Virginia Home Insurance - High Real Estate Value with Lower-than-Average Insurance Rates
Virginia's property owners benefit from a healthy realty market yet don't have to pay extra to protect their homes. The state has one the highest median real estate values in the U.S., while home insurance premiums are lower than average. It's a buyer's market.
The oldest state in the union and the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents, Virginia's often compared to nearby Maryland. Both provide suburban housing to employees commuting to Washington D.C., but Virginia's a lot bigger and its land spans beyond the area designated as D.C. suburbs.
Virginia's local economy includes many companies that contract for the government and make the state's density of high-technology workers rival that of California. The area's burgeoning job market is growing the population at an above-average pace, and the total number of residents is approaching 8 million. With so many of them working for federal government agencies and parts of their supply-chain, the region houses people with stronger-than-average credit ratings. These factors together add up to a robust marketplace for home insurance, where shoppers get the power of choice.
A few things that make Virginia unique among U.S. states are political in nature:
- The state government treats cities and counties equally.
- Local roads are run by the state, rather than municipal districts.
- Governors may not serve consecutive terms in office
It's unclear whether these political phenomena directly benefit homeowners, renters or landlords, but good politics benefits property values.
The state's weather varies by location, with the southern and eastern parts of the state having warmer and more humid climates. Temperatures drop to an average low of 26 degrees Fahrenheit in January and rise to highs of around 86 in July. Annual precipitation averages around 43 inches, more of it in the form of rain than snow.
A typical year might have 35 to 45 days of thunderstorms. The state averages about seven mild tornadoes annually. Virginia's coastline is exposed to hurricane risks during summer months, and parts of the state are susceptible to flooding. That means flood insurance merits some consideration in Virginia. The coverage usually costs extra and is called an endorsement or rider to a basic home insurance policy.
The more recently flooding has occurred in your neighborhood, the more elevated the price of the coverage might get. But that's no reason to skip buying the policy addition, as pricing reflects risk. Instead, supplement applications for insurance with documentation of building features that protect your home from water damage. These could include:
- Elevation of your home
- Gutters along the curb nearest your home
- Downspouts on the roof and side of the building
- Drains on basement floors
- Modern plumbing infrastructure
- Water-resistant building materials
Flood management resources abound in and around Virginia, where the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation's own Floodplain Management Program benefits from the proximity of the Federal Emergency Management Administration. The latter runs the National Flood Insurance Program that subsidizes policies sold by local home insurance providers.
Virginia DCR staff provide flood education to communities across the state, guidance to local governments on addressing the risks of water damage, and advice to individuals on how to shore up a dwelling's ability to resist flooding damage. Local representatives in your area can help you and your family plan for emergencies before they occur.
Planning ahead is what home insurance is all about. The better prepared your property is for potential floods and other possibly unfortunate incidents, the more favorably you will fare when shopping for coverage. You get to enjoy the widest range of choices among policies when your dwelling is in the best order.