The Average Cost of Home Insurance

Whether you’re already a homeowner or are shopping for your first home, selecting the best home insurance company for you and your family is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. For many people, their home is their most valuable investment, and it needs to be protected from damage, theft and other threats. However, finding the right coverage takes time and effort. Most people start off by asking, “How much is homeowners insurance?”

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      When it comes to buying insurance on a house, there are several factors that determine how much you’ll pay. Some of these conditions include:

      • The state you live in
      • The age of your home
      • The value of the land
      • And your credit score

      However, there are ways that homeowners can save money on their insurance costs. Let’s look at the different types of home insurance options available and discuss how homeowners can calculate their estimated insurance cost.

      [ Read: Home Insurance Quotes, Explained ]

      Average home insurance cost by state

      The current average cost of homeowners insurance in the United States is $1,211, according to data from NAIC. But homeowners insurance rates vary greatly by state due to regional risks like hurricanes and fires. Here’s a look at average homeowners insurance premiums in every state, based on data sourced from NAIC.

      Rank
      State
      Average 6-month Premium*
      Average Annual Premium
      1
      Louisiana
      $1,023
      $1,968
      2
      Florida
      $1,015
      $1,951
      3
      Texas
      $986
      $1,893
      4
      Oklahoma
      $982
      $1,885
      5
      Kansas
      $831
      $1,584
      6
      Rhode Island
      $815
      $1,551
      7
      Mississippi
      $808
      $1,537
      8
      Colorado
      $787
      $1,495
      9
      Massachusetts
      $783
      $1,488
      10
      Nebraska
      $780
      $1,481
      11
      Connecticut
      $779
      $1,479
      12
      Alabama
      $756
      $1,433
      13
      Arkansas
      $736
      $1,373
      14
      Minnesota
      $713
      $1,348
      15
      New York
      $694
      $1,309
      16
      Missouri
      $682
      $1,285
      17
      South Carolina
      $674
      $1,269
      18
      Georgia
      $673
      $1,267
      19
      North Dakota
      $666
      $1,253
      20
      D.C.
      $657
      $1,235
      21
      South Dakota
      $640
      $1,202
      22
      Tennessee
      $637
      $1,196
      23
      New Jersey
      $635
      $1,192
      24
      Montana
      $626
      $1,174
      25
      Wyoming
      $617
      $1,156
      26
      Kentucky
      $594
      $1,109
      27
      Hawaii
      $590
      $1,102
      28
      North Carolina
      $582
      $1,086
      29
      Illinois
      $567
      $1,056
      30
      Maryland
      $558
      $1,037
      31
      New Mexico
      $548
      $1,017
      32
      California
      $543
      $1,008
      33
      Indiana
      $539
      $1,000
      34
      Virginia
      $539
      $999
      35
      New Hampshire
      $525
      $972
      36
      Iowa
      $521
      $964
      37
      Alaska
      $519
      $959
      38
      Michigan
      $510
      $942
      39
      West Virginia
      $509
      $940
      40
      Pennsylvania
      $505
      $931
      41
      Vermont
      $498
      $918
      42
      Maine
      $480
      $882
      43
      Ohio
      $470
      $862
      44
      Washington
      $466
      $854
      45
      Delaware
      $456
      $833
      46
      Arizona
      $452
      $825
      47
      Wisconsin
      $429
      $779
      48
      Nevada
      $417
      $755
      49
      Idaho
      $404
      $730
      50
      Utah
      $385
      $692
      51
      Oregon
      $378
      $677
       
      U.S. Average
      $645
      $1,211

      *The typical homeowner’s insurance policy is for 12 months of coverage. There is limited data available for home insurance rates based on 6-months of coverage. Thus, the averages for 6-month premiums are calculated using 50 percent of the annual premium, plus an averaged installment fee of $6.50/mo (fractions rounded up).

      Most expensive states

      • Louisiana: $1,968
      • Florida: $1,951
      • Texas: $1,893
      • Oklahoma: $1,885
      • Kansas: $1,584

      Least expensive states

      • Wisconsin: $779
      • Nevada: $755
      • Idaho: $730
      • Utah: $692
      • Oregon: $677

      What determines the cost of homeowners insurance?

      Homeowners insurance cost for an individual homeowners insurance policy is determined by a wide range of factors.  Some of those factors are within your control, and some of them are not. Generally speaking, the main external factors that contribute to the cost of an homeowner’s insurance premium are the location of the home, the age and state of the home and your credit history.

