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Homeowners insurance is a necessity and could save you money in the long run if tragedy strikes. To learn more about the average cost of homeowners insurance and how to save on home insurance costs, keep reading.
The Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is a barrier of financial protection in the case of a natural disaster or event that destroys your home or belongings. The cost of homeowners insurance can vary by state and other factors such as the cost and age of the home. High-risk factors such as pools or nearby bodies of water like lakes can also affect the cost of homeowners insurance as will dangerous pets or trampolines.
The average cost of homeowners insurance is approximately $100 monthly or $1200 annually. The states with the highest homeowners insurance costs are Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Teas, and Florida. This is likely due to these states’ propensities for natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes.
The states with the cheapest homeowners insurance rates are Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wisconsin, and Washington.
Homeowners Insurance Deductibles
A homeowners insurance deductible is the amount of money that a homeowner with a policy has to pay on their own before their homeowners insurance company will pay for a claim. For example, if a homeowner files a claim for $3000 dollars and they have a deductible for $300, then the homeowner must pay the $300 deductible before their homeowners insurance company provides the remaining $2700 to cover the claim.
There are two types of homeowners insurance deductibles available; dollar-amount based and percentage-based. Deductibles that are based on a specific dollar amount are like the example provided above. These deductibles are an agreed upon dollar amount that a homeowner must pay for any insurance claim.
Percentage-based deductibles are an agreed upon percentage that a homeowner must pay of each claim before their insurance company pays the remaining balance. For example, if a homeowner has a percentage-based deductible that requires that they pay 2.5% of their claims, and they submit a claim for $5000, then the homeowner would need to pay $125 of their claim before their insurance company pays the remaining $4,875.
The percentages for percentage-based homeowners insurance deductibles are decided by the insured value of the home being insured.
The Average Homeowner Insurance Deductible
Most dollar-amount based homeowner insurance deductibles fall between $500 to $1000. To save on the monthly costs of homeowner insurance premiums, homeowners can agree to pay a higher deductible in the event a claim is filed. Choosing to pay a higher deductible can save you up to 25% on your premium.
Factors that Increase and Decrease Homeowners Insurance Premiums
Having a poor credit score can significantly affect the cost of homeowners insurance premiums. In fact, a poor credit score can increase premiums up to 91%. Approximately, 85% of insurance companies use credit scores to determine homeowners insurance premiums in the United States of America.
Having a security camera, a security alarm, or any other security measures could decrease your homeowners insurance premiums. Many burglars avoid homes with security. This decreased risk in being robbed and needing to file a claim, entices some insurance companies to lower homeowners insurance premiums.
Like having a low credit score, filing an insurance claim increases a homeowner’s home insurance premiums. Filing a single claim can increase homeowners insurance premiums 9% on average. In Maryland or Connecticut, this amount is more than tripled to a 21% increase. By comparison, Texas and New York rarely, if ever, increase homeowners insurance premiums because of filing a single claim. And if a premium is increased, then it’s only for a small amount like 1%.
Loyalty to homeowners insurance companies can also decrease homeowners insurance premiums. Some insurance companies decrease premiums up to 5% for staying with the company 3 to 5 years. Staying with some insurance companies can increase insurance discounts up to 10%.
Homeowners who are willing to bundle their homeowners insurance with their auto insurance can save approximately 16% on their premiums. Of course your home and auto insurance rates depend on a number of personal factors. Renters will save around 8% if they bundle their renters insurance with their auto insurance.
The age of a home, and more specifically the age of the wiring and plumbing in a home, can increase the premiums of a homeowners insurance policy. Older homes and homes with older wiring or plumbing are at a greater risk of damage down the road. For this reason, insurance companies charge higher premiums to combat the added risks for claims being filed on the home.
Home with aluminum wiring may be excluded from an insurance policy unless certain safety standards and modifications are met and made by a licensed electrician. Some companies may even recommend copper rewiring to adjust risks downward.
A Homeowners Insurance Cost Factor Homeowners Control
Though a lot of the factors that affected the cost of homeowners insurance policies are out of the control of homeowners, there are some cost factors that homeowners can control. How much an insurance policy covers is one factor a homeowner can control, and it affects the overall cost homeowners insurance premiums.
