Let’s face it: homeownership in California can be a bit expensive. Housing prices, homeowners insurance, and utilities in the Golden State runs higher than the US average. California homeowners naturally want to cut costs wherever they can, particularly when it comes to homeowners insurance.
We already helped you broaden your knowledge of homeowners insurance with 10 Things Californians Should Know About Homeowners Insurance. Now we want to give you a few more facts to help guide you through the process of obtaining affordable homeowners insurance, so you can get a bigger bang for your buck.
1. The Average Annual Homeowners Insurance Cost in CA is $1,000
The good news is that California's average homeowners insurance cost is $192 less than the national average of $1,192, meaning that it's likely you are already starting out ahead by living in the Golden State.
However, keep in mind that this is an average for the entire state, and adding specialized coverage for high-risk homes, flood coverage, or earthquake coverage can tack on additional expenses to your own bill.
Still, it's always useful to have a solid, specific baseline to refer to when negotiating insurance rates and comparing plans.
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2. You Can Access Rate Comparisons
One of the major advantages of being a homeowner in California is that the state's Department of Insurance publishes rate comparisons for standardized coverage, making it easier for you to find insurers with the best coverage deals.
This tool can give you a good baseline for insurer rates, but beware:
This tool is based on hypothetical risks that are based on the most common variables homeowners experience. However, this does not include the surcharge many insurers will add to homes located in areas with a high risk of wildfires.
These surcharges can fall anywhere in the range of 15% to over 300% depending on the likelihood of the home being faced with a wildfire threat.
Unfortunately, these surcharges are not reflected in the premiums shown in this tool.
If you don’t have the time to compare rates yourself - or you want to get a more accurate price comparison - let our independent insurance agents shop around on your behalf.
Put us to work: we’ll start shopping for your quote now.
3. The CA FAIR Plan is available for High Risk Properties
If you are struggling to find an insurance company that will sell you a homeowners policy because you do not meet their eligibility requirements, there are special insurance programs at your disposal that you can take advantage of.
The FAIR Plan is an association made up of all property insurers who are licensed to conduct business in California. It allows homeowners of high risk properties to obtain a standard fire insurance policy for the structure and contents of the home.
However, this basic policy has some coverage limitations. For example, it does not cover liability or miscellaneous threats such as burglary. Additional coverage from private insurers is recommended for those who purchase a FAIR Plan policy.
10 Things Californians Should Know About Homeowners Insurance
Whether you’re a first-time home buyer shopping for insurance or a seasoned homeowner, here’s what you need to know about insurance for your home in CA.
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4. NFIP Can Help Cover Flood Losses
Since typical homeowners insurance does not cover losses due to flooding, Congress created the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) to allow homeowners to purchase insurance that will protect their homes and its contents against direct physical loss by flood, damage caused by mudslides - which is typically excluded from a standard homeowners policy - and loss resulting for flood-related erosion.
Administered by FEMA, the NFIP provides federally-supported flood insurance to residents in communities that adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood losses.
This program provides a maximum coverage amounts for a single-family home include $250,000 for the structure and $100,000 for its contents. Renters also have the opportunity to purchase coverage for their personal belongings at a maximum amount of $100,000.
5. Simple Renovations May Reduce Your Rates
If you’ve been looking for a reason to renovate your home, you may have just found a good one:
Making simple renovations could reduce your homeowners insurance rates.
Every insurance provider is different, so be sure to ask each insurer about discounts they provide. However, many insurance companies will provide discounts for the following upgrades.
- Smoke detectors
- Burglar alarms
- Deadbolt locks
- Fire- and impact-resistant roofing material
- Noncombustible siding
- Storm shutters
For earthquake-prone areas like California, experts recommend verifying that your home's building frame is properly bolted to its foundation to reduce risk.
Did you know? You may be able to avoid thousands of dollars worth of water damage by simply replacing the standard rubber hoses that come with most washing machines with steel-braided reinforced hoses - at a cost of just $20.
Save Even More on Homeowners Insurance
Want more money saving tips to reduce the cost of your homeowners insurance? Let our experienced homeowners insurance professionals help find you lower cost insurance - or better coverage for the price you’re currently paying. Call us at (800) 579-6369 or simply fill out the form below, and we’ll get to work for you.