Finding the cheapest home insurance takes some digging and getting quotes from multiple insurance companies.

Simply by shopping around, you could save more than $1,000 on home insurance each year in North Carolina. Home insurers differ in how they gauge risk. One may find your home risky and charge you high rates, while another may consider you low risk and give you lower premiums.

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Home insurance companies also differ by discounts, so it’s always wise to get insurance carriers to include all applicable discounts when you’re shopping for a policy.

The cheapest average homeowners insurance rate in the state is North Carolina Farm Bureau at $1,337 per year on average.

Let’s take a look at the cheapest home insurance in North Carolina and how to find the best home insurance rates.

Cheapest homeowners insurance companies in North Carolina

If you’re looking for the cheapest North Carolina home insurance, there are a few companies that stand out as your best bets.

North Carolina Farm Bureau, Safeco and Liberty Mutual have the lowest average homeowners insurance rates in North Carolina.

Here are company average homeowners insurance costs in North Carolina for a policy with $300,000 dwelling coverage and $300,000 liability protection with a $1,000 deductible.We look at both the average annual and average monthly rate by home insurance company.

CompanyAverage annual rateAverage monthly rate
North Carolina Farm Bureau$1,337$111
Safeco$1,359$113
Liberty Mutual$1,417$118
Standard Fire$1,567$131
Automobile Insurance Company$1,637$136
Phoenix$1,637$136
Allstate$1,808$151
Garrison$2,006$167
USAA$2,178$182
Nationwide$2,541$189
Allstate$2,726$205
State Farm$2,897$212

Best homeowners insurance companies in North Carolina

Finding the best North Carolina homeowners insurance company for you requires getting multiple quotes and researching the company.

If finding the best rates is your number one goal, here is more information about the three cheapest North Carolina homeowners insurance companies.

North Carolina Farm Bureau

Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina

Founded: 1953

Contact: (919) 782-1705, Ncfbins.com, Ncfb.org/find-an-office

Available: To homeowners and farmers throughout North Carolina who pay a membership fee

Discounts available: Multi-car, experienced driver, married driver, paid in full, protective device, new home

Other types of insurance offered: Auto, renters, life, health, farm, liability, business

Better Business Bureau rating: D-

A.M. Best rating: A

Owned by the Farm Bureau family of companies launched nearly 70 years ago, North Carolina farm bureau mutual insurance Company provides homeowners insurance coverage to policyholders in the state who pay an annual membership fee. The insurance carrier has agents in 100 different counties throughout North Carolina.

Members (currently over 500,000 strong in North Carolina) also benefit from discounts with partnering companies, including 20% off at Choice Hotels, 30% off Avis base rates and $500 bonus cash toward a new Ford vehicle.

Safeco

Headquarters: Seattle

Founded: 1923 (acquired by Liberty Mutual Group in 2008)

Contact: (800) 332-3226; Safeco.com

Available: In all 50 states

Discounts available: Multi-policy, protective devices, new home, safe driver, anti-theft device, anti-lock brakes, paid-in-full, preferred payment, claims-free, advance quote

Other types of insurance offered: Auto, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, renters, condo, landlord, umbrella, identity theft, business

Insure.com score: 4 out of 5 stars

Better Business Bureau rating: A+

A.M. Best rating: A

J.D. Power rating: Below average (score -- 82 out of 1,000)

Safeco, owned by Liberty Mutual, offers standard (called "Essential") policies that cover your dwelling, personal property and personal liability.

One nice perk is a single-loss deductible. So, if you file a home loss claim and pay a deductible, that money will apply toward deductibles required for other Safeco policies (such as auto insurance).

In our Best Home Insurance Companies, an impressive 95% of Safeco customers polled by Insure.com said they plan to renew their policies, while four in five would recommend Safeco to a friend.

Liberty Mutual

Headquarters: Boston

Founded: 1912

Contact: (800) 295-2820, Libertymutual.com, Libertymutual.com/property-insurance/homeowners/coverage/north-carolina

Available: In all 50 states

Discounts available: Multi-policy, claims-free, early shopper, new/renovated home, preferred payment, paperless, insured to value

Other types of insurance offered: Auto, motorcycle, watercraft, renters, condo, landlord, umbrella, flood, business, identity theft, life, accident, critical illness

Insure.com score: 4 out of 5 stars

Better Business Bureau rating: A+

A.M. Best rating: A

J.D. Power rating: Below average (score -- 792 out of 1,000)

Liberty Mutual has all the basics covered in its standard homeowners insurance policy: coverage for your dwelling, personal property, liability, medical payments to others, wind and hail damage and additional living expenses.