If a homeowner wants a lower premium, then they can request a homeowners insurance plan that has less coverage. There are a few risks to consider though. The main thing that needs to be taken into consideration before a homeowner decides to have less coverage for a lower premium is that with less coverage comes a greater risk of having to pay out-of-pocket for damages that could have covered.
Why File a Homeowners Insurance Claim
There are many reasons why a homeowner may need to file an insurance claim. The most common reasons are due to weather conditions. Damage from winds is the #1 reason for homeowners insurance claims since they account for 25% of property damage.
Water damage from leaking pipes account for the highest number of non-weather related claims. Damages caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods require having separate insurance policies to cover the costs of the claims. Though these additional policies are optional, any homeowner who lives in high-risk areas for floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes, need to get the relevant separate policies to financially protect themselves and their properties in the long run.
Average Rates for Flood Insurance
The average cost of flood insurance is about $700 a year for homeowners. Only 12% of homeowners have flood insurance, and 14% of those homeowners live in the southern portion of the United States. Homes in Florida have the greatest risk of flooding. Despite this, Florida doesn’t have the highest rates for flood insurance. Instead, that honor goes to Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, flood insurance can be as much as $1200 annually.
The state with the lowest rates for flood insurance premiums is Maryland. Low-risk areas in the state offer flood insurance policies for as little as $129 a year. Flood insurance in higher-risk areas in Maryland can cost around $540 a year.
Renters insurance is inexpensive and has an average cost of just under $200 a year. Despite this, only about 40% percent of renters have a renters insurance policy. Mississippi is the most expensive state for renters insurance, and South Dakota is the least expensive state for renters insurance.
Like homeowners insurance deductibles, renters insurance deductibles can vary. Renters insurance deductibles can range from $500 to $1000.
The Components of Homeowners Insurance
Medical Payments to Others Coverage
If a guest is injured in the home, then medical expenses may need to be paid on behalf of the homeowner. For this reason, having coverage for medical payments to others is a smart move to make. The maximum coverage for medical payments to others is $5,000 and the minimum is $1,000.
Liability coverage should cover any legal fees as well as any financial assets. Financial assets include the home and anything of value that is attached to it. The maximum amount for liability coverage is $500,000, but an umbrella coverage can be added to it for additional coverage. The minimum coverage for liability coverage is $100,000.
Dwelling coverage should cover the entire cost to rebuild the home being covered. It does not include other structures such as garages or fences. Dwelling coverage also does not include the cost of any belongings inside the home. The minimum coverage for dwelling coverage is $300,000 and the maximum is $750.000.
8 ways to Save Money on Homeowners Insurance
1. Don’t Settle for the First Homeowners Insurance Company You See
One of the best things a homeowner can do to save money on their homeowners insurance is shop around. It can be tempting to go with the option option that is found, but taking the time to find the homeowners insurance policy with the best deal is well-worth it in the long run.
There are many top insurance companies that offer homeowners insurance, and they are all competing with each other to get as many homeowners as they can to sign with their companies. For this reason, many homeowners insurance companies will offer great deals to potential new customers, especially if they know the customer is looking at the competition.
Homeowners have many resources they can use to search for the best homeowners insurance company for their needs. Homeowners can ask friends or neighbors, check the Yellow Pages phone book, or contact the insurance department for their state. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is available to help homeowners gather information about insurers in their state, including any complaints an insurance company may have.
To help homeowners find the best insurance policy they can afford, states also provide information about the typical homeowners insurance rates charged by the major insurance companies in their state. Homeowners can also check insurance agents, consumer guides, or online insurance quote services to help them find the best insurance policy for their financial situation.
2. Search for Discounts
Many homeowners insurance companies offer many discounts to help sway homeowners to choose their company. Insurance companies do not provide the same discounts which is why it is important to shop around for them. Homeowners can receive homeowners insurance discounts for many reasons: age, employment, even group memberships.
Homeowners should check with their employer or any professional organizations they are members of to see if they can receive any homeowners insurance discounts due to their involvement with the company or the group.
3. Review Your Policy, Its limits, and the Value of Your Belongings Annually at the Very Least
It’s imperative that a homeowner’s homeowners insurance policy covers the value of the home and their possessions. Paying for an insurance policy that won’t cover the cost of your possessions following tragedy is a waste of money.
Regularly review your homeowner insurance policy to ensure that it covers everything you need. Homeowners also need to make sure that they keep up with any possible updates or changes to their insurance policy with the insurance company that provides it.
