Boston Homeowners Insurance Guide 

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boston homeowners insurance guide

Bostonians have a lot of reasons to be proud to call Boston home. From the city’s rich history to its iconic foods like clam chowder and baked beans, Boston is a bustling New England city with excellent universities and medical centers. There is no shortage of activities for the whole family to enjoy, and the diversity of Boston’s population and neighborhoods truly enriches the experience of living in this Massachusetts city.

If you are moving to Boston or you’ve been renting a home there already, you may be thinking about buying a home. And while this is an incredibly rewarding undertaking, you need to prepare yourself for the responsibility by ensuring your financial strength and checking your credit score. You’ll also want to purchase a Massachusetts homeowners insurance plan.

Homeowners insurance will help cover you if, for example, someone breaks into your home while you’re camping in the Berkshires, or if your friend twists their ankle after getting too excited while watching a Patriots game in your living room. Basically, the right homeowners insurance policy offers financial protection if something undesirable (or just plain inconvenient) were to happen.

What does Boston home insurance cover? 

Boston has a lot going for it. Quality education, great medical care, excellent food, interesting cultural institutions, beaches, and fascinating history all make it clear why this city is a great place to live. In addition, Boston is very close to some great cities, like New York and Philadelphia, and is a quick drive to Cape Cod, one of the most beautiful beach towns in the Northeast. The city is also full of great things to do and see out in nature, like Boston Harbor Islands State Park and the Boston Public Gardens.

However, there are also some natural risks that come with living in Boston. Hurricanes, floods, ice storms, and snowstorms are all unfortunate possibilities. 

It’s worth noting that while no home insurance policy can cover you from every single potential mishap, the right homeowners insurance policy can keep you financially afloat through a myriad of typical situations. 

You might know that a home insurance policy is a good (and necessary) idea, but you might not have a grasp on all the moving parts. We’ve got a very extensive, plain English guide here that outlines all our home insurance policies and coverage options, so feel free to dive deep into the specifics—but for now, we’ll break down the basics of home insurance coverage for you here, so you can get a handle on what an home insurance policy covers, and if you’ll need to purchase additional coverage, like flood insurance.

Dwelling

‘Dwelling coverage’ helps pay for damages to the structure of your home. So, if your pipes burst next winter and damage your walls, or a windstorm blows over a tree and damages your home, you’re covered.

Other Structures

If one of the dangers mentioned above causes damage to your driveway, fence shed, or other structures on your property, your homeowners insurance has you covered.

Loss of Use

If you can’t live in your home due to covered damages, you loss of use coverage can help pay for a temporary place to stay and basic living expenses such as food, laundry, parking, etc.

Personal Property

Personal property coverage protects your stuff both inside and outside your home. So, if your couch is ruined due to a burst pipe or your laptop is swiped at a coffee shop, homeowners insurance has your back. With Lemonade, if your insurance claim is approved, you’ll receive the replacement cost of your personal belongings back in your pocket.

Liability coverage

If your neighbor slips and falls on an ice sheet on your driveway during a harsh Boston winter, you could be held liable. If someone is injured on your property or anyone on your home insurance policy causes damage to someone else’s property or stuff, your insurance company should have you covered.

homeowners insurance boston

Medical Protection

If your neighbor needs to go to the hospital because of that slip and fall, your home insurance coverage will kick in to cover the medical expenses. Home insurance covers policyholders if a guest gets injured at their place or if you accidentally cause injury to someone outside your home.

How much is home insurance in Boston?

There aren’t standard homeowners insurance rates for homeowners insurance in Boston. Of course, a policyholder who owns a Beacon Hill mansion will pay a different monthly premium than someone who owns a two-bedroom home in Hyde Park. 

Boston residents pay an average cost of $4,315 per year for homeowners insurance. In comparison, the national average for home insurance rates is $1,477 per year. How much your homeowners insurance costs will depend on your coverage limits, your insurer, your property, and your deductible.

What are the different types of homeowners insurance?

Lemonade offers two types of homeowners insurance policies: one for single-family homes (called HO3 in insurance-speak) and one for condo insurance (HO6). There are minor differences between the two, and you’ll choose the right homeowners policy depending on the type of home you’re looking to insure. 

A key difference is that homeowners own and are responsible for everything on their property (home, garage, fence, etc.). Condo owners with HO6 homeowners insurance policies are only responsible for the outermost walls of their unit, inward. If you have questions, your insurance agent can steer you in the right direction and help you choose the right plan for you.

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The best neighborhoods to be a homeowner in Boston 

Back Bay-Beacon Hill

This highly sought-after neighborhood is just minutes from downtown Boston by foot. Cobblestone streets and vintage street lights add a remarkable charm to this part of town. Crime is significantly lower here than some other parts of the city, and it’s perfect for singles, families with young children, as well as retirees.