      [Read: The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies for 2020]

      Homes in areas with high rates of flooding or fires means that the cost of covering that home will be more than homes located in places where natural disasters are uncommon. Newer homes will also cost less to insure than older dwellings— especially those in need of repairs. The insurer will also probably look into your personal credit history before covering your home, so people with good credit histories could receive a lower premium than those with poor credit histories. Aside from these factors, the cost of an individual policy will also be determined by which features you chose to include in your coverage.

      The features you chose in your homeowners insurance plan will play an important role in how much the monthly premium will be. A few of the options that affect the cost are:

      • Deductible amount
      • Extra coverage add-ons
      • Bundled insurance policies

      How deductibles can lower the cost of insurance

      Other factors that affect what you pay include:

      • State of home: some states are more prone to wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes than others.
      • Location of home: this information is pulled for crime and claim statistics in your home’s area.
      • Construction of home: is the home made out of wood, brick, or vinyl siding.
      • Heating system: is the home heated with an HVAC or wood stove?
      • Security system: homes with security systems are less likely to be broken into.
      • Previous claims on home: If the home has a history of water and electrical issues, then it is more likely the homeowner will file a future claim.
      • Homeowners previous claims: if the homeowner has a history with other insurance companies, he or she will likely file a claim again in the not so distant future.
      • Credit score: people with low credit scores are more likely to file a claim.
      • Nearest fire station: the farther away your home is from a fire station, the more likely it is to be completely destroyed in the event of a fire.
      • Marital status: married couples are statistically less likely to file claims with insurance companies.
      • Replacement cost: the cost to replace an older home and bring it up to code is often more expensive than replacing a new home.
      • Pets: certain animals are more likely to be violent than others.
      • Outside structures: thing like pools, sheds or greenhouses can also affect your policy rate.

      How can I estimate my home insurance cost?

      Start by finding the value of your home, keeping in mind that the amount will be lower than the price you purchased the home for. Consult with a realtor, building contractor or appraisal consultant to get an accurate estimate. Next, conduct a home inventory to determine the worth of your personal possessions. Before choosing a policy, decide if you want to insure your home and possessions for replacement value (which doesn’t consider depreciation) or cash value (which considers depreciation).

      [More: Complete Guide to Home Insurance]

      Types of coverage

      There are many different types of homeowners insurance coverage. Some coverages, like dwelling and liability coverage, come standard with most policies. But insurance companies also sell add-on policies that offer protection in certain areas. Here are some of the most common home insurance coverages you’ll find:

      • Dwelling coverage is insurance that covers any damages to the home itself.
      • Personal property coverage pertains to the cost of replacing possessions in your home, such as jewelry and furniture.
      • Personal liability coverage protects against lawsuits for property damage or injury.
      • Loss of use coverage covers any additional living expenses you have after your home has been damaged. This includes any additional money you pay for hotel stays, groceries, and gas while your home is being repaired.

      As you can tell, there are a number of home insurance coverage options you can choose from. But if you’re purchasing home insurance for the first time, it can be difficult to determine which coverage options you really need. Generally speaking, your home insurance coverages should be based on your lifestyle, where you live, and the value of your assets.

      For example, someone living in Nevada probably doesn’t need hurricane insurance, but they will benefit from earthquake insurance. If you keep a lot of valuables in your home, it pays to have scheduled personal property coverage, as well as replacement cost coverage. Someone who has a dog should consider having pet insurance, but a non-pet owner can skip that coverage.

      Keep in mind that you can also add coverage as time goes on. If you adopt a puppy six months after you purchase your home insurance policy, you can easily add pet coverage when the time comes. Or, if you take on a remote job, you can contact your insurance company and add home business coverage for a small fee.

      [ Read: What is Dwelling Insurance? ]

      Reimbursement coverage types

      If your home needs to be replaced, there are three different coverage options commonly provided by home insurance companies. Each option affects your premium differently.

      • Actual cash value (ACV) is based on the current market value, or how much your home and personal property is worth, with depreciation factored in.
      • Replacement cost value (RCV) works in the same way as ACV, but without depreciation factored in.
      • Guaranteed replacement cost (GRC) is also referred to as extended replacement cost (ERC), and this option covers the complete cost of rebuilding the home, even if that cost exceeds the policy limit.

      How much insurance do you need?

