Nebraska is a flat state situated at the northern end of “Tornado Alley” which gets a lot of extreme weather throughout the year. Because of this, annual premiums for basic homeowners insurance policies are significantly more expensive due to more frequent claims against hail, snow, and rain damage. Some areas of Nebraska are at such a high risk for flooding that certain mortgage lenders will make NFIP coverage mandatory. But property values are reasonably affordable, which can help
- Fun fact – Did you know that the original state nickname for Nebraska was the “Tree Planter’s State”? Cornhusker State is a nice name too, though.
Average Rates in Nebraska
What should you expect to pay for your average annual premium if you’re a Nebraska homeowner? According to the most recent data, the average annual premium for a single-family Nebraska home is around $1,481 per year. Out of all 50 states, it’s ranked #10 in order from the most to the least expensive – which is not a cheap spot! The national average for annual premiums was $1,211 as of 2017. Just above it on this list are MAssachusetts and Colorado; but Connecticut and Alabama are slightly more affordable.
But what if you’re looking to rent instead of owning your own home? Compared to the national average, Nebraska renters aren’t in a bad spot. Well the national average is around $180 annually for renters insurance premiums, Nebraska residents are paying slightly less at an average of $143. It’s not the biggest discount, but it’s a lot better than nothing.
Nebraska Legal Insurance Requirements
So many Insurance products are required by either state or federal law, that you would think homeowners insurance would be the same. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not legally required. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t required in a different way. If your home is still under a mortgage, then the vast majority of banks and lenders will require you to take out homeowners insurance to protect that investment. Once you finish paying off your mortgage, you are free to discontinue or reduce your coverage as you see fit. But while you are still making payments on your home, the average lender will require you to carry fairly comprehensive coverage that will pay out at least 80% of the replacement cost of your structure.
Common Risk Factors in Nebraska
Rain, flooding, hail, and snow are the biggest natural disasters in Nebraska. For some homeowners, NFIP flood insurance may be optional; for others, especially those in a Special Flood Hazard Area, it may be mandatory according to your mortgage lender.
Some parts of Nebraska are considered so high risk that you may have trouble finding coverage from your average, everyday insurance provider. Some homeowners get rejected multiple times when trying to find a company who will cover them. That’s why the FAIR program exists. In the State of Nebraska, unfortunately, the FAIR program isn’t exactly a well-organized operation. Your best bet is to call around and ask other insurance companies for help finding a FAIR policy provider in your area. If you’re still having trouble, try contact the Nebraska Department of Insurance. But you should only look for a FAIR policy if you have been rejected multiple times and absolutely cannot find standard insurance coverage. The reason for this is because FAIR plans are usually exorbitantly more expensive as they are a last resort and do not have to be priced competitively with other insurance products.
Insurance Demographics/Statistics in Nebraska
So you already know that your location and the natural disasters which occur frequently there are some of the biggest contributing factors to the total cost of your homeowners insurance premium. But what other factors come into play? Well, we’re about to discuss the next four biggest factors which can make or break your premium.
- Value of your Home: Typical home values in Nebraska average out at about $178,938. This is just shy of $80,000 less the national average. Why is this important? Because it means you’ll be paying less for your homeowners insurance premium. You see, most banks require you to insure your home for at least 80% of its replacement cost value. If your home costs less, you can get away with purchasing less coverage – and saving money.
- Property Crimes: How likely are you, as a homeowner, to become a victim of property crime in Nebraska? According to statistical data, there is a 1 in 48 chance of that happening to you. This is good news for you as a homeowner, because the national average is 1 in 43. So because it’s less likely, the odds are good your homeowners insurance provider will charge you less for your premiums since you are a less risky investment.
- Your Income: Here’s a not-so-secret secret about the insurance industry: major companies want to insure people who make a good income, so that they know you’ll pay your premiums on time and in full when they’re due. Unfortunately for Nebraska homeowners, average annual incomes are below the national average at around $59,566. That’s only about $2,300 less, but it still could be enough to see a negative impact on your premiums.
- Your Education: Another sign that you may be a lower-risk investment, according to insurance companies, is whether or not you have higher education under your belt. The majority of insurance companies out there usually give at least modest discounts to customers who have a bachelor’s degree or more. Seeing as how only 31% of Nebraska homeowners – which is lower than the national average of 32% – have a bachelor’s degree or higher, this may help further explain why Nebraska homeowners have to pay more when it comes to home insurance premiums.
Where To Purchase Home Insurance in Nebraska
Did you know that over 56% of homeowners never bother to shop around for a new deal when their home insurance policy comes up for renewal? In a way, this is like leaving money on the table. Different companies are constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to compete for your business, and refusing to shop around – especially if you’re in the 83% majority of people who don’t bother to comparison shop online when you do shop around for new homeowners insurance – is probably costing you hundreds of dollars each year in excess premiums.
But even if you don’t shop around online, you should still shop around on a regular basis. A month or two before your next policy renewal date, start asking around to family and friends about home insurance companies they would recommend. Conversely, you could even flip through your phone book and see what offices are available in your area and start calling around. But this may take time and energy you don’t have, which is why we’re here to help. Contact us today or fill out our online form so that we can help you get started saving money.