City life in New York has become synonymous with the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, but Western New York has an answer for New Yorkers looking for city living with a sense of community: Buffalo. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a football fan or craft beer lover, or whether you prefer hitting the trails or the slopes—everyone knows there’s no place like Buffalo. From the views at Niagara Falls and home games at Bills Stadium to shows at Shea’s and Canalside concerts, the Queen City has something for everyone.  

Regardless of whether you’re new to the Rust Belt city or were born in Buffalo, there are three things everyone in the city of good neighbors shares: a passion for chicken wings, a friend with Bills season tickets, and a love-hate relationship with snow. Even if you’ve learned to brave the infamous snowstorms, Buffalo homeowners know the best way to protect a home from lake-effect snow is with a good homeowners insurance policy

Insurify makes it easy to find the best home insurance for your Western New York home, no matter if it’s your first time shopping for home insurance or if you’re looking for savings on your current policy. Use Insurify’s comparison tools to navigate insurance companies, coverages, and costs to find the perfect policy for you in just minutes.

Keep reading for our full guide on Buffalo home insurance.

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How to Find Cheap Home Insurance in Buffalo

Buying a home in Buffalo can be stressful. Do you choose a classic Victorian home in the heart of Elmwood Village or go with a more modern option on the waterfront? No matter where or what type of humble abode you choose, the first step to protecting your investment is choosing a homeowners insurance policy. Although home insurance is not required by law, it is often required to get a mortgage. Even if you aren’t required to purchase a homeowners insurance policy, it will ensure your home and personal belongings are protected in the case of perils like natural disaster or theft.

Buffalo homeowners are fortunate to face relatively low home insurance rates. But before you jump into the cheapest home insurance policy you can find, it’s important to know what coverage options come with your premium. If you’re looking for high coverage at a low cost, Insurify can help make sure you get the best bang for your buck. 

Plus, if you live outside of downtown Buffalo, you likely pay a pretty penny for a car and auto insurance as well. After you find a home insurance quote you love, ask your insurance agent about bundling your policies. If you’re in the market for multiple insurance services (home insurance, car insurance, and even life insurance), most insurance agencies will allow policyholders to bundle policies, which can help you save on costly premiums.  

Cheapest Home Insurance in Buffalo by Company

Homeowners insurance rates aren’t always designed with savings in mind. That’s where Insurify comes in.

The average Buffalo home insurance premium costs $1,138 annually, and the median home value is $105,695.  

But the cost of your home insurance policy is custom to your home, your neighborhood, and your desired coverage. Your homeowners policy is meant to help offset or cover the cost of repairs from natural disasters or property damage, replace personal belongings in the case of theft, and even provide personal liability insurance if someone is hurt on your property. Depending on where you live, you may want higher coverage if your neighborhood is prone to perils like fire or theft.

This is why the best homeowners insurance policy for you may be different from the best home insurance policy for your neighbor, even in the City of Good Neighbors. It’s important to know the various policies and coverages that different insurance agencies offer, as the average Allstate premium may include different coverage from the average GEICO or State Farm premium. 

Average Home Cost in Buffalo Average Annual Insurance Premium in Buffalo
$105,695 $1,138

 

Cheapest ZIP Codes in Buffalo for Home Insurance

Like property costs, home insurance varies in price depending on the neighborhood in which you live. Pricing is determined on ZIP code–specific variables, such as the volume of claims filed nearby, crime rates, and property costs, and risk variables, such as natural disaster frequency. 

That’s why the best home insurance company for you depends on your specific insurance needs. It is the most expensive to insure homes in downtown Buffalo, due to higher crime rates and closely spaced homes that create dangerous conditions in the event of a fire. More expensive neighborhoods, like Clarence, also have higher home insurance rates in the Buffalo area.

