Hurricanes, explosions, snow storms, tornadoes, molasses floods -- Massachusetts has seen it all. It’s important for homeowners in the state to understand their insurance options so they’re not surprised later if a problem isn’t covered. Here's how to find the greatest of all time home insurance.
How do I get hurricane insurance in Massachusetts?
Complete coverage for hurricane damage means insurance for both wind and water.
- Wind: Homeowners insurance policies in Massachusetts cover wind damage, but Massachusetts allows a separate wind or hail deductible if you have storm damage.
- Water: Flooding, such as a surge of water from a hurricane, is generally not covered by home insurance. Instead, buy a flood insurance policy. Flood insurance isn’t just for homeowners on the coast -- it also covers overflows of water from streams, rivers and lakes, flooding from rain, and more.
What does Massachusetts homeowners insurance cover?
A standard policy in Massachusetts has these main coverage types, with additional insurance options available, such as sewer backup coverage:
- Dwelling - in case a house damaged or destroyed by a problem covered by the policy.
- Personal property - for your belongings (from furniture to TVs to pots and pans to your red socks) that are damaged, stolen or destroyed.
- Other structures - for structures not attached to your house, such as fences and garages.
- Loss of use - for extra living expenses if you can’t live at home due to damage.
- Personal liability - in case you’re legally responsible for injury or property damage to others. It also covers your legal defense costs in liability lawsuits against you.
- Medical payments to others - for medical bills of others hurt on your property.
Insurance for explosions
Explosions aren’t a top cause of home insurance claims -- that’s wind and hail. But when they happen, they’re generally covered by a standard home insurance policy.
- A mammoth explosion took place in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, in 1903, when magazines with gunpowder exploded and leveled the neighborhood around U.S. Cartridge Co. It also killed 22 people.
- More recently, the Merrimack Valley gas explosions in 2018 caused blasts and fires in dozens of homes when upgrades to natural gas lines went awry.
Insurance for molasses floods
When a large molasses storage tank burst in 1919, it sent more than 2 million gallons of molasses flooding into Boston’s North End like a tsunami. It killed 21 people and swallowed buildings.
Molasses floods aren’t something homeowners think about when buying insurance, but they’re the kind of one-off, freak accident that you want home insurance for.
How much is home insurance in Massachusetts?
The average yearly Massachusetts home insurance premium is $1,451 for a typical policy, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That’s more than the nationwide average of $1,192 a year.
20 largest Massachusetts homeowners insurance companies
|Rank in Massachusetts||Company||Market share % in the state|
|10||Vermont Mutual Insurance||3.78|
|11||The Hanover Insurance Group||3.04|
|12||Norfolk & Dedham Group||2.58|
|14||Plymouth Rock Co.||2.38|
|17||American Family Insurance||2.1|
|20||Preferred Mutual Insurance Co.||1.74|
|Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, based on homeowners multiple peril insurance market share in 2018.|
What if companies turn me down for home insurance?
If you’ve tried to find home insurance but have been turned down, you can buy coverage through the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association. Any licensed property/casualty insurance agent in Massachusetts can help you apply to the association.