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The Commonwealth of Virginia is known as “The Mother of Presidents” because a record eight presidents have been born there. The “Old Dominion” was the first established colony of the original 13 colonies, and so the Virginia General Assembly, founded in 1619, is the oldest continuing law-making body in the US. Since then, Virginia has been susceptible to hurricanes, thunderstorms, and other weather events that represent serious homeowners insurance risks.
Virginia’s average insurance premiums are lower than the rest of the country’s. According to the most recent available data from the Insurance Information Institute, in 2014, the average cost of homeowners insurance in the state of Virginia was $946, a bit lower than the national average of $1,132. There are 19 states that have lower average home insurance rates than Virginia, and 31 states that are higher.
|Virginia Annual Average||$843||$911||$946|
|Virginia Price Per Month||$70||$76||$79|
|US Annual Average||$1,034||$1,096||$1,132|
|US Cost Per Month||$86||$91||$94|
Choosing a homeowners insurance company in Virginia should be easier. Actually, it’s already easy; you could just go with whichever company your mortgage lender recommends, but you probably won’t get the best rates that way. The key to finding the best rates is to get a home insurance quotes comparison in Virginia from multiple companies.
Last year, these were the most common home insurance companies reported by QuoteWizard users living in the state of Virginia. Out of the 16,784 Virginia homeowners that used QuoteWizard to request insurance quotes last year, 889 had no home insurance.
Why contact every individual company in Virginia that you want a homeowners quote from when you can just answer a few questions about your home and desired coverage, and get competing quotes from agents? Save time and money with QuoteWizard.
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||USAA Insurance Group||$290,200||15.0%|
|3||Travelers Companies Inc.||$197,716||10.2%|
|4||Nationwide Mutual Group||$181,503||9.4%|
|6||Erie Insurance Group||$102,761||5.3%|
|7||Farmers Insurance Group of Cos.||$53,371||2.8%|
|8||VA Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co.||$48,068||2.5%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/5/2015)
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||United Service Automobile Assurance Co.||$942,767||8.1%|
|2||Nationwide Mutual Group||$856,049||7.3%|
|5||Travelers Companies Inc.||$650,076||5.6%|
|7||Erie Insurance Co.||$437,459||3.7%|
|9||American International Group||$423,266||3.6%|
|*Represents both home and auto insurance|
Many different factors come into play when insurance companies calculate the cost of homeowners insurance. Some, like the age of your home, are within your control. Others, like crime rates or natural disasters, are beyond your control. Here are some of the factors that affect the cost of homeowners insurance in Virginia.
Home prices can greatly affect the cost of insurance in any given state. A higher average home price generally means higher premiums in that state. For Virginia, the average listing price is $330,857 as of July 2015, a bit higher than the national average of $284,748.
Burglary is a serious and sometimes violent property crime. States with higher average burglary rates generally have higher average home insurance premiums, because the likelihood that someone will need to file a claim is higher. According to data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, in 2013, Virginia’s average burglary rate was 322.5 per 100,000 people, which is about half the national average of 610.0 per 100,000.
States with more law enforcement per capita tend to be safer than states with fewer policemen and women. In Virginia, there are 39.5 law enforcement personnel per 100,000 total citizens, which is slightly more than the national median of 32 per 100,000.
Virginia’s geography is divided into five regions, each with slightly different climates. To the east is the Tidewater region, which borders both the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Heading west are the foothills of the Piedmont, followed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, then the Ridge and Valley region, and finally the Cumberland Plateau.
Because of this variability in temperature and precipitation, homeowners insurance hazards are different in different parts of the state.
Hot and humid summers: Though large variety exists in Virginia’s climate, hot and humid summers are present throughout the state. High temperatures are above 80 degrees, on average, starting in June. Summer temperatures last longer in the eastern portions of the state. July tends to be the hottest month of the year overall. From Richmond in the central region to Newport News on the coast, high temperatures average 90 degrees. Even in the typically colder mountainous regions, average highs are 83 degrees. By October, summer will have ended, though central and coastal regions maintain averages above 70 degrees at that time of the year.
Humidity is extremely high during the summer in Virginia, making it quite uncomfortable. August is particularly humid, when the entire state experiences average humidity around 90%. High humidity like this can damage to homes because it encourages mold and mildew development.
Thunderstorms: Summer is thunderstorm season in Virginia, and they are most common in central and western regions. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Virginia averages 40 days with thunderstorms per year, with the majority occurring between June and August. These thunderstorms bring heavy rains, strong winds, lightning, flash floods, sometimes hail, and can even produce tornadoes. Lightning is more common in southern regions of Virginia, and causes a number of untimely deaths and dozens of injuries every year. Virginia averages 6 tornadoes per year. It is important to note that the only way to obtain flood insurance is through the National Flood Insurance Program. Learn more about the NFIP here.
Hurricanes: Sitting on the Atlantic Coast, Virginia is no stranger to hurricanes. According to NOAA, Virginia has been hit by 10 hurricanes, including 1 that was considered “major,” meaning category 3 or above. Hurricanes can completely devastate whole towns at a time, bringing with them extreme winds, heavy rains, flood, tornadoes, and can force people to evacuate their homes, cause power outages, and consequently destroy personal property, homes, and infrastructure. Virginia Beach, Virginia is ranked as the #7 city in the US that has been hit by the most hurricanes, with four. The only cities with more are in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, which experience hurricanes with much higher frequency. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel caused Virginia about $2 billion in damages. In 2004, Hurricane Gaston severely damaged Richmond, submerging twenty city blocks under water with flood waters up to 10 feet high, and spawning 19 tornadoes afterwards.
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