The Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance

We’ll get straight to the point: The cost of home insurance varies widely, but the average American homeowner pays $1,249 a year in premiums, according to the Insurance Information Institute’s 2018 figures, the most recent available.

 

(This is based on the HO-3 homeowner package policy for owner-occupied dwellings, 1 to 4 family units. It provides all risks coverage (except those specifically excluded in the policy) on buildings and broad named-peril coverage on personal property, and is the most common package written.)

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      Home insurance premiums can vary widely in part because of:

      • Your location
      • Your history of claims
      • Your credit score
      • The age and condition of your home

      However, there are ways that homeowners can save money on their insurance costs, which we’ll get into. We’ll also walk through which areas in the U.S. are the cheapest and most expensive, typical coverages and more.

      [ Read: Home Insurance Quotes, Explained ]

      How much does home insurance cost by state?

      As you can see below, the average home insurance premium varies widely by state. As you might expect, weather events figure big in the average annual premium by state, although there are other factors, of course, such as your credit score and the age of the home. The figures in this table come from 2018 data provided by the Insurance Information Institute.

      StateRankAverage annual premiumStateRankAverage annual premiumStateRankAverage annual premium
      Ala.13$1,409Ky.26$1,152N.D.18$1,293
      Alaska36$984 La.1$1,987Ohio44$874
      Ariz.46$843Maine42$905Okla.4$1,944
      Ark.12$1,419Md.32$1,071Ore.51$706
      Calif.31$1,073Mass.10$1,543Pa.40$943
      Colo.7$1,616Mich.38$981R.I.5$1,630
      Conn.11$1,494Minn.14$1,400S.C.19$1,284
      Del.45$873Miss.8$1,578S.D.20$1,280
      D.C.21$1,264Mo.15$1,383Tenn.23$1,232
      Fla.2$1,960Mont.22$1,237Texas3$1,955
      Ga.17$1,313Neb.9$1,569Utah50$730
      Hawaii27$1,140Nev.48$776Vt.41$935
      Idaho49$772N.H.36$984Va.34$1,026
      Ill.28$1,103N.J.24$1,209Wash.43$881
      Ind.33$1,030N.M.30$1,075W.Va.39$970
      Iowa35$987N.Y.16$1,321Wis.47$814
      Kansas6$1,617N.C.28$1,103Wy.25$1,187

      Based on the HO-3 homeowner package policy for owner-occupied dwellings, 1 to 4 family units. Provides all risks coverage (except those specifically excluded in the policy) on buildings and broad named-peril coverage on personal property, and is the most common package written.

      Most expensive states in home insurance premiums

      Below are the most expensive average home insurance premiums by state, according to the Insurance Information Institute’s figures from 2018. Premiums can vary widely within the state, and of course, there are more factors in your premium than the location of your home.

      • Louisiana: $1,987
      • Florida: $1,960
      • Texas: $1,955
      • Oklahoma: $1,944
      • Rhode Island: $1,630

      Cheapest states in home insurance premiums

      Below are the cheapest average home insurance premiums by state, according to the Insurance Information Institute’s figures from 2018. Premiums can vary widely within each state, and of course, there are more factors in your premium than the location of your home.

      • Wisconsin: $814
      • Nevada: $776
      • Idaho: $772
      • Utah: $730
      • Oregon: $706

      What determines the cost of homeowners insurance?

      The cost of 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. 

      For instance, home insurance can be more expensive in areas with a high risk of hurricanes or fires than in places where natural disasters are uncommon. Newer homes often cost less to insure than older dwellings. Insurance companies also look at 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.

      Every insurance company calculates rates differently. Some carriers place a higher value on credit score and claims history, while others look more closely at the condition and age of the home. Below is a more comprehensive list of the considerations that might determine your homeowners insurance premium.

      [ Read: The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies ]

      • State, city and neighborhood: 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 the 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 might be less likely to be broken into.
      • Previous claims on the home: If the home has a history of water and electrical issues, then the homeowner may be more likely to file a future claim.
      • Homeowner’s previous claims: If the homeowner has a history with other insurance companies, he or she may be more likely file a claim again in the not-so-distant future.
      • Credit score: People with low credit scores may be more likely to file a claim.
      • Nearest fire station: The distance between your home and the nearest fire station can be a factor.
      • 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 can be more expensive than replacing a new home.
      • Pets: Certain animals might be considered a greater risk for liability claims.
      • Outside structures: Things like pools, sheds or greenhouses can also affect your policy rate.

