and Union Mutual both located in Vermont. They specialize in insurance policies for homes in Vermont. We strive to partner with companies that offer our customers value over just price. Our strong relationships with our regional carriers help us work closely together on behalf of our customers, from underwriting to claims.
How can I save money on my Vermont home insurance?
Once you decide on the coverage you need and the carrier that provides the best value, there are ways you can potentially save money on your home insurance. Here are some tips.
- Increased your deductibles. Higher deductibles could result in lower premiums.
- Get a bundled policy discount by combining your home and auto with the same insurance company.
- Some discounts reward loyalty for customers that stay with one company for an extended time.
- Safety and security often pay. Install a security system or fire protection system for potential discounts.
- Different carriers offer different discounts. Ask you agent to review potential discounts with you.
- Select a company that fits your home and your budget.
- Maintain a good credit score and payment history.
What’s included in my Vermont insurance policy?
Here’s a list of covered perils under a standard home insurance policy.
- Loss or damage from fire and smoke
- Water damage from roof leaks
- Damage or loss from a lightning strike
- Damage or loss from tornadoes and wildfires
- Storm damage from hail and windstorms
- Falling objects
- Damage from the weight of ice or snow
- Riots or vandalism
What’s not covered by my Vermont home insurance?
Often people do not realize that there are coverage exclusions from their home insurance policy. It’s important to note that insurance companies do not pay for all loses. Two major perils excluded from home insurance are Floods and Earthquakes. You can purchase these government-backed policies through your independent agent. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages national earthquake and flood insurance programs.
Here are some other home insurance exclusions you should be aware of:
- Business operations
- Liability resulting from malicious or criminal acts
- Regular home maintenance. Insurance is not a home repair service.
- Damage caused by failure to maintain your property
- Rodent, bird, or insect damage
- Rust, rot, or mold
To help cover gaps in coverage homeowners can purchase optional endorsements. Endorsements are an effective way to upgrade your protection. Some common endorsements are:
- Sewer/septic and sump pump backup coverage
- High-value items such as collectibles, fine art, and memorabilia
- Equipment breakdown coverage
- Living expenses for loss of use of your home
- Identity theft coverage
- Ordinance or law if your new structure requires you to rebuild to meet city codes
- Outbuildings or sheds
- Siding matching
- Increased limits or excess coverage (more liability insurance)
If you need coverage beyond your standard policy and available endorsements, you can package your policy with complementary policies that provide added protection, such as:
- Personal Umbrella policy (Personal Liability Coverage)
- Flood policy
- Earthquake policy
- Recreational vehicle policy
- Home-based business policy
Consult with your agent about coverages, exclusions, and endorsements to customize an insurance program that fits your needs.
Why did my Vermont Home Insurance to increase?
Costs of products and services tend to increase over time. Insurance policy prices are no different; however, a drastic increase in your premiums is alarming. If you’ve experienced a recent rate increase consult with your insurance agent, they can advise you on next steps. Below are some reasons your home insurance rates may increase:
- Multiple claims over a short time
- One big claim or total loss
- Rates increase with your current carrier
- Your carrier changed their underwriting standards
- Late payment history
- History of cancellation or loss of coverage
- Noticeable risks or deterioration of your property
- The addition of Attraction Nuisances such as a pool or trampoline
- Changes in your household
- Recent renovations or additions
Another reason rates may increase slightly each year is because your policy includes Inflation Guard. Inflation Guard is a mechanism insurance companies use to ensure the replacement cost estimate for your home keeps pace with inflation rates. Even though your premiums will increase each year slightly, the coverage for the insured value of your home goes up as well.
If you’ve experienced a recent rate increase and are not sure why talk with your agent. They can help you understand the increase and explore your options.
What should I do if my Vermont home insurance rates go up?
There are several reasons why insurance rates may go up. We recommend thinking about if anything happened over the past year that might have a negative effect your insurance rates. Remember the list above that gave several possible reasons for insurance rate increases?
Our agents are sensitive to rate increases. If a significant rate increase occurs, we are ready to advise you and discuss your options. Is it time to start looking for a new and less expensive insurance policy? This is a good question but not always the best course of action. here are a few reasons to stay with your existing carrier even if there is a price increase, such as
- Your Agent sees multiple rate increases across numerous carriers
- Your claims history may make it hard to switch carriers for a better price
- Poor payment history or lapse in coverage will make it hard to switch carriers
- Loss of available discounts on your current policy
- The company where your policy is written still offers a good value compared to others
- Your customized policy may be hard to replicate at a low price somewhere else.
If you’re concerned about a recent rate increase consult with your agent for advice and guidance.
What is the best home insurance company for Vermont?
We look at several different criteria when assessing the value an insurance company can offer our customers for home insurance.
We’re proud to partner with regional insurance companies specializing in insurance for homes in Vermont including Co-operative Insurance and Union Mutual Insurance. We consider the following criteria when selecting the regional and national companies to work with,
- Value for the price – They offer good coverage at a competitive price.
