Homeowners Insurance in Washington D.C.

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Washington D.C. does not require homeowners insurance by law, but most mortgage lenders require you to get coverage. Shop for homeowners insurance by comparing quotes and choosing the policy with the coverage you need. 
Whether you financed or purchased your home outright, you’ll want homeowners insurance to protect your house from common Washington D.C. perils—from hurricanes and wind storms to vandalism. Every state is different when it comes to what could damage your house, so it’s important to understand state-specific factors to find the coverage you need.
The home and car insurance broker app Jerry has everything you need to know about homeowners insurance in Washington D.C.—including what it is, the perils it covers, and how much it costs. 
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What is homeowners insurance? 

Homeowners insurance pays for losses and damages to your home, property, and your personal belongings in the event of a covered disaster. The standard homeowners’ insurance policy provides coverage to repair or rebuild your home, and even litigation fees. 

Basic components of homeowners insurance

Your homeowners insurance policy will cover interior damage, exterior damage, loss or damage of personal property inside the house, an injury that occurs on the property, and temporary living expenses. 
  • Structure (Coverage A): Pays to repair or replace damage to the interior or exterior of your house caused by covered disasters like fire, lightning, windstorms, and vandalism. 
  • Additional structures (Coverage B): Damages to freestanding garages, sheds, fences, or other structures on your property caused by disasters will also be covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Personal property (Coverage C): Provides financial compensation for personal belongings destroyed in an insured disaster. From clothing and jewelry to furniture and appliances, your homeowners’ insurance policy will cover most of the contents of your home. 
  • Personal liability (Coverage D): Liability coverage protects you from possible lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that occur on your property by a family member, or even a pet. 
  • Additional living expenses (Coverage E): Reimburses you for rent, hotel rooms, meals, and any other temporary living expenses incurred while you're waiting for your home to be repaired.
There are three levels of coverage you can purchase. Your most basic coverage is covering the actual cash value (ACV), which is the cost of your home and its belongings at the time of its loss. 
The replacement cost is the amount it costs to rebuild your home with materials up to your insurance limit while the guaranteed or extended replacement cost pays for the cost to rebuild your home at current prices, even if it exceeds your liability limit.

Named perils

The named perils your homeowners insurance covers will be outlined in your policy. Named perils vary by state, but in Washington D.C. the perils typically covered include:
  • Wind damage
  • Fire
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Thunderstorm
  • Vandalism
Make sure you review your policy to understand what is and is not covered by your homeowners insurance. 
Key Takeaway: Be aware of any common perils that occur in your state and aren’t covered by your homeowners’ insurance. 

Is homeowners insurance required in Washington D.C.?

Washington D.C. does not require you to purchase homeowners insurance, but your lender will. If you plan to finance your house, the bank or lender requires you to carry coverage to be eligible for a mortgage loan. 

How to get homeowners insurance

The process of shopping for homeowners insurance is similar to that of car insurance. You’ll begin by comparing quotes from several insurance providers online. Insurance premium quotes vary between carriers, so don’t settle for the first quote you receive. 
Get a quote from your car insurance carrier and find savings by bundling your home and auto insurance policies. Bundling discounts can typically save you 5-10% on your insurance premium, so it’s worth checking.
Save time and money by comparing home and auto insurance quotes with Jerry, the price comparison and the broker app.  
If you own a home in Washington D.C., hurricanes, severe storms, snow, and flooding are the most common disasters in the area that could damage your home. 
While the standard homeowners insurance policy typically covers the first three perils, flooding is rarely covered. If your home is located in a potential flood risk zone, you may need to purchase additional flood insurance.
If you are in a flood zone, you may want to consider the following protections: 
  • Water backup coverage can pay for water removal and repairs following a burst or backed-up pipe.
  • Flood insurance protects your home from flooding from a source outside of your home. You can get it through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (FLIP) or a referral. 
  • An HO-5 or open perils policy covers any peril unless it’s specifically listed as an exclusion in your policy.
Be sure to carefully read your policy before signing to ensure it has the coverage you need. 

How much does homeowners insurance cost in Washington D.C.?

Homeowners in Washington D.C. can expect to pay significantly less than the national average cost of homeowners insurance. 
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Washington D.C. is $902 per year, while the national average cost is $1,477 annually. However, there are a number of factors that cause your insurance premium to cost more than the average in your area. 

Claims

Your insurance premium may be higher than your neighbor’s if you’ve filed a claim. Because your insurance carrier believes you’ll likely file another claim, they proactively raise your premium to compensate for any future claim payouts. 
The amount your insurance rate increases will depend on the type of claim you file, the extent of damage, and your personal claims history. 

Crime rates

The crime rates in your neighborhood can increase the cost of your homeowners’ insurance premiums. If your neighborhood experiences frequent vandalism or theft, insurance companies may consider your home risky to insure.

Homeowners insurance discounts in Washington D.C.

You can save money on your homeowners insurance policy if you’re eligible for discounts.  Whichever insurance company you choose, they likely offer the following common homeowners’ insurance discounts:
DiscountHow to get it
BundlingBundling home and auto insurance could earn you a 5% to 10% discount on your policies
First-time homeownerIf it’s your first time purchasing a home, most insurance companies will offer you a discount.
Claims-freeIf you haven’t filed a claim in the last 2 to 3 years, you may receive a discounted rate.
Storm proofingIf you live in an area prone to natural disaster, upgrading your roof or installing weather-related safety measures could earn you a discount on your homeowners’ policy.
Security systemSet up a security system to prevent theft and you may be eligible for a discounted insurance rate.
Upgraded fire alarmSetting up your fire alarm to contact the fire department directly could earn you a discount.

How to save on home and auto insurance

Sifting through and comparing quotes to find affordable homeowners insurance can be stressful and time-consuming. But with Jerry, it's as easy as downloading the app and sending a text.
Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a homeowners and car insurance policy that is customized for you.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy! So why do all that extra work when Jerry can do it better?
Jerry had a super simple app that was easy to navigate. And their terrific customer service made everything even easier. Plus I saved $700 in a single year.” —Lucia M.
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