BERNARDS — Basking Ridge is the cheapest ZIP code in New Jersey with home insurance rates at $485 a year, according to It's also the second cheapest in the nation.

Managing Editor Michelle Megna says insurers look at a number of factors when setting home insurance rates such as a home's location, property crimes, credit scores, construction costs and the amount of claims history in the neighborhood.

She says Basking Ridge, a section of Bernards in Somerset County, is one of the safest communities in the nation, according to FBI crime statistics. The chance of a property crime in Basking Ridge is 1 in 307, compared to the rest of the state which is 1 in 61.

On the flip side, Megna says Atlantic City ZIP code 08405 is the most expensive with home insurance rates at $1,431 per year — $200 more than the national average.

"Communities that are near the shore tend to have higher rates because of the chance of exposure to storm damage and high property crimes."

New Jersey's average home insurance rate is $711, making it the 10th cheapest for home insurance in the country, according to data.

That average of $711 is about 42 percent less than the national average of $1,228. So that's $500 less.

According to the data, Conch Key, Florida, is the most expensive location in the nation for home insurance rates at $11, 702. Venice, Louisiana, is not much better at $11,151. Honolulu has the cheapest home insurance rate at $333 a year. Boise, Idaho, is third behind Basking Ridge at an annual rate of $498.

Megna says what's important to understand is that home insurance rates should be treated like auto insurance rates, meaning it's important to shop around for the best price. She adds that even if you live someplace affordable, you can still save money. Each insurance company has its own formula to assess risk. For that reason, the cost for the same policy can vary dramatically from one home insurance company to another.

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