Over nine in 10 Liberty Mutual customers we polled indicated they anticipated renewing their policies with the insurer and more than four in five would recommend this insurer to a friend.

Liberty Mutual ranked in the top five in Insure.com's annual Best Home Insurance Companies review, earning a score of four out of five stars in claims, customer service, price, website/apps and overall.

Cheapest homeowners insurance in North Carolina by city

You can pay more or less than twice what others pay for insurance coverage in North Carolina, depending on where you live. Location, including ZIP code, is just one factor that goes into home insurance premiums.

Let’s also take a look at average cost of home insurance by city in North Carolina:

CityAverage annual rateAverage monthly rate
Winston-Salem$1,555$130
Chapel Hill$1,634$136
Greensboro$1,636$136
High Point$1,660$138
Charlotte$1,716$143
Durham$1,726$144
Cary$1,733$144
Raleigh$1,738$145
Fayetteville$2,371$198
Wilmington$3,748$312

The locations with higher insurance rates are considered riskier to insure. Maybe they’re along the coast and prone to hurricanes and significant storms. Or the homes in that area are just more expensive than other areas of the state. Both of those instances lead to higher homeowners insurance costs.

For instance, Wilmington’s proximity to the coastline makes it a bigger risk for insurance companies than areas like Chapel Hill.

How much is North Carolina homeowners insurance?

The average annual homeowners insurance costs in North Carolina are $2,001 for $300,000 dwelling and $300,000 liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible. That’s slightly below the national average.

The average North Carolina homeowners insurance costs are slightly below the national average. If you live away from the coast, you’ll likely pay well under the state average cost of homeowners insurance.

However, areas along the coast, such as Bald Head Island, Holden Beach and Ocean Isle Beach, have the highest average home insurance costs in the state.Also, high-priced ZIP codes may have higher costs since homes are valued more there.

Even if you live in an area with high rates, you can still find the cheapest homeowners insurance companies. It just may take some digging.

How claims history affects home insurance rates?

Claims history also plays a vital role. How much do claims impact home insurance premiums? Here are the top average home insurance percentage premium increases based on claims:

  • Filing a second fire claim -- 60%
  • Filing a second theft claim -- 55%
  • Filing a second liability claim -- 52%
  • Filing a second water damage claim -- 50%
  • Filing a second medical claim -- 34%
  • Filing a second weather claim -- 29%
  • Filing a fire claim -- 29%
  • Filing a theft claim -- 27%
  • Filing a liability claim -- 25%
  • Filing a water claim -- 25%
  • Filing a medical claim -- 18%
  • Filing a weather claim -- 17%

Filling a claim is one of the quickest ways to see your home insurance premiums increase. That’s why you should be careful about filing minor claims. You have to pay the deductible on an approved claim, so you want to make sure not to file a claim that is about the same amount as your deductible.

For instance, let’s say your deductible is $500 and you need to replace a broken window. Replacing a broken window will likely cost you less or similar than your deductible. If you file a claim, you pay the deductible and potentially see your rates increase. In that case, you may want pay for the repairs yourself.

That doesn’t mean you should never file a claim. Instead, just be mindful of your deductible and how a claim may affect your rates.

How much does flood insurance cost in North Carolina?

The average annual premium for flood insurance in North Carolina is $964.

That figure is based on dividing the number of policies and the total policy cost from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

How much you have to actually pay for your property depends on your risk. If you live in a flood zone, you’ll spend more than if you live outside of a flood zone. Living outside of a flood zone and away from the coast will likely result in well below-average flood insurance costs.

If you have a mortgage, the lender may require a flood insurance policy. However, it may still be a wise decision to get flood coverage whether you live in a flood zone or not. Twenty percent of flood claims come from properties considered low or moderate risk.

Home insurance usually doesn’t cover flood damage. Instead, you need a separate flood insurance policy either through the NFIP or a private insurer who works with NFIP.

NFIP policies provide $250,000 structural coverage and $100,000 personal property. You can get quotes from the NFIP or a private insurer that offers flood insurance. If you want coverage beyond the NFIP limits, check with insurance companies in your area and see if they offer flood insurance.

