UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020
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Home insurance prices in North Carolina are more affordable than many other states, coming in 37% below the national average. The state is varied, however, and rates can differ, with higher prices in big cities and coastal locations where storms are a risk. Shopping around for the best home insurance for your part of North Carolina is the best way to ensure you get a good value.
The Basics North Carolina Home Insurance
Home insurance is not like car insurance – there is no law that requires you to carry it. But if you have a mortgage – and most homeowners do – you will need to have a policy that meets your lender’s requirements. This protects the lender’s interest in the home, but a homeowner’s policy also protects you and your biggest investment.
Failure to carry a home insurance policy will result in the lender buying a policy for you and charging you for it. You will pay for it, but this type of coverage – called force-placed – only covers the lender. It will not have any coverage for you, your personal property, or any other protection. And since it is also not any cheaper, it’s best to get the right coverage in place and keep it there.
A standard homeowner’s policy in North Carolina includes coverage for the dwelling itself, for your personal property, and for liability. It also includes coverage for living expenses when your home is being repaired due to a covered loss and you must live somewhere else. In addition to the basics, a long list of other coverage is available – depending on the company additional coverage may be included as standard or may be added on as endorsements.
Specifics of Home Insurance in Texas
There is nothing particularly unusual about North Carolina home insurance policies, but as a coastal state it is worth noting that in some areas, flood insurance may be required, and in other areas at the very least recommended.
Flood damage is not covered by a standard home insurance policy. Some companies do offer it as an endorsement; in most cases, it is sold as a separate policy. Homes located in high risk flood areas will need to purchase this coverage to make sure they can repair damage and replace contents after a flood.
Our process for determining the best insurance companies for North Carolina homeowners is made up of a look at several factors. These factors add up to an idea of the value offered by an insurer and are price, reputation, and policy offerings.
Price is the biggest factor in choosing an insurance company for many people, but not all insurance is created equal. Cheaper policies may mean compromising coverage, and in many cases, the insured is not aware of the exclusions or limitations on the policy until there is a claim that isn’t covered. Getting the right coverage for a good price is the goal of selecting a home insurance policy.
Similarly, a good price is not a good deal if the company’s customer service isn’t up to par. This is especially true when it comes to claims handling. Good value comes from a company that will be there for you when you need them – because that is why you are paying them.
Our method, therefore, is to look for companies that have a great reputation. We research them on consumer survey sites as well as a variety of reviews sites, looking for low complaint volumes and responsiveness to customer issues. We also look at the company’s policies, seeking comprehensive coverage that does not skimp to save a few dollars. Our picks offer more coverage as standard parts of the policy than competitors.
Of course, we also looked for insurance companies that offer competitive rates along with their good reputation and great coverage.
Finally, we selected only companies that offer home insurance to the largest possible segment of the population. That means we did not select companies that have eligibility requirements, such as USAA – which is a great company if you are a military member and qualify – nor did we choose companies that cater only to a segment of the population.
Our Top Picks
These three companies all offer North Carolina homeowners a good value in home insurance, with great customer service and comprehensive policies at a good price.
The North Carolina Farm Bureau has a great reputation for customer service, with many rave reviews from customers. They are not big enough to rank with J.D. Power, but their size and local histomakekes them experts on the needs of North Carolina homeowners.
They do require policyholders to become members, but at only $25 a year, it is a negligible fee for the benefits – plenty of discounts and a good rate on home insurance. They are the second largest home insurance company by market share in the state for good reason.
Amica Mutual holds the title of the top home insurance company in the nation according to J.D. Power’s annual survey – a title they have held for some time. They are the award winner not just for overall service, but also for claims satisfaction, which means customers can expect a smooth experience overall.
They are also one of the most affordable options in North Carolina, and the great rates come with excellent coverage. Extended replacement cost on the home is a standard part of the policy, and there are also a lot of other standard benefits. They are a good pick for bundling insurance, too, since they have one of the biggest auto insurance/home insurance discounts around.
State Farm is the biggest home insurance company in the country, and they are number one in North Carolina. With great customer service ratings and a reputation for taking good care of customers through a personal, agent-driven approach, they are at the top for a reason.
State Farm is also very competitive when it comes to rates, a fact that often takes homeowners by surprise. They also offer a great auto/home discount, which means those looking to bundle will want to consider them, and their policies are solid and comprehensive, with plenty of standard inclusions.
Shopping for Home Insurance in North Carolina
With fast-growing cities as well as coastal and rural communities, North Carolina’s homeowners have diverse needs. That means that while one company may be great for someone in Raleigh, a small-town homeowner may not find them competitive – and vice versa. Shopping your rate around to compare policies is the best way to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Shopping for home insurance is a little more complex than car insurance, which is why plenty of homeowners select the option offered by their mortgage broker at closing and do not bother to shop rates regularly. It is worth your time, however, as rates can change even from one year to the next. And when it comes to protecting your home, making sure you have the right coverage is well worth the effort of comparing policies – not just prices.
Great value is available from big-name insurance companies in North Carolina, but smaller companies can have a lot to offer. It is worth having an agent pull together some quotes for you to get a look at the options that might otherwise fly under the radar.
The Bottom Line
A good price on home insurance is not too hard to find in North Carolina, so make sure to focus on the value offered by the policy and not just the rates. Any of our top picks are a safe bet for most homeowners but take into consideration your specific needs as well so that you can get the policy you really need and the peace of mind that comes with it.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.