      Aside from these factors, the cost of an individual policy can also be determined by which features you chose to include in your coverage. A few of the options that can affect the cost are:

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

      [ 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, can come standard with most policies. But insurance companies also often sell add-on endorsements that offer protection in certain areas. Here are some of the most common home insurance coverages you might find:

      • Dwelling coverage is insurance that covers qualified damages to the home itself. If the siding of your home tore off in a major storm, dwelling insurance might cover the cost of repairs. Insurance companies might sell add-ons for water backup/sump pump overflow and earthquake insurance.
      • Personal property coverage pertains to the cost of replacing possessions in your home, such as furniture. If someone broke into your home and stole personal items, personal property coverage might reimburse you. If you need to protect valuables, your agent might recommend you purchase a scheduled personal property endorsement for higher coverage limits.
      • Personal liability coverage protects against lawsuits for property damage or injury. If a delivery driver slipped and fell on your icy driveway, liability coverage might pay for their medical expenses and court costs if they sued you. Some insurance companies offer add-on policies that extend your liability coverage limits.
      • Loss of use coverage might cover additional living expenses you have after your home has been damaged. This might include hotel stays, groceries and gas while your home is being repaired. If your house is under construction after a covered claim, loss of use coverage might pay for your temporary hotel and food expenses up to your policy’s limit.

      Generally speaking, your agent may recommend that your home insurance coverages be based on your lifestyle, where you live and the value of your assets.

      Keep in mind that your agent may recommend you add coverage as time goes on. If you purchase antiques or artwork six months after you purchase your home insurance policy, your agent may recommend you add scheduled coverage for these items. Or, if you take on a remote job, you can contact your insurance company and see if you should add home business coverage for a small fee.

      Every home insurance coverage has a policy limit. A policy limit is the highest amount of money your insurance company will give you after a covered loss. For example, if your dwelling coverage limit is $400,000, that may limit how much is paid out if your home is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril to no more than $400,000, although factors like your deductible may come into play.

      When you purchase a home insurance policy, you may be able to set your own policy limits. As a rule of thumb, you may be recommended to have enough dwelling coverage to rebuild your home in its current state, enough personal property coverage to cover the full value of your personal items and enough liability coverage to protect your personal assets.  

      [ Read: What is Dwelling Insurance? ]

      Reimbursement coverage types

      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. Most home insurance policies offer ACV reimbursement by default. It can be the lowest cost option.  
      • Replacement cost value (RCV) works in a similar way to ACV, but without depreciation factored in. That means you get a higher payout after a covered claim. RCV home insurance policies can be more expensive than ACV policies, and you may need to purchase an endorsement to get it.
      • Guaranteed replacement cost (GRC) is also referred to as extended replacement cost (ERC), and this option can cover the complete cost of rebuilding the home, even if that cost exceeds the policy limit. GRC can be the most expensive replacement cost type, and not all insurance companies offer it.  

      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.

        Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)

        America’s top-rated home insurance

        • Policies starting at just $25/month
        • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
        • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

        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 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 may deduct up to 15% off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them.
        3. Make your home safer: Some providers may 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.

        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, talk to your agent about your home inventory, your overall worth, and of course, comfort level. Also discuss factoring in the location of your home, and evaluate risks based on weather, fires and other events that could potentially damage or destroy your home.

        There are a few ways to potentially 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.

        In 2018, 34.4% of home insurance losses were wind and hail related, 32.7% were fire or lightning related and 23.8% were water damage or freezing claims. Only 1% of claims were related to theft, and less than 2% of losses were liability claims. These figures are according to the Insurance Information Institute.

        In Florida the most common claims may be related to hurricanes, wind damage, water damage and flooding. In California, earthquake, flood and wildfire claims may be more common. When you purchase insurance, talk to an agent about the specific risks in your area and ask about separate insurance policies you might need, like flood or earthquake coverage.

        We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

        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
          Insurance Editor

          Nasha Addarich is an editor at The Simple Dollar and a former attorney who specializes in home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and savings. She is a former contributing editor to Reviews.com.