4. Check the Credibility of Your Insurer
An important step homeowners should take to save money on their homeowners insurance is to make sure their insurer is legitimate, trustworthy, and up-to-par. Paying money to an illegitimate insurer will not only leave you without any real protection since your policy contract may not hold up without a civil lawsuit, it will also cost you money that you could have saved by signing up with a legitimate insurer with great discounts.
Homeowners can check the histories and reputations of potential insurer by going to government websites such as the Better Business Bureau (the BBB). There, you can find out whether your potential insurer is licensed, reliable, or dishonest with a horde of complaints.
5. Keep Your Home Up-to-Date and in Good Shape
Another thing a homeowner can do to save money on their homeowners insurance premium is keep their home, and especially their roof, in quality shape. Having a home that is on its last legs or falling apart increases the risk that you will have to pay higher homeowners insurance premiums.
Homeowners insurance companies view houses and roofs in poor shape as a liability and a likely claim that is on the edge of being filed. To combat this inevitably in their eyes, many insurers charge a higher premium so that they can get their money’s worth in return in the long run should you have to file a claim.
6. File Claims Cautiously and Get A Second Opinion
A smart way homeowners can save money on their homeowners insurance policy is to get an expert opinion before filing an insurance claim. Hiring an expert to review your home and confirm whether you actually need to file a claim can save you from hastily and unnecessarily filing an insurance claim.
The reason you do not want to file an insurance claim if you do not really need to is because homeowners insurance premiums can increase when you file an insurance claim. If you file an insurance claim when you do not need it, not only will you potentially waste money paying a deductible you do not need to pay, you’ll also waste money by having to pay higher insurance costs.
If you cannot afford to hire an expert to guide you in deciding whether you need to file an insurance claim, then you can possibly ask a neighbor or friend with experience filing claims instead.
Homeowners can also save money on their insurance policies by not filing claims for damages they can pay out-of-pocket. Filing a claim for damages costs you can cover yourself can potentially cost you more money from the potential insurance premium increase than you’ll save by filing the claim. Be sure to make calculate the financial risk versus the potential financial reward or benefits before filing any insurance claims to save money on your homeowners insurance premiums.
7. Buy a Home in a Safer Location
The location of your home can affect how much your homeowners insurance will cost. Homeowners can save money of their homeowners insurance by purchasing a home in a safe location. This not only includes a location that is safe from crime, but also a location that is safe from large bodies of water and potential natural disaster zones.
The distance between your home and these high-risk areas does not have to be far. A few blocks between the two is enough to make a difference in how much you have to pay for your homeowners insurance. And remember that having a security system can reduce your home insurance rates by 20% on average. So read some home security systems reviews and notify you insurance carrier about it once you have it installed.
8. Only Buy What You Need
Another simple way homeowners can save money on their homeowners insurance is by only buying what they need. This may sound obvious, but many homeowners purchase insurance policies they do not need and end up paying way more in insurance than is necessary for their home.
If you live in an area prone to droughts and your water pipes and plumbing are up-to-date and in quality shape, then sidestepping purchasing flood insurance could potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
To completely have a peace of mind for your home, consider looking at home warranty companies as well.
If you’re in the market for a homeowners insurance policy, you may have a range of different questions. While most insurance companies will be able to answer your questions, it’s still a good idea to do your own research before you make any decisions. We receive tons of questions from readers — let’s take a deeper look at some of them below.
General Home Insurance FAQ
If you have general questions about home insurance and home insurance claims, you’ll probably be able to find the answers to your questions in this section.
What is homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance is a form of insurance that covers certain aspects of a private residence. The exact coverage will depend on your policy, but normally includes incidents such as fires, leaks, damage, vandalism, personal injury, theft, and more.
How much home insurance do I need?
This will depend on the value of your home, the content in your home, and what your mortgage provider requires for financing. It will also depend on the risks that you face in the area that you live.
How to shop for home insurance?
The best way to shop for home insurance is to compare the price and coverage of a variety of top providers. You should also make sure to check out what other customers think of your potential insurance provider — you don’t want to work with someone who makes it hard to claim.
How does homeowners insurance work?
Homeowners insurance works by providing you with a safety net if a disaster happens in your home. You’ll have to pay an annual amount to have access to the insurance policy. It’s essential to look at the extent of the coverage before making any decisions.
