Severe winters take their toll on homes

Massachusetts is the most populous of the six New England states, with homeowners in metropolitan, urban, and rural areas. While it is not required in Massachusetts, purchasing home insurance will protect you from the financial costs of unforeseen losses.

How Much Does Massachusetts Home Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Massachusetts was $1,050. The level of coverage you select, as well as your deductible, will affect the cost of your insurance. Other factors, such as the age and condition of your home, the building materials used, and the geographic location of your home can affect your rate.

While an insurance agent can help you determine the appropriate policy for your situation, it is up to you to select the coverage that is affordable and best suits your needs. The Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA), also known as the Massachusetts FAIR Plan (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements), provides basic property insurance on eligible property for applicants who have been unable to gain insurance through the voluntary market.

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, lightning, theft, vandalism, rain, wind, and other perils. Liability insurance is usually, but not always, a part of most standard home insurance policies, and protects you against a potential lawsuit from someone who alleges that he or she suffered bodily injury or property damage due to your negligence.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Massachusetts?

Home insurance is not required by law in Massachusetts. 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 Massachusetts Division of Insurance has more information for consumers about home insurance.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. Standard home policies do not cover flood damage, but a separate flood insurance policy will cover damages caused by flood waters. Massachusetts home owners in participating communities can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Lenders will require flood insurance from owners whose homes are located in flood plains, however, residents who do not live in flood plains should not write off the importance of purchasing flood insurance. Consider buying flood insurance if your house could be flooded by melting snow or an overflowing creek.
  • Windstorm. Windstorm protection is offered in the Broad Form (HO-2), which provides more extensive coverage than the Basic Form (HO-1). However, insurance carriers may apply a specific wind deductible on certain insurance policies if a home is located in an area that is susceptible to wind or hurricane damage. Many insurance companies have implemented mandatory wind loss deductibles, as they have become more aware of the costs associated with windstorm losses.
  • Fire and Lightning. The Broad Form (HO-2) covers damage due to fire or lightning. However, individuals should make sure that their policy will cover all potential damages to your home or personal property caused by fire or lightning.

Mobile Home Insurance in Massachusetts

Just like homeowner’s insurance, mobile home insurance covers property loss and physical liability. Sometimes called manufactured home insurance, policies are tailored to rental and commercial mobile homes and whether they’re used seasonally, in a park, or on private property.

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