Read this guide to learn if your home is high-risk and which companies offer high-risk homeowners insurance.
Your home may be considered risky to insure if it’s in a high-risk area for crime and natural disasters. Several insurance companies won’t insure a high-risk home, and even if they do, it could cost more than the average policy.
The This Old House Reviews team created a guide to help high-risk homeowners explore their best home insurance options. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what home insurance companies to consider and what to do if none of these companies will insure your home.
What Is a High-Risk Home?
There are several factors that could cause an insurance company to classify you or your home as high risk.
Best High-Risk Homeowners Insurance Companies
When your home is classified as high risk, you may have trouble finding a provider that will insure your home. Here are three insurance companies that offer coverage for high-risk homeowners.
1. Amica: Best Personal Property and Liability Coverage
Amica offers the best liability and personal property and liability coverage out of the providers in this review. You can get personal property coverage at 75% of dwelling coverage, while Liberty Mutual and Allstate cap it at 70%. You also receive nine liability options, starting at $25,000 and going to $1 million.
If you want more coverage than what’s available in the base policy, you can add the following add-ons to your coverage:
- Water backup and sump overflow
- Identity fraud expense
- Dwelling replacement
- Personal property replacement
- Home business
- Catastrophic coverages
- Valuable items
Take a look at Amica’s other benefits:
- Offers a $100 deductible, which is lower than the industry average of $250
- Provides an add-on for catastrophic coverages that’s ideal for high-risk states susceptible to natural disasters
- Has over 110 years in the home insurance industry
2. Liberty Mutual: Best Discounts
Liberty Mutual offers 10 discounts to homeowners looking for home insurance coverage. Because high-risk homes cost more to insure, this long list of discounts helps bring down the monthly premium. Liberty Mutual has common discounts, like ones for bundling policies and for being claims-free, but the company also has unique discounts, including having a new home or having a new roof.
To customize your Liberty Mutual policy, you can add on one of the following coverages:
- Water backup and sump overflow
- Identity fraud expense
- Blanket jewelry
- Personal property replacement cost
Here are a few other benefits from Liberty Mutual:
- Provides up to $1 million worth of liability coverage
- Has a hurricane endorsement for states susceptible to hurricanes
- Has a claims center open 24/7
3. Allstate: Best Endorsements
Allstate has some of the most unique endorsement options to customize your high-risk home insurance policy. While most companies offer add-ons for items like valuable personal property, earthquakes, and identity theft, Allstate provides extra coverage for yards and gardens, musical instruments, and sports equipment.
Here’s a full list of Allstate endorsements:
- Roof surface extended coverage
- Water backup
- Green improvement reimbursement
- Extended coverage on jewelry, watches, and furs
- Identity theft restoration
- Claim rate guard
- Yard and garden
- Scheduled personal property
- Electronic data recovery
- Business property
- Musical instruments
- Sports equipment
Here are a few additional benefits of an Allstate policy:
- Provides 24/7 customer service
- Customers can choose 60% or 70% of dwelling coverage for personal property protection
- Available in all 50 states
High-Risk Homeowners Insurance Coverage
If a provider decides to insure your high-risk home, you can expect to receive the same coverage as a standard policy:
- Dwelling—Dwelling coverage protects the structure of your home. This includes the foundation, walls, and anything else built into the home. To determine how much of this coverage to purchase, estimate how much it would cost to rebuild your home as if it were new. You can do this by using an insurance company estimator, talking to an appraiser, or calculating the cost yourself, and purchasing $100–$155 of coverage per square foot.
- Other structures—This coverage is for detached structures on your property, like a garage or fence. It usually comprises 10% of your dwelling coverage.
- Personal property—This covers your personal belongings and protects them if they’re stolen or damaged while in your home, in your car, or on a trip. This coverage is usually 50% of your dwelling coverage.
- Additional living expenses—This reimburses you for living expenses you incur when you have to live elsewhere during home repairs. This could include the cost of a hotel room or the cost of meals. This coverage typically comprises 20% of dwelling coverage.
