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Homeowners Insurance in New York

Amy Danise

Depending on where you live in New York, you may need to be prepared for hurricanes, snow storms, floods and even earthquakes. It’s important to know what kinds of insurance will cover the problems you worry about.

How do I get New York hurricane insurance?

Hurricanes have two damaging elements that fall under separate insurance policies:

Wind: Homeowners insurance policies in New York cover wind damage. But be aware that New York allows two kinds of special deductibles:

  • Insurers can apply a windstorm deductible to any kind of windstorm claim, such as a tornado or hurricane. This deductible is usually 1% to 5% of the coverage amount on the dwelling. So a house insured for $300,000 with a 2% deductible results in a $6,000 deductible if you make a windstorm claim.
  • A hurricane deductible can apply when there’s damage from a storm with a name, such as “Hurricane Sandy.” This deductible is also usually 1% to 5% of the dwelling coverage amount.

The New York insurance department has a list of the specific deductibles and where they apply for home insurance companies operating in New York.

Water: Flooding, such as storm surge or pounding rain from a hurricane that causes flooding, is generally not covered by home insurance. Instead, you need a flood insurance policy for flood damage. Flood insurance isn’t just for homeowners near the shore -- it also covers overflows of water from streams, rivers and lakes, and flash flooding from heavy rain or snowmelt.

What does New York homeowners insurance cover?

A common policy in New York will have six main coverage types, with additional options available such as home-based business insurance:

  1. Dwelling - for house damage.
  2. Personal property - for your belongings (such as furniture, clothing and toys) that are damaged, stolen or destroyed.
  3. Other structures - such as garages and fences.
  4. Loss of use - for the extra costs if you must temporarily move out because of damage to the house.
  5. Personal liability - in case you’re legally responsible for someone else’s injury or property damage.
  6. Medical payments to others - for small medical bills of people hurt on your property, without proof of fault.

Average cost of homeowners insurance in New York

The average cost of homeowners insurance in New York is $1,309 a year. The national average is $1,192 a year for a common policy called an HO-3, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Do I need earthquake insurance in New York?

New York gets frequent earthquakes, but most are not even felt.

And while the New York City area is considered a low hazard risk for earthquakes, it’s also considered high risk for costly damage because of the dense population, masonry buildings that would crumble, subway tunnels that could collapse and other vulnerable infrastructure.

Not to mention the potential for soil liquefaction that can lead to ground collapse on a large scale, because large areas of Manhattan were built by filling in wetlands and lakes. Chinatown, for example, was built on fill that replaced a lake, and JFK airport was built on hydraulic sand fill that filled in the south shore of Brooklyn.

For New Yorkers who want coverage, earthquake insurance is available.

20 largest New York homeowners insurance companies

Rank in New York Company Market share % in the state
1 Allstate Corp. 14.09
2 State Farm 13.09
3 Chubb 11.25
4 Travelers 8.35
5 Liberty Mutual 8.17
6 National General Holdings Corp. 4.1
7 NYCM Insurance 3.42
8 Heritage Insurance 3.2
9 AIG 3.04
10 USAA 2.61
11 Nationwide 2.28
12 MetLife 2.07
13 American Family Insurance 1.56
14 Kingstone Insurance Co. 1.45
15 PURE 1.43
16 IAT Insurance 1.42
17 The Hartford 1.33
18 Amica 1.09
19 Preferred Mutual Insurance Co. 1.08
20 The Hanover Insurance Group 0.95
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, based on homeowners multiple peril insurance market share in 2018.

What if no one will sell me home insurance?

If you’ve tried to find homeowners insurance but have been turned down, you can buy coverage through the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association.