      The amount of insurance you should buy for your house will greatly depend on the home. As a general rule, you should start by considering the cost of rebuilding the home if it’s completely destroyed—which may be more or less than the home’s current market price.

      If the home is older, it might not be compliant with newer building codes, and that means you could have to shell out more money to rebuild. Consider local construction costs and the value of the personal items within the home.

      Before selecting a policy, conduct a home inventory to determine how much your personal possessions are worth. This will help to determine how much insurance you will need, and it will also provide a record of your possessions if your home gets damaged or destroyed.

      Find the Best Home Insurance

      Save money on home insurance with our simple comparison tool.

      Matching you with providers.
      We found results in
      Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

        Home insurance coverage limit: How much do you need?

        The simple answer is as much as you can comfortably afford. The minimum for liability is $100,000, but you should aim for $300,000 or greater if you can. The reason is that you never know what could happen at your home. It could be something as simple as someone slipping on your front porch or your dog nipping someone’s ankle as they walked by. Any ‘accident’ that happens at your home could potentially lead you to a legal dispute and medical bills. None of these things can be foreseen, so it’s best to be prepared.

        As far as dwelling coverage is concerned (the part of your policy that repairs your home if it’s damaged by a covered policy): you will want to base whatever amount you purchase on the actual replacement cost of your home. Be aware that if you have an older home, then it may cost more to get it up to code with today’s building standards. Also, know that whatever you choose will affect other coverage limits.

        For example, an other structures policy is typically 10% of whatever dwelling coverage you have. This means that if you purchase $400,000 in dwelling coverage, your other structures limit will be $40,000.

        Discounts and ways to save on home insurance

        Homeowners insurance can be costly, so before selecting a plan, shop around to find the best deal based on your needs. It can be helpful to consult an insurance agent, read consumer reviews and check online insurance quotes to find companies with the lowest rates. Here are some other ways to save money on home insurance:

        1. Ask about available discounts: Some companies offer discounted policy rates if you’re over a certain age, if your home is in a gated community, if you bundle with your car insurance or if you’re part of a homeowner’s association.
        2. Bundle your insurance policies: Oftentimes, companies that sell home, auto and life coverage will deduct up to 15% off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them.
        3. Make your home safer: Some providers offer a discount if you install fixtures that make your home safer, such as smoke alarms or a security system, that reduce the likelihood that damage or theft will occur in the first place.

        How do past claims impact home insurance cost?

        It depends on the nature of the claim. A fire claim where you are found liable will likely increase your premium by a substantial amount, whereas a medical claim won’t. Just how much a claim raises your premium varies on the provider and the nature of the claim.

        There are also further complications when you make the same type of claim twice. Not only will this increase what you pay each month, but, depending on you and your home’s history, it’s possible the provider may even decide to drop you.

        Though your premium will increase if you are found at fault, it’s also possible for your monthly bill to increase even if you’re not found to be liable. This is because your home from then on is considered riskier to insure than other homes.

        Home insurance cost FAQs

        No, states do not require homeowners to get insurance when they purchase a home. However, if you choose to get a mortgage loan, most lenders will require you to have some insurance.

        To determine how much coverage you should purchase, refer back to your home inventory. Based on the estimated value of the possessions inside your home, you can determine how much coverage you need. Also factor in the location of your home, and evaluate risks based on weather, fires and other events that could potentially damage or destroy your home. You can always choose to increase your coverage after purchasing a plan.

        For the most part, home insurance is not tax-deductible. However, there are a few deductions you can claim as a homeowner. These include:

        • Mortgage points
        • Mortgage interest
        • Property taxes
        • Medical home improvement deductions
        • Rental deductions
        • Home office deductions
        • Energy efficiency deductions

        There are a few ways to get home insurance discounts. Discount options include things like:

        • Bundling your home insurance policy with another policy (such as auto).
        • Going claims free for extended periods of time.
        • Making certain home improvements.
        • Living in a gated community.
        • Installing a security system.

        Lauren Ward

        Contributing Writer

        Lauren Ward is a personal finance writer living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and three children. In her spare time she enjoys board games and gardening.

        Reviewed by

        • Nashalie Addarich
          Nashalie Addarich
          Editor

          Nashalie Addarich is an editor for The Simple Dollar. She recently made a career switch from the legal field, where she was an attorney in Washington, DC. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages. You can also find her editorial work on Reviews.com.