You can often find cheaper homeowners insurance quotes in the Queen City’s suburbs. It is easier to come by affordable home insurance in neighborhoods like Williamsville, Amherst, and North Tonawanda, which offer lower crime rates and more space around homes than downtown. Still, homeowners in Cheektowaga and Getzville enjoy some of the best rates in Buffalo.

Here are the most and least expensive ZIP codes in Buffalo for home insurance.

Most Expensive Real Estate in Buffalo Cheapest Real Estate in Buffalo
Starin Central $250,269 Grider $53,412
Central Business District $210,167 First Ward $63,233
South Abbott $167,392 Kaisertown $102,257

Home Insurance Coverage Types in Buffalo

There are several types of home insurance. Specific terms of insurance policies may vary by city, but in general, the standard policy types are as follows:

HO-1

Basic

  • The simplest and least comprehensive type of homeowners insurance
  • Provides coverage for a handful of potential problems, including
    • Dwelling coverage for damages from some natural disasters (storms, fires, wind, lightning, volcanic eruption), 
    • explosions, 
    • theft, 
    • damage from vehicles, 
    • or civil commotion. 
HO-2

Broad Form

  • Broad form homeowners insurance policies include all basic form coverage, plus protection from:
    • falling objects, 
    • damage from the weight of ice, snow, or sleet, 
    • freezing of household systems including HVAC and pipes, 
    • sudden and accidental damage to pipes and other household systems from artificially generated electrical current, 
    • accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam,
    • sudden and accidental damage. 
  • HO-2 policies typically cover both dwelling protection and personal property.
  • In some cases, broad form coverage may also include liability coverage. However, it still only covers the specific damages listed in the policy.
HO-3

Special Form

  • The most common form of homeowners insurance is known as a “special form” policy.
  • While HO-1 and HO-2 policies are “named peril” policies (meaning they only cover dangers that are specifically listed in the policy), HO-3 policies are “open peril” policies meaning they’ll cover all dangers except those specifically excluded in the policy documents.
HO-4

Tenant’s Form

  • HO-4 policies, also known as renters insurance, are for people who lease rather than own their homes. 
  • Tenant’s form policies typically cover all the same dangers as HO-2 policies. 
  • These policies include personal property coverage and liability coverage but don’t cover the physical structure of the house. 
  • Some HO-4 policies may also include loss of use coverage for the tenants.
HO-5

Comprehensive

  • Comprehensive form policies are usually the broadest and provide the highest level of coverage; not surprisingly, they also tend to be the most expensive type of homeowners insurance policies.
  • The biggest difference between HO-3 and HO-5 policies is that most HO-3 policies are “actual cash value” policies, whereas typically HO-5 policies are “replacement cost value” policies.
  • An actual cash value policy will only reimburse you for the actual value of a damaged or destroyed item, while a replacement cost value policy will reimburse you for however much it would cost to completely replace or repair the damaged or destroyed item (up to the coverage limits on the policy). 
  • HO-5 policies also provide personal property coverage against a wider range of dangers than the typical HO-3 policy. Many HO-5 policies also have extra coverage for high-value personal property, such as jewelry and artwork.
HO-6

Condo Form

  • Not surprisingly, condo form insurance is for condominium owners. HO-6 policies generally protect against the same types of dangers as HO-3 policies. 
  • They provide dwelling protection coverage with a twist: HO-6 policies cover the walls, floors, and ceiling of the condo unit but not the rest of the building. 
  • These policies also include personal property and liability coverage and may include loss of use coverage.
HO-7

Mobile Home Form

  • If you own a mobile home or manufactured home, you likely have an HO-7 policy. 
  • Mobile home form policies are typically identical to HO-3 policies, except they’re designed specifically for mobile and manufactured homes.
  • Like HO-3 policies, they provide dwelling protection coverage, other structures coverage, personal property coverage, liability coverage, and possibly loss of use coverage as well. 
  • HO-7 policies generally only protect the home when it’s stationary; if you plan to move your mobile or manufactured home, you’ll need to get a special policy to cover it while it’s in transit.
HO-8

Older Home

  • Older homes have generally been built to less stringent code standards than recently built homes, and so insurers have designed a specialized type of homeowners insurance policy for them. 
  • HO-8 policies often only cover the basic perils listed in HO-1 policies and generally apply to homes that are registered landmarks or otherwise deemed historic homes. 
  • Owners of registered landmarks are typically forbidden from making the updates to HVAC, electrical, and other parts of the home that would enable them to qualify for a standard HO-3 policy, so an HO-8 policy is often the only option for them.

