Massachusetts Home Insurance Rates

Why is My Homeowners Insurance So High? And Ways to Reduce Your Rate

By  – Let’s Talk Openly, Openly Insurance Company

As with most things, prices for homeowners insurance are increasing. So if you find yourself asking “why is my homeowners insurance so high?” rest assured, you aren’t alone.

Homeowners insurance provides financial protection to the homeowner in the event of property damage or damage to their personal belongings, as well as liability for injuries or damages that occur on their property. But home insurance rates don’t remain static and can change over time, due to market conditions, natural disasters, and inflation (among other factors). And according to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners insurance rates have been on the rise, and are only expected to continue rising.1

Keep reading to learn more about what can contribute to homeowners insurance rates and practical ways to reduce your insurance cost.

At a glance:

  • Choosing the wrong insurance company, low deductibles, and poor credit scores can contribute to high insurance rates.
  • Comparing rates, raising deductibles, bundling policies, and researching discounts are effective strategies for reducing insurance premiums.
  • Regularly reviewing your homeowners insurance policy can help minimize expenses down the road. 

How has homeowners insurance changed in recent years?

Home insurance has adapted to evolving risks, market conditions, and consumer needs over the past several years, reflecting both the risk landscape and consumer demands. Notable changes include:2

  • An increased focus on natural disasters
  • Personal property coverage adjustments
  • Evolving liability coverage due to rising medical costs and legal expenses
  • Growing availability of optional coverages, like flood insurance

Homeowners insurance predictions for 2023

Although inflation has begun to slow in the second half of 2023, it is predicted that the inflation rate will continue to rise, affecting the cost of construction materials, labor, and replacement costs for damaged properties, which often lead to higher home insurance premiums.3

Along with inflation, certain states may experience more significant insurance changes due to added local factors such as weather patterns, increased property risks, or regulatory changes. While it’s challenging to gather predictions for rate changes in every state, here is a list of states/regions that may experience rate changes:4

  • Coastal states (Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, etc.)
  • Wildfire-prone regions (California, Oregon, and Washington, etc.)
  • Tornado Alley (Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas, etc.)
  • High-population-density states (New York, Illinois, and New Jersey, etc.)
  • States with high crime (Michigan, Louisiana, and New Mexico, etc.)

Factors that affect homeowner’s insurance rates

There are a number of factors that can impact the cost of insurance coverage, and wrapping your head around these factors is key to managing your insurance costs effectively.

Choosing the wrong insurance company

It’s important to compare insurance providers to find the one that best fits your needs. Some insurers may specialize in certain types of coverage, such as high-value homes or properties in flood-prone areas, while others may offer more competitive rates for more basic coverage.

Low deductibles

Opting for a low deductible may initially be appealing because it means paying less out-of-pocket. However, because insurance companies assume a greater portion of the financial risk when a low deductible is involved, they balance potential payouts with higher insurance rates.

Poor credit score

Insurance companies often consider credit scores an indicator of financial responsibility and risk. Individuals with higher credit scores are generally perceived as less likely to file an insurance claim, while those with lower scores are viewed as riskier investments.

Multiple insurance policies

Protecting your investments—home, life, auto—with different insurance companies is not always the best bet, financially speaking. Insurance companies often incentivize customers to consolidate insurance needs by offering multi-policy discounts.

High-risk location

If your home is in an area prone to natural disasters like hurricanes, windstorms, or tornadoes, or if it is located in a high-crime neighborhood, insurance companies may consider it a higher risk, leading to higher premiums.

Aging home

Older homes can often require repair, renovations, or additional maintenance in general, and subsequently have a higher risk of structural issues, and plumbing or electrical problems.

Additional features

Certain features of your home (swimming pools, trampolines, or wood-burning stoves, etc.) can increase the risk of accidents or damage. Insurance companies factor in these additional risks when calculating premiums.

High-valued items

If you own expensive personal belongings or valuable collectibles, you may need additional coverage beyond the standard policy limits, which can increase premiums.

How to lower your homeowners insurance

From comparing rates and raising your deductible to improving your credit score and exploring discounts, there are steps you can take to save on homeowners insurance.

