Claire Smith Last Updated On: February 13, 2024

Getting Homeowners Insurance in Pennsylvania

The Keystone State is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the birthplace of the American classic Philly cheesesteak, and is a great place to buy home insurance. In fact, getting home insurance in Pennsylvania is more affordable than in most other states.

Some things in life are just a given: If you buy a house, you need home insurance to protect your hefty investment. But does the state of Pennsylvania legally require you to have home insurance?

Read on, and we’ll discuss everything you need to know about purchasing homeowners insurance in Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Am I Legally Required to Have Home Insurance in Pennsylvania?

Technically no; by law, you do not have to take out home insurance. However, if you need a mortgage on your property, you will likely need homeowners insurance to satisfy lenders’ requirements.

Although you legally do not need home insurance in Pennsylvania, it is strongly recommended that you do to protect your investment. Home insurance shields you from paying out of pocket for unforeseen circumstances like someone getting hurt on your property and suing you or if hail damages your roof. 

Without homeowners insurance in Pennsylvania, if anything happens to your dwelling, the repair and replacement costs are coming out of your pocket. This begs the question: Even though home insurance isn’t mandatory, why risk your financial security?

Natural Threats to Pennsylvania

Every state has unique natural or weather related risks; Florida and Louisiana experience hurricanes, Alaska has earthquakes, and Pennsylvania has a medley of perils depending on which county you live in.


According to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, flooding due to tornadoes or tropical storms is the number one risk to Pennsylvania. The counties most vulnerable to flooding are Dauphin, Lebanon, and Schuylkill. If you’re new to Pennsylvania and unsure if you live in a flood-prone area, check out FEMA’s website for more information.

Flood insurance is not a named peril in traditional home insurance policies, so if you live in a county known for floods, you should strongly consider taking out a separate state flood insurance plan.


Pennsylvania is a four-season state with snowy winters. With all that snow, sleet, and ice comes the potential for damage to your house. Most home insurance policies like HO2, HO3, and HO5 cover frozen pipes bursting or damage associated with the weight of ice, snow, or sleet. The only home insurance policy that doesn’t safeguard against potential snowstorm damages is the basic HO1 policy. So, as long as you have home insurance higher than HO1, your policy will cover winter-related repair or replacement costs. 

For instance, if the interior temperature of your home is quite cold and leads to your pipes bursting, this may cause insurers to deny your claim. 

Tornadoes and Tropical Storms

Traditional home insurance policies cover wind storm damages, but in Pennsylvania, you may need to pay for a separate tropical storm deductible to cover associated damages. The deductible is based on a percentage of your home’s value, not a flat dollar amount. If you’re unsure whether you need a windstorm deductible, ask your provider for more information on how they handle tropical storms.


If you live in the mountainous region of Pennsylvania during the dry times, it’s common for those counties to experience wildfires.

The 16 Named Perils Covered by Home Insurance

If you’re wondering what perils your home insurance in Pennsylvania covers, these are the perils included with your plan. However, please note HO1 policies only cover 10 named perils, not the full 16.

Also, notice that flooding damage is not a named peril covered in traditional home insurance, so you’ll need to go through the state for flood insurance if you live in a flood zone.


Lightning or Fire


Windstorms or Hail


Aircraft Damage to your property

Vehicle Damage to your property




Volcanic Eruptions

Weight of Ice, Sleet, or Snow 


Accidental Tearing, Cracking, Bulging, or Burning of A/C, Hot Water, or Fire Systems 

Accidental Damage caused by Short Circuit

Accidental Water, Steam Discharge or Overflow

Falling Object Damages


What Perils Your Homeowners Insurance in Pennsylvania Won’t Cover

Even if you have a more comprehensive homeowners insurance in Pennsylvania, there are certain perils that are not covered. These are the standard perils that your insurer likely won’t cover: 
  • Flooding
  • Earthquakes
  • Infestations (Vermin or Insects)
  • Power Failure
  • Intentional Loss
  • Nuclear 
  • Wear & Tear
  • Sinkholes
The Keystone State is susceptible to flooding and sinkholes. If you live in a county prone to these risks, consider taking out flood insurance through the state or a sinkhole endorsement/individual policy through your insurance provider.

What Home Insurance in Pennsylvania Covers

Home insurance in the Keystone state does more than shelter you and your property from named-peril damages, like a hailstorm damaging your roof; it also offers additional protection. 

Naturally, the level of protection you get depends on which home insurance policy you take out. For instance, an HO1 policy offers minimal protection, whereas an HO3 policy offers you greater coverage as it’s a comprehensive plan.

