More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
The average homeowners insurance rate in Washington D.C. is $1,074, lower than the national average of $1,211. Read our guide to the best companies, policy cost, and coverage considerations for D.C. homeowners.
Published April 6, 2020
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Homeowners insurance is essential financial protection for your home, personal property, and combined assets in the event your property is damaged or burglarized or you’re held liable for an injury or property damage. If you’re one of the 42% of District of Columbia residents who owns a home rather than rents, you’ll want to make sure your home is well-protected with a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy that doesn’t break the bank.
As the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. attracts millions upon millions of visitors every year to explore the city’s many historical monuments, museums, and overall rich political and cultural history. Over 750,000 people also call D.C. home, and with a median home value of $568,400 (per the U.S. Census Bureau), it’s one of the more expensive places in the country to live.
Washington D.C. homeowners should be extra attentive toward the property coverages in their home insurance policies. The D.C. metro area experiences some of the higher incidences of property crime in the country with around 4,200 reported instances per 100,000 residents, most of which is burglary and theft. The city also sees its share of bad weather. Being 50 miles from the coast, D.C. is susceptible to hurricane winds and storm surge as evidenced by Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
Keeping reading for our guide to the best homeowners insurance companies, the average policy cost, and coverage considerations for D.C. Metro homeowners.
The average annual premium for a home in Washington D.C. is $1,074
Washington D.C. residents will want to make sure their homes and personal property are effectively covered against coastal wind damage, water damage, and burglary; dog owners in the city should max out liability coverage
In addition to cost, there are many factors you should consider when shopping around for homeowners insurance. You should look for an insurance company that has a good financial standing with credit agencies like A.M. Best. Customer service is also important — you want an insurance company you can trust — so you should check customer service and claims ratings with J.D. Power.
The table below looks at the 10 most popular insurers (companies with the highest market share) in the District of Columbia, along with respective A.M. Best ratings, J.D. Power ratings, and Policygenius full-scale company ratings. Here’s more information about the Policygenius home insurance reviews methodology.
➞ Be sure to check out our guide on the best homeowners insurance companies in the country
The average annual cost of home and condo insurance in Washington D.C. is $1,074, according to Policygenius quotes. That makes rates in Washington D.C. lower than the national average of $1,285.
As the table below illustrates, the cheapest neighborhood for homeowners insurance in the D.C. area is Penn Quarter with a $595 average annual premium, while the most expensive area to insure your home is Forest Hills with an average rate of $1,981, according to Policygenius quoting data.
|Popular residential neighborhood (ZIP Code)||Average annual premium|
|Penn Quarter (20001)||$595|
|Northeast Washington (20002)||$1,007|
|Capitol Hill (20003)||$842|
|Forest Hills (20008)||$1,981|
|Adams Morgan (20009)||$1,467|
|Columbia Heights (20010)||$688|
|Northwest Washington (20011)||$1,295|
|Northeast Washington (20018)||$650|
|Northeast Washington (20019)||$676|
|Dupont Park (20020)||$1,244|
Homeowners insurance is an invaluable piece of financial protection for D.C. area homeowners. It protects your home, personal belongings, and has numerous other benefits like hotel bill reimbursements if your home is too damaged to reside in and liability protection if you’re legally responsible for bodily injury or property damage to a guest or stranger.
When setting up your homeowners insurance policy, you’ll want to pay special attention to three particular areas: your dwelling coverage amount, your personal property coverage reimbursement terms, and your liability coverages. Your dwelling coverage limit should amount to at least equal to the rebuild cost of the home — not the remaining mortgage balance or fair market value. Talk to your insurance agent about how the insurance company arrived at the quoted replacement cost estimate for your home. If you’re concerned the recommended amount may cause you to be underinsured, ask for a replacement cost appraisal recommendation in your area and your insurance company will be able to point you toward someone who can help you arrive at an accurate rebuild estimate.
You should also pay attention to the reimbursement terms and limitations of your personal property coverage — the portion of your policy that reimburses you when your stuff (laptop, sofa, clothing, kitchen appliances) are damaged or stolen. Given the high rate of theft and burglary in the D.C. area, you’ll want to be sure your personal belongings are well protected with replacement cost coverage so you’re fully reimbursed on claims. Keep in mind that this coverage also covers your personal property away from the home (up to a limited amount); your childs’ personal belongings are also covered while they’re away at college.
Lastly, check the liability coverage portion of your policy to ensure you’re fully covered against a potentially expensive lawsuit. This coverage is particularly crucial if you have kids or a dog, as you’re also responsible for your dependents and pets as the head of household. We suggest you have at least $300,000 in liability coverage.
Homeowners insurance is not required by law in the District of Columbia, but most mortgage lenders will require that you get homeowners insurance and maintain coverage throughout the duration of the mortgage.
Not where you live? We've got you covered, check out our guide to homeowners insurance in your state
Pat Howard is a homeowners insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. He has written extensively about home insurance cost, coverage, and companies since 2018, and his insights have been featured on Investopedia, Lifehacker, MSN, Zola, HerMoney, and Property Casualty 360.
Pat has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.
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