What company does Geico use for homeowners insurance?
Geico partners with a range of insurance providers to provide homeowners insurance. The company that you’re partnered with will depend on a range of factors, including your location.
What to look for in homeowners insurance?
You should look at three primary things: price, coverage, reputation. Make sure you can afford your insurance, but also ensure it covers you for as much as possible. Lastly, make sure the company has a reputation of treating claims fairly.
Home water damage recovery, what should insurance pay?
This is entirely dependent on your copay and what is covered in your insurance policy. Make sure to read the coverage carefully if you believe you’re being ripped off.
How to get homeowners insurance with a bad roof?
Most insurance companies require you to have a good roof. If you don’t have one, it may negatively impact your ability to get the right coverage. In some cases, if you can’t afford a whole new roof, speak to a roofing expert about cheaper ways to improve it to a reasonable standard.
How to find homeowners insurance by address?
There are online sites that will provide you with quick quotes depending on your location. The same goes for the direct website of many insurance providers.
What is a homeowners insurance declaration page?
In most cases, an insurance declaration page provides you with all the details of an insurance policy. Including coverage options, deductibles, and more.
What is personal liability in home insurance?
Personal liability is coverage for personal injury on your property. If someone is injured on your property, they may sue you or seek compensation for their injuries. A personal liability coverage option can help protect you from costs associated with this.
How does a homeowners insurance claim work?
This will depend on your particular provider. Typically, an insurance provider will want you to get in contact as soon as possible and provide information about what items have been stolen, damaged, lost, etc.
How much is mobile home insurance?
This will depend on the value of your mobile home, its contents, its locations, and the amount of coverage that you’re seeking.
Home insurance inspection, what do they check?
Most home insurance inspections will look at a wide variety of components of your home. Including roofing, pluming, guttering, and a range of other potential hazards that could lead to a claim.
What is the best homeowners insurance?
There’s no set ‘best’ homeowners insurance. It will depend on the amount of coverage that you need, your home’s location, and the price budget that you’re able to work with.
What to expect from home insurance adjuster?
In reality, a home insurance adjuster will be looking to get the best possible claim for the insurance company. If you want to avoid being ripped off, it’s best not to rush to a decision and do some research before you make any agreements with your adjuster.
What is loss of use in home insurance?
Loss of use effectively includes the cost of items that result from not being able to use your home or a damaged item. If you can’t live in your home because it’s damaged, the price of this can add up quickly.
How to get homeowners insurance after being dropped?
This will depend on the reason that you’ve been dropped. You should most likely look at other providers and compare the potential premiums that you’re offered.
What happens if you don’t have homeowners insurance?
You’ll be leaving yourself extremely open to large costs if something bad happens to your home. You may be leaving yourself open to losing your property, money, assets, and more. It’s very dangerous to not have homeowners insurance.
How to file a home insurance claim?
Most modern home insurance providers have websites or telephone lines for you to be able to make claims. Ask your provider about the most convenient ways to file claims.
How are homeowners insurance claims paid?
This will depend on your particular insurance provider. This is an important component to consider when you’re setting up a home insurance policy.
How to get homeowners insurance to pay for new siding?
You need to file a claim and prove that damage has occurred. You should also make sure that this is covered by your policy. If it’s not, you won’t be able to get your insurance company to pay.
How much homeowners insurance does a lender require?
Basically, most mortgage providers will require you to have complete coverage for the amount that you owe on the house. Most lenders will tell you how much they require.
How long does it take to get homeowners insurance?
It can take a few days because many insurance companies have to undertake inspections on your home to ensure that you meet their requirements.
How much does a security system save on homeowners insurance?
This will depend on the home insurance provider that you have, but in most cases, it will save you money. If you’re considering investing in a security system, ask your insurance provider how much you can expect to save.
How to deal with home insurance adjuster?
Make sure to be strong with adjusters — they’re only there to get the best deal for the insurance company. Don’t sign any agreements before ensuring you’re getting the best deal possible. Don’t be rushed into an agreement.
How much deductible for home insurance?
This will depend on your home insurance policy and the premiums that you pay. Make sure you know your deductibles before making any agreements.
How long does it take for homeowners insurance to pay a claim?
This will depend on the provider, the claim amount, and whether an extensive inspection is required to facilitate the claim.