The average cost of a home is $776,224. Options mostly consist of large brownstones and rowhouses that add to the elegant vintage-feel. Things to do include heading over to Charles St. to check out the Public Garden or catch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park! And if you get hungry, be sure to grab a bite to eat at Grotto, offering scrumptious Italian dishes.

East Boston 

Also known as “Eastie,” this neighborhood of Boston is one of the most affordable in the city. Residents can enjoy beautiful views of Boston Harbor in a variety of types of homes, from modern condos to older, renovated houses. The average cost of a home here is $276,989, making it perfect for young couples.
As a resident of Eastie, you can enjoy fantastic Italian food at Rino’s or delicious Somalian food at Tawakal Cafe anytime! There’s also lovely walking trails at Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, a beautiful salt marsh in the city that you don’t want to miss.

West Roxbury

This part of town offers city-dwellers an easy commute into the city, while still feeling away from the hustle and bustle. The schools here are excellent and homeowners can find homes for purchase at an average cost of $407,000.

The Dedham Mall is full of shopping for all ages. West Roxbury also has some great restaurants, like Porter Cafe for a fun night out or Stardust for classic Mediterranean food. There is also plenty of green space, like Millennium Park, which offers beautiful picnicking and walking trails.

Charlestown

With a median home price of $426,000, Charlestown is one of the safest neighborhoods on our list and is great for young families and older couples. This historic area has beautifully-colored row houses and some of the best schools in the city.

There is also no shortage of things to do. History-lovers will enjoy checking out where one of the most infamous Revolutionary War battles occurred at Bunker Hill Monument as well as the USS Constitution Museum to celebrate maritime history. Grab a hot drink and a pastry at Charlestown Tea and Treats or an authentic thin-crust pizza at Figg’s by Tod English.

Cambridge

Perfect for students and young professionals looking for a chill vibe, Cambridge offers a wonderful small-town feel while still being extremely close to Downtown. The average cost of a home in this neighborhood is around $1,010,000, making this the most expensive neighborhood on our list – but for good reason.

Cambridge is home to a very diverse, liberal-minded population and is full of top-tier restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. For example, Giulia offers exceptional Italian food—and be sure to check out the exquisite desserts at Oleana’s!

best neighborhoods in Boston - Cambridge
“Pahk the cah in Hahvud yaad.”

These Boston businesses will make your house a home 

  • Good. Owned by Paul Niski, this boutique offers exceptional quality New England-style furniture and house decor. From wall hangings to end tables and bookshelves, you can find gorgeous one-of-a-kind pieces at this houseware shop. Be sure to check out their range of accessories like bags and scarves as well as designer jewelry.
  • Hudson Interior Designs. This group of interior designers will turn your new house into your Massachusetts dream home. The four designers all have phenomenal artistic vision, lending a contemporary, modern aesthetic to every space they design. From furniture, to pillows and wall decor, they’ve got your decorating needs covered.
  • Boston General Store. Boston General Store prides itself on selling well-crafted products and furniture for the home, including an entire eco-friendly line for every room in the house. There is something for everyone and every room at this family-owned shop! They even sell puzzles and games as well as toys, clothes, and beds for pets.
  • Crane and Turtle. Located in Somerville, Crane and Turtle sells artisan Japanese housewares. Pick up truly astounding pieces for every room in your home or a unique origami set! Their ceramic mugs and unique, colorful dishware are stunning options for your kitchen. In addition, the staff is incredibly helpful and can help you pick out pieces that coordinate with your taste.
  • Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill. Blackstone’s has so much kitchenware, you won’t know what to settle on! They sell accessories for every room and occasion and also have great gift options for those looking for something to spruce up their space.

Random facts that make Boston great

  • Boston Common, established in 1634, is the oldest public park in the United States.
  • Walter Baker opened the first American chocolate factory in Dorchester in 1765.
  • Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston is located 90 feet underground and is the deepest tunnel not only in Massachusetts, but in the entire United States!
  • The famous Fenway Park where the Red Sox play is the oldest major league baseball stadium in the country.
  • Every year on December 16, the city reenacts the Boston Tea Party.
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A few quick words, because we <3 our lawyers: This post is general in nature, and any statement in it doesn’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of the policies issued, which differ according to your state of residence. You’re encouraged to discuss your specific circumstances with your own professional advisors. The purpose of this post is merely to provide you with info and insights you can use to make such discussions more productive! Naturally, all comments by, or references to, third parties represent their own views, and Lemonade assumes no responsibility for them. Coverage may not be available in all states. Please note that statements about coverages, policy management, claims processes, Giveback, and customer support apply to policies underwritten by Lemonade Insurance Company or Metromile Insurance Company, a Lemonade company, sold by Lemonade Insurance Agency, LLC.  The statements do not apply to policies underwritten by other carriers.

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Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.