How to get the cheapest homeowners insurance in North Carolina?

You gotta shop around if you want to get the best homeowners insurance rates.

Ethan Taub, CEO of Newport Beach, California-headquartered Goalry, says there's no substitute for wise consumer practices when it comes to homeowners insurance.

"The smart option for all homeowners is to shop around for affordable insurance coverage because you need to be able to have that peace of mind that your homeowner's policy is right for you," he says. "Shopping around helps you compare other quotes and benefits and gives you the option to ask for discounts that can rival other policies."

Ask friends and loved ones for recommendations; by asking around, you may get a valuable lead on an inexpensive carrier.

The objective, Taub adds, is to obtain several insurance quotes from different carriers so that you can compare and contrast what each has to offer.

"Then, it's a simple process of elimination. The nice thing is that, once you lock in a great rate and policy with a preferred insurer, you can forget about it until the renewal date comes back around," he adds.

Remember: Even if your efforts don't result in serious savings, it could lead to getting increased coverage for no more than what you're currently paying for insurance.

Save even more on home insurance

You can preserve more of your hard-earned pay by exploring possible discounts and specific premium-reducing strategies.

"First, raise your deductible to a less generous level that you can still bear to pay out of savings. This will cost you more if you have to file a claim, but in the meantime, your premiums will be lower," Brian Martucci, the Minneapolis-based finance editor for Money Crashers, advises.

Next, learn if paying your premium annually in one lump sum yields a lower quote.

"This may save you more money than paying in installments," notes Nick Schrader, an insurance agent with Second Western Insurance Services in Los Angeles.

Also, purchase coverage for only what you will use.

"If you look at a homeowners policy and a more detailed manner, you'll find that some coverage might not be essential, making your premiums higher," Schrader adds. "Eliminate what you truly don't need or lower your coverage levels where acceptable -- but not too low that you're leaving your home underprotected."

Furthermore, inquire about every available discount.

"Insurers typically offer discounts to older policyholders, policyholders who live in gated or homeowners association communities and policyholders with water sensors or leak detectors installed in their freshwater plumbing," explains Martucci.

Last, after you've locked in a policy, avoid filing small claims.

"Your premium is likely to increase after you file a claim. Over time, this increase could cost you more than the claim saved you -- resulting in a net loss," cautions Martucci.

Frequently asked questions by North Carolina homeowners

Does homeowners insurance cover hurricanes?

Yes, homeowners insurance generally covers most hurricane damage. However, a standard home policy doesn’t cover flood damage. Your policy may also not protect against wind damage if that coverage is exempt from your policy. Look for the list of exemptions on your policy to see if wind damage isn’t covered.

An insurance company may require you to get a separate windstorm or hail coverage. An insurer could demand extra coverage if you live along the coast in an area known for hurricanes.

Homeowners insurance does typically cover you for roof damage, downed trees, shattered windows and rain damage. That policy won’t likely cover you for a storm surge, water from a swollen river or ocean damage. Flood insurance is needed for that damage.

North Carolina is one of 19 states that have a separate hurricane deductible. These deductibles are typically between 1% and 5% of your home’s insured value. So, if you have a 1% hurricane deductible and $300,000 worth of dwelling coverage, you would have to pay a $3,000 deductible if you file a claim with the insurer picking up the rest of the approved claim.

Find your policy’s exact hurricane deductible on the policy’s declarations page.

Does home insurance cover windstorm damage?

Yes, home insurance typically covers windstorm damage, but it depends on the specific policies and the damage.

Some policies may exempt windstorm damage from being a named peril. In that case, the policy won’t cover that damage and you would need to buy a separate windstorm policy or a rider on the homeowners insurance policy.

If that concerns you, check your home insurance policy to make sure windstorm damage is covered.

What can you do if you can’t find homeowners insurance in North Carolina?

If you can’t get a homeowners insurance policy anywhere, you can ask about a fair plan. The North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association offers these plans for high-risk properties.

Why would an insurer not cover you? Maybe you have a lengthy claims history or your home is in poor condition. In that case, your only option could be a FAIR Plan.

A Fair Plan is similar to standard coverage though it might not cover as much and is usually much more expensive than a regular home insurance policy. However, it can also be your only option.