- Financially stability – Financially sound companies offer stability and have the resources to respond to our customer’s need.
- Relationships with underwriters and key principles – We look for carriers who provide coverage, value, and top-notch customer service. We can successfully advocate and advise our customers when we have a strong working relationship with our carriers.
- Claims handling – We look for companies with a smooth claims process and a track record of positive claims resolution.
- Customer satisfaction – We work with carriers that we know will deliver the same high level of service that our customers expect from us.
Common Questions Asked About Insurance Claims
Will home insurance pay for a new roof?
It depends on if the damage was caused by a covered peril such as a windstorm or if it was cause by something not covered by your policy. It’s essential to know the difference between roof damage due to a covered peril and repairs to your roof due to neglect or lack of maintenance. Perils listing in your policy are covered while damage due to neglect or lack of maintenance on your home are not. An insurance policy is not a maintenance plan for your home. It will not cover routine maintenance and repairs. As a homeowner, you are responsible for the upkeep of your home.
Will my Vermont home insurance cover mold damage?
Mold damage is often excluded from a standard home insurance policy. With expanded coverage and endorsements, you may be able to include some mold coverage for your home. If mold is a concern consult with your insurance agent about your options. It is up to the homeowner to be aware of conditions that may create mold growth within their homes, such as poor ventilation, unattended water damage, and roof leaks.
How does Home Insurance Claims Process Work in Vermont?
People pay their insurance premiums, hoping that we never need to file a claim. Unfortunately claims happen. Here are some statistics about home insurance claims in Vermont.
As of 2019 Vermont ranked #49 in the United States for average amount of insurance losses at approximately $85,000,000.
The most common home insurance claims include water damage, storm damage and fire damage. Followed by lightning strikes and theft.
Of course, Vermont is a small and not very populated state. If you compare Vermont to a large state like California during the same timeframe, California ranked #1 with an estimated average amount of losses of $10,734,000,000.
How do you know when to file a home insurance claim?
Sometimes, it is unclear whether you should file a claim for damages or losses. Here are some guidelines.
- Is it a covered peril?
- Is damage less than your deductible?
- Is it better to pay for the claim out of pocket if the amount is not too great?
- You prefer to filing a claim to avoid a possible rate increase in the future.
If you are unsure, talk to your agent, they are happy to help you determine if you should file a claim.
How do I file a home insurance claim for my Vermont home?
Call your Vermont agent or your insurance company and provide them with the following information to get started.
- Have your policy number handy
- Have details of the damages or loss and pictures if possible.
- Was there anyone else involved in the accident?
- Did anyone suffer any injuries related to the claim?
Be prepared to provide follow-up information or answer additional questions your agent or insurance company may have. Once the claim is filed you are assigned an insurance adjuster who will investigate and report on the claim. The insurance company will use the information to determine the amount paid according to the terms of your policy.
How much will my insurance company pay when I file a claim?
Payout amounts vary by policy and the type of claim. Here are some factors that help determine the amount paid,
- Amount of your deductible(s)
- Repair estimates
- Coverage limits of your policy
- Result of the claims adjusters claims investigation and report
How long does it take for my insurance company to pay for my home insurance claim?
Depending on the size, scope, and complexity of the damage or loss, the time for the insurance company to payout will vary. That’s why it’s essential to communicate closely with the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim. Insurance companies by law are required to respond to your initial claim and keep in touch with you throughout the claim process. Your agent will be kept up to date on your claim as well.
Keep receipts if you need housing or living expenses paid while repairing your home. The insurance company may start paying for some out-of-pocket costs outlined in your policy.
What is an Insurance Claims Adjuster and what do they do?
Vermont Insurance Adjusters respond to your insurance claim on behalf of the insurance company. They may work for or work under contract for your insurance company, they investigate your claim, research your policy, and report the finding back to your insurance company.
They look at the facts of the claim to help you reach claims resolution with your insurance company. They are also looking out for the insurance company to make sure the claim is not fraudulent. Be prepared to answer questions about the nature of the claim, parties involved, timeline for damages, and the type of damage or loss that occurred. While investigating, they may speak to you to gather facts and understand the claim, talk to witnesses, take photos or videos, research records, or consult with experts.
Here are three examples of claims filed in Vermont:
- In Vermont, snow and wind is common. Storms may cause a tree to fall on your home, damaging your roof. An adjusted will get details from you about the claim, take photos of your damaged roof, and may consult with a roofing expert about the repairs.
- Your home on a quite Vermont back road was broken into by a thief. An adjusted will contact you to ask about the damage to your home and get a list of stolen property, they may also review the police report.
- A guest at your home slips and falls. They suffer injuries and file a claim for medical expenses. Your adjusted may inspect the place of the fall, take photos, talk to other witnesses who were there at the time, and review medical records.
Adjusted use the information they gather to prepare a report for the insurance company that will help determine the final payment amount for the claim.
Tips for Understanding your Vermont Home Insurance
Is my home insurance transferable if I sell my home?
