Wyoming homeowners insurance
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What do Wyoming residents pay for home insurance?
Wyoming residents enjoy relatively low homeowners insurance rates. The state ranks in the lower third among the states for the cost of homeowners insurance. The average cost for Wyoming homeowners insurance is $840 annually or $70 monthly. Nationwide, people pay an average of $110 every month for homeowners insurance.
Why does Wyoming have inexpensive homeowners insurance?
Wyoming has a low property crime rate, which is one reason homeowners insurance rates are lower than in other states. When asked about safety in a recent survey, over 75% of residents said that they feel safe in Wyoming.
Home prices in the Equality State are slightly lower than the national average of $300,000. Therefore, insurance premiums are slightly lower than states with higher-than-average home prices.
Finding the best homeowners insurance rate means doing some research before you buy. VIU by HUB has online tools that compare companies and policies. You can see what each company charges for homeowners insurance and decide which plan suits your needs.
What are common risks for homeowners in Wyoming?
While Wyoming residents benefit from low crime rates and comparatively low housing prices, there are risks to homes in the state. Owners should know potential hazards and protect their investments with a solid Wyoming homeowners insurance policy.
While Wyoming is not one of the top five states for wildfire risk, they can and do happen. The state had 828 wildfires in 2020, ranking Wyoming in seventh place. Many wildfires are caused by humans, though lightning strikes and drought can also start fires.
Wyoming gets an average of 56 inches of snow annually, double the national average of 28 inches per year. Heavy snow can damage rooftops and clog gutters, while temperatures that stay below freezing can cause pipes to burst.
FEMA and the United States Geological Survey classify Wyoming as a state with a high seismic hazard. Earthquakes occur in every county, with at least a 6.25 event possible anywhere in the state. The northwestern corner around Yellowstone National Park sees the most frequent seismic activity.
Earthquakes can cause damage to homes. The extent depends on structural and geologic factors, but major damage is possible.
Landslides are common in Wyoming, though most do not affect populated areas. They happen most frequently in the springtime. When they occur in a region with homes, they can cause damage to property and infrastructure. Groundwater levels, geologic structure and slope are variables affecting their severity.
Heavy rain, severe storms and snow melt can cause flooding, and Wyoming is susceptible to floods for several reasons, including:
• Steep terrain.
• Varied soil conditions.
• Burn scars after wildfires.
• Runoff from melting snow and ice.
Wyoming flooding peaks in July and August when monsoon water moves northward into the state. Flooding can cause severe damage to homes, affecting the foundation and causing floors to buckle.
Add-ons or additional policies
Because some perils are excluded from standard homeowners insurance policies, you may need to purchase additional coverage for:
• Flooding from storm surges or heavy rain.
• Drain and sewer backups.
For example, separate Flood Insurance is available in a policy from an insurance company or from the National Flood Insurance Program. Ask your VIU by HUB Advisor for details.
What affects Wyoming homeowners insurance rates?
Your rates can vary depending on where you live in Wyoming. Every city and community is different, and homeowners insurance premiums reflect that.
To make sure you're getting the best rate, use VIU by HUB's online tool to compare different companies. Comparing rates gives you an overall view of what insurers charge for homeowners insurance policies.
Insurers look at your ZIP code when determining your policy costs because some areas have higher crime rates, severe weather risks or an increased number of claims.
Cheyenne and Casper have some of the highest Wyoming homeowners insurance rates, while Sheridan's rates are closer to the median price in the state. One reason may be that the cost of living is higher in Cheyenne and Casper than in Sheridan. This factor can prompt insurers to charge more. Sheridan also has a lower property crime rate than the other two cities, meaning fewer people file claims there.
The proximity of your home to a fire department or hydrant can also affect your rates. Being close to fire protection makes your house statistically less susceptible to smoke and fire damage. Conversely, the further your home is from these protective elements, the higher your rates may be.
Your Property Deductible, the amount you pay before the insurance company's coverage begins, can affect your premiums. The higher your deductible, the less you pay monthly for coverage. If you'd like to reduce your monthly premium and can afford to pay more out-of-pocket, consider raising your Property Deductible.
Age and construction of home
Older homes can cost more to insure because their age makes them more susceptible to damage. Building materials like block, brick and fire-resistant roofs may make a home less costly to insure.
What does a standard Wyoming homeowners insurance policy cover?
Homeowners insurance is a financial protection policy that pays to repair or replace your house if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, weather, theft or other disasters. Homeowners insurance is an important purchase for many people. Homeowners insurance covers the structure of your home and your Personal Property, as well as your personal legal responsibility (or Liability) for injuries to others or their property while they are on your property. Most mortgage lenders require you to have insurance while you have a mortgage and to list them as the lender on the policy.
Most homeowners insurance policies provide a package of coverages. The main types of coverages are:
· Dwelling Coverage: Pays for damage to your house and to structures attached to your house such as an attached garage or attached barn. This includes damage to fixtures, such as plumbing, electrical wiring, heating and permanently installed air-conditioning systems.
· Other Structures: Pays for damage to fences, sheds, freestanding garages, guest cottages and other structures that are not attached to your house.
· Personal Property: Reimburses you for the value of your possessions, including furniture, electronics, appliances and clothing that become damaged or lost even when they aren’t on your property, such as those at an off-site storage locker or with your child away at college.
· Loss of Use: Pays some of your additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable while it is being repaired.
· Personal Liability: Covers your financial losses if you are sued and found legally responsible for injuries to someone else or for damage to another person’s property.
· Medical Payments: Pays medical bills for people injured while on your property.
Homeowners insurance options
Homeowners insurance is extremely customizable and enables you to add options in many combinations to a basic policy in order to protect more of your assets. In the U.S., there are multiple types of standardized homeowners insurance packages. There are Basic policy forms as well as Broad and Comprehensive forms that offer several protection levels based on the type of structure and the owner's specific needs.
The Dwelling portion of a homeowners policy is the key Property Damage feature. There are three conditions that you can choose for the value that a claim will be paid upon after a loss to the dwelling:
Actual Cash Value
This valuation is based on the value of the property, minus the cost of depreciation.
Coverage at this valuation level pays the cost to rebuild or repair the structure based on current construction costs.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost
This is the most comprehensive valuation level. It pays for the total cost of rebuilding or repairing the home, even if that exceeds the policy limits. Guaranteed Replacement Cost has a built-in buffer against inflation, but it comes at a much higher cost than the other levels of insurance coverage.
You may want additional coverage beyond the standard policy offerings if you have high-value items such as antiques, jewelry or artwork that only have limited coverage in a homeowners policy.
This information is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.