Compare rates

One of the most effective ways to lower homeowners insurance premiums is to compare rates from multiple companies. Obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies to ensure you’re getting the best possible rate, but keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always provide the best coverage.

Raise your deductible

The deductible is the amount you are responsible for paying out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. By opting for a higher deductible, you assume more financial risk in the event of a claim, so it’s important to choose a deductible amount that you can afford to pay.

Improve credit score

Maintaining a good credit score demonstrates financial responsibility and can help you secure lower insurance premiums. Paying bills on time, reducing debt, and managing your finances responsibly can improve your credit score over time.

Bundle insurance policies

Bundling policies can result in significant savings. However, it’s important to ensure that the bundled coverage still meets your needs and provides adequate protection for your assets.

Discover discounts

Some insurers may offer discounts for military affiliations, a good claims history, or for installing safety systems throughout the home.5 Be sure to ask your insurance agents about any potential discounts you may qualify for.

An informed approach to unraveling homeowners insurance costs

Understanding how insurance premiums are calculated can influence the decision-making when determining how to reduce your insurance costs. Remember to review your policy periodically and make adjustments, as needed, to ensure you have the best insurance coverage at the price you are willing to pay. If you still have questions, contact your insurance agent for expert advice and guidance.

* We provide this information to help you understand insurance. Any coverage is subject to the terms of your policy. Please refer to your policy and declaration page for complete coverage details.

Loretta Worters. “Insurer Premiums Did Not Keep Pace with Inflation for Years.” Triple-I. Published 9 February 2023. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Debra Kamin. “Home Insurance Premiums Rise as Americans Flock to Weather-Worn States.” NY Times. Published 5 May 2023. Accessed 19 July 2023.,a%20data%

Jeff Cox. “Inflation rose just 0.2% in June, less than expected as consumers get a break from price increase.” CNBC. Published 12 July 2023. Accessed 19 July 2023.


Ashley Kilroy. “How To Get Homeowners Insurance Discounts.” Forbes. Published 3 November 2022. Accessed 19 July 2023.

Home Safety Tips

Our friends at Utica First provide us with the following home safety tips:

  • Be sure not to place candles near curtains, other sources of ignition, or too close to a wall. Also, be sure they are not on a table to ledge or other location that a cat or other pet might bump into them or knock them over. And NEVER leave a candle unattended and be sure to put them out before you leave a room, leave the house, or go to bed at night.
  • Have your furnace/heating system serviced annually and change or inspect filters regularly. It will be more efficient and help reduce the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. In the winter months, keep your outside vents and heating equipment free from snow and ice.
  • In the winter, use a snow roof rake to remove any sizable buildup of snow from the bottom half of your roof to help prevent ice dams and leaks. And if your house routinely has big icicles, it may benefit from additional insulation.
  • Before winter sets in, have your gutters cleaned of leaves and other debris that could prevent water from draining. Clogged gutters facilitate ice buildup, which can cause ice dams to push water under your shingles and into your home.
  • Do NOT use liquid gas heaters or lanterns inside your home.
  • Maintain clear access to outside propane or oil tanks.
  • If you have inside water shut-offs for your outside spigots, turn them off before the temperatures drop below freezing.
  • If you own a pressure washer, make sure it is fully drained before winter.
  • Take a good look at your yard. Trim overhanging tree limbs and remove any leaning, dead, or diseased trees before they fall.
  • Do you have a wood stove or fireplace insert? Have your chimney and flue inspected regularly for creosote and never leave a fire unattended.
  • Frozen pipes can cause major damage. To help prevent frozen pipes, wrap any exposed piping with insulation sleeves. During times of extremely cold temperatures, keep room, closet, and cabinet doors open to allow heat to circulate in your home.
  • If you are leaving your home for more than a few days, turn off your main water line until you return.
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year. So you don’t forget, check them on the same days we set the clocks forward and set the clocks back.
  • And most important – Does every member of your household know what to do in a fire emergency? Be sure to talk with your children about exit routes and exactly what they should do if the fire alarms in your house go off.

Call or click us today to get your free, competitive, Massachusetts home insurance quote.

Massachusetts Home Insurance – Prevent Further Property Damage

Massachusetts Home Insurance - Prevent Further Property Damage

MA Home Insurance – When you have a claim, you need to do whatever you can to help prevent further property damage.

