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Although it has more homes at risk of storm-surge-related damage than almost any other state on the East Coast, New Jersey has surprisingly low homeowners insurance rates. The average annual premium in the Garden State is $908, well below the national average of $1,585.
NerdWallet analyzed data from 17 different insurance companies selling policies in New Jersey to help you find the best home insurance in the state, whether you live in Montague, Cape May or anywhere in between. Keep in mind that these rates are estimates and depend on many different factors, so yours may vary.
Best homeowners insurance companies in New Jersey
Several of NerdWallet's Best Home Insurance Companies offer policies in New Jersey. Here they are, along with their average annual premiums:
Average annual premium
*USAA homeowners insurance is available only to active military, veterans and their families.
You can customize your homeowners policy with numerous add-ons from these companies, but below are the types of coverage that generally come standard:
Type of coverage
What it does
Pays to repair or rebuild the structure of your home.
Covers damage to unattached structures such as a shed or fence.
Pays to repair or replace personal belongings such as furniture or clothing.
Additional living expenses
Pays for hotel stays, restaurant meals or other expenses if you have to live elsewhere while your home undergoes covered repairs.
Covers legal expenses and damages if you're responsible for injuries to other people or their property.
Covers injuries to guests in your home, regardless of fault.
For more details, see Homeowners insurance: What it is and what it covers.
Here's a little bit more about these companies and the extras they offer.
Despite its low annual premium, NJM's home insurance coverage has several features that typically cost extra with other insurers. NJM will pay the full cost to rebuild your home even if it exceeds your dwelling limit, and also will pay the full cost to replace lost or destroyed personal property rather than giving you a depreciated amount.
» MORE: NJM home insurance review
If you're an active military member or a veteran, or are a family member of one, USAA offers several benefits that normally cost extra from other insurers. Identity theft coverage and replacement cost for damaged or stolen personal items are just two of the benefits available to policyholders in most states.
» MORE: USAA home insurance review
Although Chubb is one of the more expensive insurers in the state, its standard policy includes coverage options for which others often charge extra. For example, homeowners who buy Chubb's Masterpiece policy can receive the full amount it costs to replace damaged or destroyed personal items rather than the items' depreciated value.
» MORE: Chubb home insurance review
The Hanover offers several different home insurance packages, with some having helpful features like reimbursement for replacing your locks after losing your keys or paying to remove debris after a covered event. It’ll also waive your deductible if a loss is more than $50,000.
Cheapest homeowners insurance rates in New Jersey
To find the lowest home insurance premiums in New Jersey, NerdWallet analyzed rate information for 17 different insurers in the state. We found a statewide average annual premium of $908, but your rate may vary depending on where you live. The difference between the cheapest and most expensive rates in New Jersey was over $900 per year.
Here are the five cheapest homeowners insurance rates in New Jersey:
Average annual premium
And here's a look at the rates of all 17 insurers in our analysis:
What to know about homeowners insurance in New Jersey
Here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind as you evaluate your options for home insurance in New Jersey:
You may be subject to a "hurricane deductible." Although only four hurricanes have hit New Jersey in the last 150 years, that doesn't mean it won't happen again. And when one does hit, it can pack a serious punch. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused nearly $6 billion in damage to homes in 2012. If you live in one of 116 designated coastal ZIP codes, a storm anywhere in the state with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour will trigger your hurricane deductible. This deductible is a percentage of your home's insured value rather than a flat dollar amount. So if your home is insured for $300,000 with a 5% deductible, you have to pay the first $15,000 of damage from a storm before your insurer will give you a cent.
You should also consider flood insurance. Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance, so you'll likely need a separate flood insurance policy in order to be covered. That can be a good idea especially if you live on the coast or in an area prone to flooding. Even a little bit of flood water can cause thousands of dollars of damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency — which manages the National Flood Insurance Program — estimates that even 1 inch of flood water can cause $25,000 in damage. After Hurricane Sandy, flood insurers paid out over $3 billion in damage to New Jersey homeowners.
Your rate will vary depending on where you live. Generally, home insurance in New Jersey is more expensive in the counties along the coast. To see the average rate where you live, here's a look at the county-by-county breakdown:
Looking for more insurance? Check out NerdWallet's guide to the cheapest car insurance in New Jersey.
NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women from a variety of insurance companies in every ZIP code across the state. Sample homeowners were nonsmokers with good credit living in a single-family, two-story home built in 1971. They had a $1,000 deductible and the following coverage limits:
$300,000 in dwelling coverage.
$30,000 in other structures coverage.
$150,000 in personal property coverage.
$60,000 in loss of use coverage.
$300,000 in liability coverage.
These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.