- Liability—This part of your policy covers costs if you cause bodily injury to another person or property damage. This could include legal fees, medical bills, and replacement costs. Most homeowners insurance providers recommend purchasing $300,000 worth of this type of protection.
- Medical payments to others—If a guest is injured in your home, your provider will cover some of their medical bills. The standard coverage amount is $1,000 per person. If you have a deductible that’s $1,000 or higher, it may not be worth it to file a claim because your insurance provider will pay a lower amount for medical bills than you would pay for the deductible, and you would have a claim on your record for five to seven years.
How Much Does a High-Risk Homeowners Insurance Policy Cost?
Most companies don’t advertise the cost of a high-risk policy. Factors that make your home high-risk, like living in an area with a high susceptibility to crime or having a low credit score, will increase your premium, causing you to pay more than $101 per month.
On average, homeowners with low credit scores pay 122% more for their home insurance policy than homeowners with high credit scores.
How To Buy High-Risk Homeowners Insurance
Buying high-risk homeowners insurance is more complicated than buying a standard home insurance policy. If Amica, Liberty Mutual, or Allstate won’t insure you, consider these tips to help you find a high-risk policy:
- Talk to neighbors—If your home is located in an area with a lot of crime or in an area susceptible to natural disasters, your neighbors may also be classified as high risk. Talk to them to find out how they got an insurance policy.
- Talk to your realtor—Talking to the realtor who helped you buy a home is another option, as they have experience selling homes in the area and will likely have home insurance recommendations.
- Find an insurance agent—If you’re still having trouble finding an insurance company, you can find an independent agent to help you get a policy. These agents have an in-depth understanding of the insurance industry and may be able to find a national or local insurance company that’s willing to insure your home.
What Happens if I Can’t Find High-Risk Homeowners Insurance?
If all else fails, you have one more option—a Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan. This plan is considered a last resort after being denied coverage from several private insurance companies. Many states, especially ones with high crime rates or susceptibility to natural disasters, have a FAIR program that’s subsidized by taxpayers and private insurers. With one of these plans, several sources carry your risk instead of just one insurance company.
*Prices based on quotes from Raleigh, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas.
If your home is at high risk, your best bet for finding home insurance is by checking with Amica, Liberty Mutual, or Allstate. If they deny you coverage, consider contacting your state insurance department about a FAIR plan.
Frequently Asked Questions About High-Risk Homeowners Insurance
Why would a homeowners insurance company drop you?
Here are a few reasons you may lose coverage in the middle of your contract term:
- Too many claims—If you file more than one claim in a year, your company may stop coverage.
- Home needs repairs—If your home is in poor condition, the company may classify your home as too risky to insure. An example of this would be if your roof is old and in need of repairs.
- Missed or late payments—If you continuously miss payments or pay late, your company will no longer trust you to pay your premiums.
- Criminal record or false declarations—If you’re arrested for a crime or you made false declarations about your insurance history and your provider finds out, your policy could be canceled.
- Change in a situation—If you move or your situation changes in some other way, your company may cancel your policy because it no longer fits the situation you purchased a policy for.
Can you get homeowners insurance with a bad roof?
It can be difficult to get an insurance policy for a home with a roof that’s more than 20 years old. Older roofs are more likely to cause leaks, which could damage your home’s infrastructure and lead you to file a claim with the insurance company. To avoid having to foot the bill for damage caused by an old roof, home insurance companies often ask about the age and condition of your roof during the quote process to weed out homeowners that haven’t properly maintained it.
Read more: Basics of Home Warranty Roof Leak Coverage
How long does a claim stay on your record?
Every time you file a claim, your insurance provider reports it to one of two claims databases—Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) or Automated Property Loss Underwriting System (A-PLUS). This allows your current insurance company and future ones to see your claims history from the past five to seven years.
How many home insurance claims are too many?
Having more than two claims in a five-year period may make it difficult to find coverage from a new home insurance company. If you want to stick with your current provider, don’t file more than one claim during your one-year contract.
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