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Compare high-risk homeowners insurance
Try landing a private home policy before applying for state insurance.
Many homeowners can find a policy even if one insurance company has already denied coverage due to the home’s risk. Either you can shop around for companies that will cover your home, or negotiate a policy with specific exclusions or higher deductibles. If all else fails, some states offer minimal coverage for high-risk homes that meet a given criteria.
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What coverage should I get for a high-risk home?
Weigh the benefits of paying extra for optional protection against your home’s increased risks. Or opt for less coverage to keep your premium low. Coverage to consider includes:
- Dwelling. Your home may face higher risks for situations like hail, fire, wind, tornados or vandalism.
- Personal belongings. Know that you can replace items damaged by storms or theft, including furniture, clothing, jewelry and electronics.
- Replacement cost. Consider this option to repair or replace your home or belongings at today’s price, but it may come expensive for a high-risk home.
- Loss of use. A useful option to pay living expenses above the norm if your home can’t accommodate you and your family during repairs.
- Water backups. Cover damage caused by blocked drains or sewer backups.
- Flood insurance. Buy a separate policy to protect against flood damage to your home and personal belongings. This coverage is not included in standard home insurance.
- Service lines or building code upgrades. While you might pay extra, you can update your home’s plumbing, electricity, HVAC or structural areas if damaged in a covered event.
How can I get cheap high-risk home insurance?
You can save money or even increase your chance of approval if you shoulder more of the risk or update your home. Consider these ways of lowering your premium:
- Exclude the high-risk area. Companies may work with you if you agree that certain risks won’t receive coverage. For example, you could exclude pets with a history of biting, opt out of water backup coverage or agree to actual cash value coverage instead of replacement cost coverage.
- Negotiate a higher deductible. Consider a higher deductible like $1,000 or $2,000 to give you more bargaining room.
- Look for specialized companies. Standard companies may charge higher prices to offset your home’s risk. But specialized companies may evaluate price-saving factors and keep rates at a more reasonable level.
- Improve your home’s safety. If your budget allows, install safety equipment or make home renovations that impact your premium like monitored theft alarms or updated wiring. If you have an active insurance policy but your coverage will be dropped soon, find out if some of those upgrades could be covered before your policy is canceled.
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Why was my home denied homeowners insurance?
An insurance company may deny or cancel your homeowners insurance for a variety of reasons, including:
- Your home’s condition. Issues with a home’s foundation or roof, or other major problems may disqualify it with some companies.
- Risky location. If your home is in a top crime or stormy spot, it risks more damage than homes in a safer area.
- Older home. Aged homes may stand more susceptible to weather damage and theft, and historical homes may require special construction and materials. These factors spike insurance premiums.
- Multiple claims or lapsed coverage. Whether you or your home involve a spotty claims history, previous claims or inconsistent coverage can raise insurance.
- Bad credit. You may hold a low insurance-based credit score, suggesting risky financial behavior.
- Aggressive pets or banned breeds. High-risk pets may involve a history of injuring others or include types of animals your insurance company considers more dangerous, such as snakes or certain dog breeds.
- Not a primary residence. A vacation or secondary home poses extra risk since it won’t have residents to watch over the property full time. Also, renters may not take care of the home as much as an owner would.
What is the FAIR Plan?
Many states offer homeowners insurance through Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plans. This program is designed for homeowners who are denied standard home insurance because of situations beyond their control like a risky location.
It ensures you can get coverage that might be required by your lender, even if you’ve been denied coverage previously. These plans may be funded by taxes or private insurance companies that pool the homes’ risks together.
FAIR Plan vs. traditional home insurance
The FAIR Plan offers less coverage than standard home insurance, so you should understand the benefits and requirements before buying a policy.
- Accepts high-risk homes
- Covers major damage from fire, wind, vandalism or riots
- May include brush fires or hail coverage in certain states
- Fewer situations covered than standard insurance
- May cost more
- Must meet eligibility requirements
- Can require safety renovations
Traditional home insurance
- Covers more types of damage, like lightning, explosions, hail, sleet and snow
- Offers additional optional coverages
- Lower premiums with discounts and comparison shopping
- Can require safety renovations
- May deny coverage for more reasons than FAIR Plans
How do I qualify for the FAIR Plan?
Each state that offers a FAIR Plan has its own eligibility requirements. Some requirements may include making necessary safety improvements, living in the home full time, excluding risky pets and not conducting business at home.
Keep in mind that several states don’t offer a FAIR Plan, including Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Nevada.
Insuring your home turns tricky when companies classify it as a high-risk. In some cases, you can sort through that problem with home upgrades. But in cases where you can’t lower that risk, you can get home insurance quotes through several companies or see if you qualify for a state-run FAIR Plan.
Frequently asked questions about high-risk home insurance
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