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Northern Neck sells policies only in Virginia, and all policyholders also hold partial ownership in the company thanks to its mutual firm organization. Policyholders vote for administrative changes and receive dividends, which can be applied to the policy.
The company primarily sells homeowners and property insurance, with specialty policies for different types of property like condos and mobile homes. Virginia residents are also able to obtain some auto, boat and home business insurance through Northern Neck.
Northern Neck’s primary focus is on homeowners and related property insurance. Policies are available for multiple types of properties, including manufactured and mobile homes as well as secondary residences and condominiums.
Some specialty properties require different types of insurance:
- Condominiums – Your condo association will already cover damages that occur to much of the condo’s structure. You, however, will be responsible for damages to the inside (often referred to as “between the studs”). Additionally, when a condo is damaged, you may be responsible for paying for a portion of the overall cost of repairs through a loss assessment. These expenses are covered by your condominium insurance policy.
- Farmsteads – People who live in rural areas, particularly those who operate small farms, have unique needs. Northern Neck’s “Rural Estate Insurance” is meant for people who don’t need full-scale farm insurance but who could use additional protection for things like barns and farm equipment that might not otherwise be covered by a homeowners policy.
- Renters – If you rent your home rather than own it, you will need renter’s insurance. This is a policy that pays for your personal belongings and some limited liability coverage. Since your landlord will be insuring the structure of the rented property, structural damages are not covered by renter’s insurance.
All other basic homeowners policies offered by Northern Neck include coverage for repairs and replacement of damaged structures and home contents that arise from a covered loss type. Basic perils include fire, hail, wind damage and vandalism. You will need to purchase additional endorsements for more specialized losses, such as earthquakes or equipment breakdown.
Aside from physical damage insurance, homeowners policies also provide some basic liability coverage. This exists to protect you in the event that someone is injured while on your property. The liability coverage can pay for those injuries or help cover legal expenses that arise from a lawsuit.
For some, the basic liability insurance included in a homeowners policy does not offer enough protection. This is particularly true of high-value individuals with a lot of assets who might be ideal targets for a lawsuit. In these situations, purchasing an umbrella policy can be a good idea.
Umbrella policies are a sort of catch-all liability insurance meant to fill in the gaps of other liability plans. They can be used if you exceed your liability limits on any other policy, including your auto insurance. They’re usually sold with homeowners coverage, but the protection applies anywhere in the world, not just to injuries occurring at your home. Northern Neck insurance sells umbrella policies that can be added to your current insurance plan.
Property coverage is the primary focus of Northern Neck, and it’s how the company got its start. There are, however, policies available for vehicles, including personal automobiles and boats.
Basic auto insurance is available in liability-only or a more full-coverage option including collision and comprehensive. Roadside assistance is included for up to $75.00 per assistance, as a complimentary coverage in all Northern Neck auto insurance plans, which is a nice bonus.
If you want a more thorough auto insurance policy, Northern Neck does sell a pricier “Auto Enhancement Endorsement” with additional features:
- Lease gap insurance
- Non-owned vehicle protection
- Pet injury insurance (for when the pet is injured as a passenger during a car accident)
- Golf cart liability and damages (for when you are driving a golf cart and damage it)
Of course, not every insured will need all of those coverages, so you can pick and choose the protections that you want.
Northern Neck sells policies for some watercraft. To qualify for a policy, the boat must be either powered by an engine with more than 50 horsepower or be a sailboat longer than 26 feet in length. It must also be worth more than $1,000.
If you own a boat that meets these restrictions, you can purchase boat insurance. This is not actually a separate policy but rather an endorsement that can be added to your existing coverage, usually a homeowners policy.
Boat insurance covers the watercraft while it’s in use or in storage. Coverage applies to damages to that boat itself, permanently attached equipment, and the motor. The boat’s trailer will also be covered by this policy.
Northern Neck insurance sells its policies through agencies, and the website is geared toward existing customers and potential agents above all else. The website offers a clearly marked “Get a Quote” option that leads you to fill out some information and a local agent will contact you soon after. Should you require assistance during business hours, call 800-552-8660.
For those wanting to purchase a policy, you’ll need to locate an agency. Do this by selecting “Find an Agent” on the top menu of the company’s website and inputting your zip code. Remember that policies are only available in Virginia.
Finding claims information on the Northern Neck website is a bit of a challenge. The claims phone number can be found on the “Welcome” page, where you are instructed to contact your local agent during regular business hours. For after claims, call 877-968-7252.
The site does not offer an online claims reporting option and the company is without a mobile app that can also expedite claims filing.
Northern Neck Insurance Company received accreditation with the Better Business Bureau in 2013. It currently has an “A+” rating on the site, with five complaints in the last three years, one of which was closed this year.
There are a few consumer complaints available elsewhere on the internet, with the majority of complaints referring to the issue of policies being dropped after filing a claim.
Reviewing these complaints and the Northern Neck responses, there are a few interesting things that pop up. Northern Neck seems to be fairly choosy about its customers, with policies being canceled or properties denied based on the upkeep of the property. This means that you’ll need to be vigilant about keeping your home up to the company’s maintenance standards to ensure your property stays insured.
The other thing I discovered while researching complaints is that Northern Neck pays only for structural, not cosmetic, home damage. This is not necessarily unique to the company, but it is the cause of some home claim denials.
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Northern Neck insurance is an old company, but it’s very small and will not be the right choice for many people simply due to its limited geographic reach. Without an indication online of pricing or the claims process, the only way to get a real feeling for this company would be through an agency. As always with these small insurers, your best bet may be to find an independent agent who you trust, and then let that agent help you decide if Northern Neck is the best choice.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.