Buffalo Home Insurance and Winter Storms 

Buffalo winters are a force to be reckoned with. Rather than allowing you to take the brunt of the storm yourself, a good home insurance policy will protect your belongings and your bank account. While a basic homeowners policy includes covered losses like wind and storm damage, you may need a broad form or flood insurance policy to completely cover the perils of lake-effect snow.

A broad form, or HO-2, policy will help cover the cost of damage caused by the weight of snow and ice. But if you want to make sure you’re covered if your pipes burst or melted snow causes flooding in your home, your best bet is to purchase an additional flood insurance policy. Some areas of Buffalo fall under 500-year flood zones, so purchasing flood insurance for homes in the area is a necessity.

Protecting Your Property from Crime in the Queen City

Buffalo faces one of New York state’s highest property crime rates, which greatly affects Buffalonians’ homeowners insurance rates. If your neighborhood has high property crime rates (like theft or burglary) or you’re simply looking for complete coverage in the case of a property crime, a comprehensive, or HO-5, policy would be best for you. 

Basic policies often offer reimbursement for a lost or damaged item’s value, but this may not cover the total cost of replacing your belongings. While comprehensive policies come at higher premiums, they offer replacement cost coverage. This means that if your personal property is stolen or damaged, your insurance provider will pay to repair or replace your items. 

It can be hard to know what to look for when insuring your Buffalo home. That’s why we compiled—and answered—some of Buffalonians’ most frequently asked questions about Buffalo home insurance

Buffalo Homeowners Insurance FAQs

Is windstorm damage a covered loss in my Buffalo, NY, homeowners insurance policy?

Yes, most basic home insurance policies will cover damages caused by windstorms. But if the wind is paired with rain or snow, it’s best to make sure your dwelling coverage includes flood insurance as well. 

Should I add water backup coverage to my homeowners policy in Buffalo?

Since many Buffalo homes are older and most have basements and sump pumps, experienced Buffalo homeowners recommend water backup coverage. This coverage protects your home in the case of sump pump failure. Most new homeowners may not consider the damage that sewage system failure can cause. But sump pump failure can happen to any home for a myriad of reasons, from flushing paper towels down the drain to mechanical malfunctions. To make sure you aren’t stuck covering the cost of repairing expensive damages from sewage flooding, ask your insurance agent about adding water backup coverage to your Buffalo home insurance policy.

Is my Buffalo home protected in the case of a fire?

Yes, most basic home insurance policies cover damages caused by fire. If you are concerned about being covered for the cost of specific items in your home, you may be able to complete a home inventory listing your valuables and their cost of replacement. Ask your insurance company what your declarations page includes and whether you are eligible to add valuable items.

Conclusion: How to Find the Cheapest Home Insurance in Buffalo

Finding the best home insurance policy for your Buffalo home can be overwhelming, but finding good deals and great coverage doesn’t have to be. With a little research and Insurify’s comparison tools, you’ll be on your way to savings in no time.  

Insurify has Buffalo homeowners covered.

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Browse, compare, and secure home insurance with Insurify today! 

Yep, it’s that easy.  

Updated September 16, 2020

Jacklyn Walters is a freelance writer for Insurify. Jacklyn has a background in journalism and is passionate about informing and serving others through writing. In her spare time, Jacklyn enjoys running, practicing yoga, and writing music.