Coastal Home Insurance
The most experienced coastal home insurance advisors in the South Coast of MA & RI
Who can deny the perks of living along the coast? Whether it’s beautiful beaches, picturesque scenery, unmatched sunsets, fresh seafood or a tightknit community that attracts you, coastal living boasts it all and more. So, if you are considering buying a coastal home, or, smarter yet, you’ve already purchased one along the South Coast of MA or RI, we couldn’t agree more that this is the perfect place for you and your family to live. Our area’s charming communities, like Fall River and Somerset, MA, and Tiverton, RI, are within close proximity to the ocean, and home to many historical landmarks, restaurants and outdoor parks.
Of course, you could say that at HIG we are biased; after all, we have been longtime members of this community. But, you don’t have to just take our word for it that coastal living is the wise choice; according to a recent study by Zillow.com, a coastal property could be one of the soundest investments around. The research shows that, just 20 years ago, the median value of waterfront properties was 64 percent more than the median value of all homes. Today, the difference has grown to 116 percent, meaning waterfront homes are now worth more than twice that of all homes!
However, in addition to seeing the value of your coastal home rise, you probably have also witnessed your home insurance rates soaring as well. According to an analysis of National Association of Insurance Commissioners figures by The Associated Press, the cost of home insurance rose 36 percent from 2003 to 2010 with the largest rate increases coming in states that border the Gulf of Mexico and, our area’s favorite body of water, the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, the analysis shows that rates in Rhode Island went up 62 percent and rates in Massachusetts went up 56.5 percent! That is a startling increase and many homeowners like you have felt the need to take on greater risk by accepting higher deductibles to lower their premiums.
This is a trade-off HIG does not want our coastal home clients having to make. However, it is true that your coastal residence is vulnerable to very unique perils for which you need special insurance. In the past 10 years, alone, coastal homeowners in MA and RI have had to weather heavy storm surges, rising tides, coastal flooding, forceful wind gusts, beach erosion, and dense rainfall from Hurricanes and Tropical Storms named Sandy, Earl, Ida, Danny, Bill, Hanna, and Noel. All very innocuous sounding names for such dangerous – and expensive – severe weather systems. Just one of these storms can result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to homes along the South Coast of MA and RI.
As a current or soon-to-be owner of a coastal property, it’s important to understand all your risks as well as those that may impact your property – and your insurance rates – in the future. Increases in coastal housing developments, population growth, and an expected rise in sea level due to climate change could all contribute to even more dramatic insurance rate increases in the future. This is why it is critical to have an insurance partner who is not only knowledgeable about coastal home insurance, but also very familiar with the area you live in. To ensure that your distinct coastal home is properly protected at an affordable rate, the experienced and local team at HIG would like to review the following home insurance policy enhancements with you:
Coastal homes need enhanced coverage versus what standard homeowners’ policies will typically provide. Yes, a standard homeowners’ policy generally covers damage caused by inclement weather such as wind, lightning or hail, but it’s critical to know that there is often an underlying limit associated with these types of claims that will most likely fall very short of what you need to protect your coastal home. Therefore, the HIG team always discusses how important it is for our coastal homeowner clients to purchase a home insurance policy with a higher claim threshold.
Coastal storms often bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, snow, sleet, and much more with them when they blow through town, putting both inland coastal homes and beachfront property equally at risk for flooding. For example, the majority of property damage in MA and RI that was caused by tropical storm Irene was from inland flooding associated with extreme rainfall. It is critical to know that your standard homeowners policy does not cover flooding, so if you own a home or vacation house near the coast, it is very important to discuss your flood insurance options with HIG.
Two things that don’t go well together are wind and water; in fact, when combined, they can do irreparable damage to a home. For example, coastal homes can often suffer roof damage or lose shingles due to strong, hurricane-like winds. Water can then enter your home, ruining everything it touches. In coastal areas like ours, standard home insurance excludes windstorm damage, so it is crucial to talk to HIG about adding this type of policy.
One more important detail to understand about coastal home insurance is that not all insurers agree on the definition of a coastal property. You may have a multi-million-dollar beachfront property, or a vacation/short-term rental investment a mile down the road from the ocean, or even a primary residence that sits two miles inland. All of these properties could be viewed by an insurer as coastal property, which could ultimately mean you are subject to higher deductibles and/or increased premiums. Furthermore, many traditional insurance agencies are no longer willing to write coastal home insurance due to the unusually high risk level and the potential for claims that have, in the recent past, put a significant financial burden on insurers.
As you can see, navigating coastal home insurance is a tricky business, so it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable local insurance agent. The partners at HIG do not want you to despair if you’ve tried several insurers already and cannot find coverage. As the region’s experts, we have partnered with top quality insurance providers that have coastal insurance coverage designed specifically for homes along the South Coast of MA and RI. Even better, they offer rates that are reasonable and provide you with many options, based on your specific circumstances.
At HIG, we are 100% committed to providing the best customer service. This means that we will walk you through the entire coastal home insurance process from start to finish and help you make the best decision for you, your family, and your specific property. Our team will also continuously monitor the benefits and rates offered by the companies we represent to guarantee you are getting the absolute best value. Most important, you can count on us to be here for you when you have any questions, in the event you need to file a claim, or if you experience any other challenging situations as a coastal homeowner.
Contact us today for a complimentary quote and to discuss the steps you can take to better prepare and protect your coastal home from all that Mother Nature has in store. Our goal is to relieve any stress you may have about safeguarding your investment so that you can truly enjoy what the South Coast of MA and RI has to offer.
Spend just 15 minutes with an HIG professional to learn more about all the available insurance options to protect your coastal home, including:
- High Value Home Insurance
- Rental Property Insurance
- Flood Insurance
- Inflation Guard
- Personal Umbrella
- Scheduled Personal Property
- Building Ordinance Overage
- Coverage for Demolition Cost
- Coverage for Increased Construction Costs
- Increased Period of Restoration