An insurance policy is a binding contract between you and the insurance company not between your house and the insurance company. The insurance policy should reflect the name on the deed. When you sell your home or even gift it to a family member, they are required to get their own insurance policy.
Even if you continue to pay on the initial policy, once the property legally changes hands the home insurance policy is no longer in force. That means if you file a claim, you will not have coverage.
What is a Policy Dec or Page?
Dec page stands for declarations page it summarizes your Vermont home insurance coverage. It is one of the first pages of your policy. It lists your coverage types A, B, C, D, E, F, and the corresponding limits. Policies vary, but here’s some basic information you may see on your Home Insurance Policy Dec Page.
The Named Insured – This is the person or persons the policy is written for.
Policy Effective Date – This is the date when the policy becomes active or is in force.
Property Address – The physical address where the property is located.
Brief Description of the Residence – Includes buy is not limited to type of home, year built, responding fire department, occupancy, construction type, roof type, protection class and primary source of heat.
List of Coverages and Endorsements along with the policy limits
- Dwelling – Coverage A: Protection for the structure, like your roof, flooring, or other materials throughout your home up to the amount listed on your policy.
- Other structures – Coverage B: Protection for structures not attached to your home, like a shed, detached garage, or fence up to the amount listed on your policy.
- Personal property – Coverage C: Protection for your personal belongings such as clothing, jewelry, or electronics and movable things in your home such as appliances due to loss because of a covered peril up to the amount listed on your policy.
- Loss of use – Coverage D: Coverage reimbursement for expenses related to displacement from your home. If you need to live elsewhere after a covered peril you may receive reimbursement for expenses up to amount listed on your policy.
- Coverage E – Personal liability: Pays for other people’s property damage and bodily injury claims. If you’re held legally responsible up to the limits of the policy.
- Medical payments – Coverage F: Pays for medical expenses to other people for bodily injury that happened on your property up to the limits of the policy.
Billing Details – Information includes the number of payments, total premium and amount of the down payment.
Underwriting Details – It may include specific information related to risk management that may be of significance for underwriting the policy. Such as, security features, smoke detectors, etc.
List of Policy Discounts – Discounts that apply to your policy. For example, claims free discount or bundled policy discount.
What is a Covered Peril?
Peril is not a term people use every day. A Peril refers to a specific event or hazard that results in loss or damage to your home or property. It describes what caused the damage; it is not the damage itself. For example, roof damage is not a peril, the wind is. Wind is what caused the damage and is a covered peril. Your policy includes covered perils as well as exclusions. An excluded peril means your home insurance policy does not cover damages caused by the excluded peril.
It is possible to get expanded coverage to help cover some excluded perils, you will either need an additional policy, like in the case of flood and earthquake insurance, or a policy endorsement on your existing policy. Endorsements offer extra coverage and will result in a premium increase. An example of a policy endorsement is Water or Sewer Backup Coverage.
What are policy limits listed on my home insurance?
Policy limits refer to the maximum amount your insurance company pays for a covered peril according to the terms of your policy. Each coverage type has a coverage limit assigned. Coverage limits are available at different levels. Consult with your insurance advisor to ensure the coverage limits match your needs.
Low policy limits mean less payout if you suffer a loss or damage, whereas higher policy limits offer larger payouts by your insurance company. Consult with your insurance agent about the recommended policy coverage limits for your home.
What is the difference between replacement value and market value?
Replacement value is the estimated amount of money it will take to rebuild your home from the ground up. It includes labor rates for your market, materials, and loss of personal property and contents. Market value is how much your home would sell for in today’s market. The purpose of insurance is to restore your home to its original state before the loss. It is often higher than the market value of your home. Market value represents the estimated value of your home if you plan to sell it. Insurance companies calculate replacement value when determining how much coverage you need.
What is the difference between cancellation and non-renewal?
A non-renewal of your Vermont Homeowner’s policy happens at the end of your policy term. It is when your insurance company decides not to renew your policy. In this case your agent will help you find new coverage with a different company. It may be due to underwriting concerns (identified risks with the property), late payment history, or change in claims status to name a few.
Cancellations can happen during the policy term and can be initiated by the insured or the company. For example, the insured want to change insurance providers. An insurance company can only cancel your policy due to a breach of contract during the policy term. For example, for lack of payment.
If your policy is cancelled by you or your insurance company, it’s important that you do not have a lapse in coverage. Leaving yourself exposed without insurance coverage could be catastrophic to your financial security, and lapses in coverage could make it hard to secure a new policy at a competitive rate. Your Vermont based insurance agent can advise you on steps you need to take to maintain insurance coverage for your home, whether it’s addressing underwriting issues with an existing carrier or finding a new policy with a new company.
Get the most out of your home insurance coverage
Protecting your financial wellness and lifestyle starts with understanding how your home insurance works. Partner with a local insurance expert who understands your insurance needs. Local independent agents have the expertise and tools to customize your insurance protection plan. If you have any questions, would like a quote or a home insurance policy review, please reach out to us. We’re here to help.
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