If you take out a 16-named peril homeowners insurance plan (HO2, HO3 or HO5), it will cover your:

  • Dwelling: If your home is damaged by a named peril, your insurance will pay to repair or replace it.
  • On-Site Structures: If your outbuildings like sheds or separate garages or your fence is damaged due to a covered peril, then place a claim and insurance will cover the repair costs.
  • Personal Property: This coverage pays to repair or replace your personal property, like furniture or jewelry, from named perils, like tornadoes or theft.  
  • Liability: Suppose you kick a ball through a neighbor’s window; liability will pay for damage to personal property or bodily injury that you’ve caused. It also will pay for legal expenses should someone sue you over an accident that occurred at your house.
  • Medical Payments to Others: If someone gets injured on your property, medical payments to others will pay for their medical expenses. However, the coverage is limited, so it’s only useful for small medical claims. 
  • Additional Living Expenses: If your home is under repair after a severe weather event—and insurance is footing the bill—they’ll pay for your temporary accommodations.

All this coverage comes with a price. Keep reading for the average cost of home insurance in Pennsylvania.

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How Much Does Home Insurance in Pennsylvania Cost?

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Pennsylvania is only $995 a year for $300,000 of dwelling coverage, which is significantly lower than the national average of $1,820.

With such affordable home insurance rates in Pennsylvania, a homeowners insurance policy is worth taking out, even if you like to live on the wild side.

Types of Home Insurance Policies

When shopping around for homeowners insurance in Pennsylvania, you have a few options. Here’s a list of the most common HO policies: 

  • HO1: Basic coverage isn’t offered by all insurers and only protects against 10 named perils and offers only dwelling coverage (at a depreciated rate), making this coverage not overly desirable for most homeowners—especially those with families.
  • HO2: Broad coverage protects against all 16 named perils and covers the dwelling, personal belongings, liability, loss of use, and medical payments to others.
  • HO3: Special coverage is the most popular home insurance policy that covers all 6 homeowners insurance listed above (e.g., dwelling, loss of use) against all 16 named perils.
  • HO4: Renters coverage protects a renter’s belongings, loss of use, and personal liability.
  • HO5: Comprehensive coverage covers high-risk or high-value properties with higher replacement value rates against all perils except listed exclusions.
  • HO6: Condo coverage protects the dwelling, belongings, liability, and loss of use.
  • HO7: Mobile or manufactured home coverage that offers the same protection as an HO3 policy. 
  • HO8: Modified coverage is for old homes and protects against 10 named perils.

Knowing the right terminology for the policy you need can help speed up the process for finding the best Pennsylvanie home insurance for you.

Pennsylvania Condo Insurance

If you’re in the market for condo insurance (HO6 insurance), the average cost is just over $600 a year for a $1,000 deductible, $100,000 liability coverage, and $40,000 personal property coverage.

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Pennsylvania Renters Insurance

If you’re looking to insure the property you rent, you’re in luck; renters insurance in Pennsylvania will run about $129 a year, which is about $11 per month!

Popular Home Insurance Companies In Pennsylvania

There are many home insurance companies to choose from in Pennsylvania, but we all want to find the best provider, which means the most affordable rates and best customer service. These are some of the most popular providers with affordable rates and offer a great customer experience:
  • Chubb
  • Erie
  • Farmers
  • Nationwide
  • State Farm
  • USAA
Of course, make sure to compare quotes, coverage and reviews to find the right provider for your needs.

How to Save Money on Home Insurance in Pennsylvania

Did you know Pennsylvania is the chocolate capital of the United States? If you want more money to spend on chocolate (or just cheap home insurance), let’s review ways you can save on premiums:

  • Shop Around: As the saying goes, “It pays to shop around.” If you settle for the first quote you get, you won’t know if you’re getting a deal on your rates or not, so collect a handful of quotes before deciding on which insurer ticks off all your boxes. Also, every insurance provider uses different calculations to set your rates, so shop around to discover the best insurance company for you.  
  • Get the Right Coverage: Don’t buy more coverage than you need. For instance, you likely don’t need HO5 coverage if you don’t live in a high-value or high-risk home, so instead, opt for an HO3 policy.
  • Raise Your Deductible: Shrink your premiums by raising your deductible, but make sure you’re prepared to pay a higher amount should you need to submit a claim. 
  • Ask About Discounts: Always ask your provider about any available discounts you may be eligible for, such as:
    • Bundling: Bundle all your insurance products and save, e.g., home and auto.
    • Safety Features: If you have certain safety features like smart home monitoring or a security system, you may be entitled to some discounts. Check with your provider about which safety features qualify you for cost-savings!
    • New Home: You’ll save if your home is under 15 years old.

There’s no shame in wanting to save on insurance. Paying premiums can be painful, but these tips make it a little easier on the wallet, at least.

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Final Thoughts on Pennsylvania Home Insurance

Buying your first or fifth home is exciting, but it’s a significant financial investment you want to protect with home insurance. Home insurance shields you from paying for the most common perils that threaten your home, like theft, burst pipes, or hail from a storm. Also, keep in mind that if you live in a flood zone, an area known for sinkholes or tropical storms, you may also want to take out an additional policy/endorsement to cover these risks.

If you call the Keystone State home, make sure you capitalize on the well-below-national average for home insurance rates! But before you take out a home insurance policy, get multiple home insurance quotes in Pennsylvania to get the best possible rate. 


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