Severe weather causes costly damages

The winters in Maine can be severe, especially in the northern part of the state, and the coasts are highly vulnerable to hurricanes. Maine homeowners should consider purchasing home insurance for protection against extreme weather as well as other unexpected events.

How Much Does Maine Home Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Maine was $676. The exact amount of your premium will depend on a number of factors, including the age and condition of your home, as well as the amount of deducible you pay, your credit rating, and any additional coverage you choose.

If your home is along the coast, where it’s highly vulnerable to the effects of a storm, such as wind and rain damage, you can expect to pay higher insurance premiums than someone who is inland. There are ways you may be able to reduce your premiums. Adding a security system, going with the same insurance company that provides your car insurance, reinforcing your home against wind and rain, and choosing a higher deductible can help reduce your insurance rates.

What Does It Cover?

Home insurance protects you from potentially debilitating bills by covering damage to your home and personal belongings caused by natural perils such as fire, theft, rain, and wind. In addition to insuring your property, homeowner’s insurance also protects you against liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their belongings while one your property. As a no-fault protection, liability insurance can help pay for medical expenses and legal fees, regardless of who is to blame.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Maine?

Home insurance is not required by law in Maine. However, buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances, and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property. The Maine Bureau of Insurance has more information for consumers about home insurance.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. Flooding is not one of the perils that homeowner’s insurance policies cover. For protection, you can turn to the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides flood insurance as a separate policy to those who qualify, or a private insurer. If you live in a flood plain your mortgage lender may require that you buy flood insurance.
  • Hurricanes and Windstorm. While homeowner’s insurance combined with flood insurance will provide coverage of damage from wind and rain, it might not be enough. For areas that have greater hurricane risk, either hurricane or windstorm deductibles are options. Some insurers may even mandate them. Hurricane deductibles cover damage from hurricanes, while windstorm or wind/hail deductibles cover wind damage. Unlike traditional deductibles, which are a set number, they are often based on a percentage of the replacement cost. Given its high-risk for hurricanes, Maine is one of 18 states where insurers are able to incorporate hurricane deductibles into homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • Ice storms. Ice damage is one of the perils generally covered under home insurance, but before you suffer from ice damage, make sure you know what exactly your policy covers. For example, ice damage may cause a tree on your property to fall over, and you’ll want to make sure your policy covers tree removal. Additionally, not all insurance policies cover damage from the build-up of ice along the edge of a roof which can cause leaks or roof damage.

Mobile Home Insurance in Maine

Mobile or manufactured home insurance policies, such as the policy offered by Allstate, cover the mobile home itself, adjacent structures, and personal belongings if damaged from such events as fire or rain, as well as liability in the event someone’s injured on your property. Some policies may also cover damage from flooding or earthquakes, which is normally a separate policy from homeowner’s insurance.

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