In the immediate aftermath of a property loss, you may need to take steps to reduce the possibility of further damage to your home, personal property or business.

Once you and your loved ones are safe, below are the steps we suggest you take to protect your property after a loss.

Step 1: Protect your property from any further damage

Regardless of the nature of your loss, you should cleanup and undertake any temporary repairs to prevent further damage. This may include doing things like boarding up windows, tarping your roof or cleaning up non-hazardous spills and debris. If necessary, you should consult with a professional to accomplish this. Additionally, you’ll want to assess your property for damage and save all repair expense receipts associated with the loss.

Make sure to stay clear of downed or damaged utility lines, and if you plan to use a generator, never do so in a carport or garage.

Step 2: Collect relevant information

Make a list, take photos and/or video of damaged items (prior to clean-up, if possible).
Save all your emergency repair/expense receipts.

Step 3: If you’re unable to stay in your house

If you are unable to stay in your home because it is unsafe to do so, make short-term living arrangements for the next couple of days. Your Claim professional will review the coverage on your policy and evaluate reimbursement of emergency expenses.

If you’ve experienced water damage
If safe to do so, attempt to stop the source of the water leak immediately. If necessary, contact a plumber or other professional.
If the water results from damage to your roof, contact a contractor who can provide tarping services.
Clean up any standing water or wet carpets. If necessary, contact a professional cleaning service.
It is important for your Claim professional to view what may have caused the loss or damage. If feasible, retain any pipes, hoses or parts involved with the leak. If not, take photos.

If there’s a pipe burst due to freezing conditions or you expect cold weather, you should take steps to mitigate freeze damage. Turn off the water source to the pipe or try to increase the temperature in the room – open cupboard doors and/or turn on a space heater.

If you’ve experienced fire or smoke damage

Avoid disturbing the area where the fire started until the Claim professional has contacted you to discuss the loss.
Do not attempt to clean soot-covered walls, floors or ceilings yourself. This is better left to a professional cleaning company.
Do not throw away any items damaged in the fire.
If a tree has struck your property
If tree debris is on your home or building or has the potential to cause more damage, contact a professional for removal and/or to place a tarp on your roof.

Contact your local electric company if any trees are on your electrical lines.
Stay away from any power lines, especially if they are on the ground.
If you’ve experienced electrical damage
If any appliances or electronics are damaged, retain them until you speak with your Claim professional.
Consider shutting off the power to the affected area or your house depending on the nature of the event and its severity.
Contact your local electric company if tree debris is on your electrical lines.
Stay away from any power lines especially if they are on the ground.

Call you agent as soon as possible. They should help setup your claim, assist and advise.

Home Insurance Questions

home insurance questions

Life can be messy. To help prevent some of the messiness, consider calling us to review your home insurance coverage. Home insurance questions:

1. Is my home covered if we need to rebuild?

Have us complete an updated Replacement Cost Survey. Upgrades to a kitchen or bathroom, new kitchen appliances, or updates to a basement can all affect the cost to repair or rebuild your home.

2. Do I have enough coverage for my expensive items?

Your homeowner coverage includes “special limits of liability” which, for example, the most the insurance company will pay:  $1,000 for loss by theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semiprecious stones; $2,500 for loss by theft of silverware, silver-plated ware, goldware, etc.; $2,000 for loss by theft of firearms. If you have any special items consider scheduling the item by appraisal.

3. Do I have enough liability coverage to protect my assets?

Home and auto policies carry liability limits that help protect you from judgments against you and legal fees, up to policy limits. Do you know your policy limits? In our litigious society, you may want to have us help you review your limits. If you don’t have one already, consider purchasing additional coverage in the form of a personal liability umbrella policy. Umbrella coverage starts at $1M and “sits-over” your auto and home liability limits.

4. Do I qualify for additional discounts?

An annual insurance review is a great time to ensure you’re receiving all applicable discount. For example, have you installed a security system? If so, additional protective device discounts may be available. Are you getting the proper account discounts? What would be the savings/cost if you were to increase/lower your deductible? Give us a call so we can review.