What is the difference between mortgage insurance and homeowners insurance?
Mortgage insurance covers the costs of your mortgage if there’s a legitimate reason you can’t pay it. Homeowners insurance covers damage and other costs associated with theft or a disaster with your home. Speaking of mortgages we recently wrote about refinance mortgage companies with no closing costs if you are in the market for such a product.
Pricing Home Insurance FAQ
Here are some of the top questions we receive about the pricing of home insurance.
How much is home insurance?
This will depend on your level of coverage, deductibles, location, insurance profile, and more. It’s good to get a range of quotes before making a decision.
How much is homeowners insurance on a 150,000 house?
This will depend on how much you owe on the home, what your mortgage provider covers, the potential damage your home may face, and more. It’s important to get coverage that will help you avoid catastrophe.
How to estimate home insurance?
The best way to estimate home insurance is to get a quote from a range of different providers. This will help you get a better idea of the market price of your home insurance policy.
How much is home insurance per month?
This depends on your policy’s price. This will depend on the policy value, what it covers, your home’s location, potential risk factors, deductible amount, and more.
How to calculate home insurance?
There’s no set way to calculate home insurance price. It will depend on a range of variables. The best way to see what it will cost is to ask a variety of different lenders for a quote.
Who has the cheapest home insurance?
This will depend on the policy and its requirements — it will also depend on your location. Obtain a range of quotes if you’d like to check the current cheapest options.
How to lower home insurance?
You can lower home insurance by fixing components of your home and installing security systems. Ask your insurance provider how much you can expect to save by making certain changes.
How to save on homeowners insurance?
To save on homeowners insurance, you should see if you can make improvements to your home or install a security team. Alternatively, obtain quotes from other providers to ensure that you’re getting the best market rate. Also when you get home and auto insurance quotes together you may get a better rate.
Why is my home insurance so high?
This could be a range of different things. It may be because the area you live in has a number of large risks. In some cases, it may be because you are using the wrong insurance provider. Make sure to get quotes from other providers if you believe you’re overpaying.
Can you really save by bundling home and auto insurance?
Yes insurance companies will give you a price break for getting multiple insurance types with them. This works for auto and home insurance but may also work with other insurance types. For example you could compare motorcycle insurance while also getting home insurance and see if the rate is any lower.
Home Insurance Coverage FAQ
If you have questions about home insurance coverage, make sure to check out some of the FAQs below.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
This will depend on your particular policy. In most cases, it will cover a broad range of problems such as leakage, damage, vandalism, fires, certain types of storm damage, roof damage, theft, and more.
How to get homeowners insurance to pay for a new roof?
You need to make a claim if you want to ensure that you get it paid for. You’ll need to prove that the damage is valid. Make sure that your roof is covered by your policy.
What does homeowners insurance not cover?
This depends on the type of coverage that you have. But it must be noted, certain types of natural disasters — such as floods, earthquakes, and tornados — are often not covered. If you want this to be covered, make sure it’s in your policy.
What type of water damage is covered by homeowners insurance?
Typically damage that is the result of a plumbing issue is covered. In many cases, traditional flooding is not covered. Make sure to check your policy to see what type of water damage is covered.
Does homeowners insurance cover plumbing?
In most cases, it will cover plumbing. Still, it’s important to check that your policy covers this. Also, most insurance providers will inspect your plumbing prior to giving you coverage.
What home insurance covers pitbulls?
It can be hard to find a home insurance company that covers personal liability of pitbulls. Make sure to ask you provider if it’s covered before you sign up for a plan.
State-Based Home Insurance Questions
Here are some common questions we’ve have received about state-specific home insurance policies.
How much is home insurance in Texas?
This depends on your provider, coverage level, insurance amount, deductible, and more. If you live in parts of Texas hit by natural disasters, make sure to see if this is covered.
How much is homeowners insurance in Florida?
Again, this will depend on a range of factors, including your insurer, coverage, amount of insurance, and the deductible you have to pay. As Florida is known for flooding and hurricanes, make sure to know if this is covered by your policy.
How much is home insurance in California?
You’ll need to factor in your coverage, insurance company, policy value, and more. California suffers from large wild fires and mudslides. It’s always important to make sure that you know if you’re covered for these types of events. You may be interested to know that Lemonade homeowners insurance, a well reviewed company, is available in California.