5. Does my newly finished basement affect my coverage?

Finishing your basement increases the cost to rebuild your home, in addition you may want to make sure you’ve added an additional, optional sump pump failure/ water backup endorsement.

6. Does my policy provide enough coverage for landscaping equipment or outdoor appliances?

When you install a new sprinkler system, larger shed, new pool or hot tub, or if you’ve purchased a fancy, backyard grill or riding mower, you might want to upgrade your insurance coverage. Significant investments require a review of your Dwelling and Personal Property Coverage.
Like home maintenance, an annual insurance review is an important part of protecting your biggest investment.

7. Do I have coverage for an oil leak?

In order to qualify the “Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law” requires either a non-metallic sleeve around the pipe that feeds the burner or a safety valve to prevent leaks. Companies require “certificate of compliance” signed by oil burner technician.

8. Do I have Ordinance or Law coverage?

Ordinance or Law insurance coverage provides limited protection for costs associated with repairing, rebuilding, or constructing a structure when physical damage to the structure by a covered cause of loss triggers an ordinance or law. Limited coverage can be added by endorsement.

Give us a call, a click or a visit and we will be happy to review your insurance coverage with you.

Oil Tank Coverage

oil tank coverage

Does Your Home Insurance Include Leaky Oil Tank Coverage? It’s been in the paper (Boston Globe) and on television (WCVB-5):

A leaky oil tank could cost a young couple their dream home.

The home insurance policy excludes oil spill coverage but limited coverage is available by endorsement.

Insurance companies require proof of safety equipment designed to prevent or limit oil spills.

Proof should be in the form of oil burner permit or Certificate of Compliance.

Cost and coverage varies between companies, one company (Safety Insurance) offers $50,000 of personal property coverage and $100,000 personal liability for $139.00 annually.

Does your home insurance policy include leaky oil tank coverage? Please call us with any questions or to discuss.

Help Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes lead to an expensive mess. Here, compliments of Travelers Insurance, we offer some ideas to help prevent frozen pipes.

Cold temperatures can reach areas of your facility that you seldom visit or cannot see, such as:

  • Crawl spaces
  • Closets
  • Enclosed spaces (e.g., attics, lofts, roof spaces)
  • Warehouses
  • Isolated storage areas

Preparing for cold weather can help reduce potential business interruptions and related losses resulting from cold temperatures.

Domestic Water Piping

In severe cold, domestic water pipes have the potential to freeze and break. If it’s safe to do so, make sure pipes that are located in isolated or poorly heated spaces are shut off and drained or protected with a supplemental heating source.

Protect Your Fire Protection Sprinklers

Fire protection sprinkler systems are dependent on the ability of water to flow freely when needed. Ensure that wet piping systems, which may be subject to cold temperatures, are sufficiently heated to prevent freezing.

Severe cold weather can also delay the response time of the local fire department. It’s imperative to properly maintain your fire protection systems.

Lastly, if heating is lost in a building protected by wet sprinklers, it should be restored immediately. Sprinkler systems should be shut off and completely drained only after exhausting all options to re-establish sufficient heat. If this is necessary, be sure to take appropriate precautions, including notifying local fire officials. Also remember to contact your insurance carrier. If you’re a Travelers customer, notify Travelers by using the Travelers impairment notification program “Fire Protection Impairments – Are You Prepared?”

Strategies to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes

Some prevention strategies to consider:

  • Properly insulate and/or provide approved heat tracing for water-filled pipes located in exterior walls or unheated spaces.
  • Drain any piping that is not required during the winter months.
  • Maintain a minimum temperature of 40° F (4.4° C) in building areas with processes susceptible to freezing, wet-pipe sprinkler systems, fire pump houses and dry-pipe valve enclosures.
  • Ensure that anti-freeze sprinkler systems have sufficient concentration (appropriate specific gravity readings) of antifreeze to withstand freezing weather.
  • Inspect dry systems to help ensure air settings are correct, air maintenance systems are in good operating condition, and any pipe closets are well insulated. If any heat tape or heating systems are being used, ensure that they are UL-listed for this specific purpose and are in good operating condition. Dry-pipe sprinkler systems low points and auxiliary drains should be opened and drained of any water or condensation.
  • Any branch lines on wet sprinkler systems exposed or subject to extreme cold weather should be insulated and heat traced. Electric heat tracing products should be UL-listed for this specific purpose.
  • Fire pump test headers should be checked to ensure they have been properly drained.
  • Fire pump and dry-pipe sprinkler system equipment rooms should be checked routinely to ensure the heaters are in good operating condition.
  • The use of low temperature supervision can help to ensure rooms are being properly heated.

Contact your insurance agent to discuss your specific coverage needs to protect your business.

help prevent frozen pipes

Consider Higher Deductibles

consider higher deductibles

Consider higher deductibles. Is your home in excellent condition?  Are you a “do-it-yourselfer” that fixes small problems around the house? Do you have a new roof, heating & electric systems, and plumbing? Are you a risk taker that would prefer to save money up front and spend more at claim time because of a higher deductible?

If yes to any of these questions, your Massachusetts Home Insurance Tip:

To save money consider higher deductibles.

Without claims, the money you save by deciding on a high ($2,500 or $5,000) deductible  is, literally, money in the bank.

Consider higher deductibles.

When your parents bought their first home, most likely their deductible was $250.

As a general rule of thumb you can save 10% of the annual premium if you carry a $500 deductible; an additional 10% if you carry a $1,000 deductible, and an additional 10% if you carry a $2,500 deductible.

For those of us that go years & years without claims, higher deductibles is, literally, “money in the bank.”

In addition, by carrying a higher deductible you self-insure yourself a little more thus making the chance of filing a small claim less appealing. By doing such consumers can keep their “loss free” credits and, without claim frequency, you remain more insurable.

Massachusetts Flood Insurance

Massachusetts Flood Insurance

Recently we were asked by a client to shop their Massachusetts Flood Insurance Policy which is with NFIP.

NFIP stands for The National Flood Insurance Plan offered by FEMA which stands for Federal Emergency Management Association which is under the control of United States Department of Homeland Security.

According to NFIP’s website:

“The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.”

Unfortunately the part about “providing affordable insurance to property owners,” doesn’t always seem too accurate.

Our client owns a small cottage on Cape Cod, unfortunately located in a VE flood zone.

VE flood zone is described: Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event with additional hazards due to storm-induced velocity wave action. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) derived from detailed hydraulic analyses are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

NFIP’s “affordable” annual, renewal premium offer was:

$4,602.00 for $88,000 of building coverage, subject to $5,000 deductible.


$5,205.00 for increased building coverage of $96,800, subject to $5,000 deductible.

We then marketed this property to the emerging, evolving private flood insurance market.

We were able to secure a quote of: $3,056.64 for $90,000 of building coverage, subject to $5,000 deductible.

Impressed, we were less so when we received an additional quote, from another private flood insurance market, for: $1,180.00 for $90,000 building, subject to $1,000 deductible.

With some marketing effort, our client was able to reduce their flood insurance from $4,602.00 to $1,180.00.

So, the morale of the story is, just because the NFIP brags about offering “affordable” Massachusetts flood insurance coverage, it’s not always the case.

Seek the advice and shopping power of your trusted independent insurance agent.

Lynnfield, MA Home Values

Lynnfield, MA home values

According to Zillow’s “Home Value Index”/ Lynnfield, MA Home Values, the average home in Lynnfield, Massachusetts is worth $665,200.

Over the past year:

  • -0.4% 1-year change
  • -0.9% 1-year forecast

According to Zillow:  “Lynnfield home values have declined -0.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -0.9% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Lynnfield is $298, which is higher than the Boston-Cambridge-Newton Metro average of $296. The median price of homes currently listed in Lynnfield is $699,450.

Foreclosures will be a factor impacting home values in the next several years. In Lynnfield 0.0 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). This is lower than the national value of 1.2

Mortgage delinquency is the first step in the foreclosure process. This is when a homeowner fails to make a mortgage payment. The percent of delinquent mortgages in Lynnfield is 0.3%, which is lower than the national value of 1.1%. With U.S. home values having fallen by more than 20% nationally from their peak in 2007 until their trough in late 2011, many homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. The percent of Lynnfield homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 2.4%, which is lower than Boston-Cambridge-Newton Metro at 3.5%.”

All this bodes well for local residents and our Lynnfield, MA home values.