What is the homeowners insurance average?

The average homeowners insurance costs vary by state and region for a few main reasons. The overall threat, reality, frequency, and destruction caused by natural disasters all vary by area of the country.

For instance, Western states generally take the brunt of large-scale wildfires that are particularly devastating because they collectively share a more arid climate. Florida tops the list in catastrophic losses.

homeowners insurance averageBack East, meanwhile, hurricanes happen every season, giving many chances for high-winds and rain to do phenomenal damage to homes and lives.

Tornado alley poses the threat of fairly unpredictable destruction cropping up to ruin businesses, homes, cars, and landscapes.

Earthquakes and volcanoes are another threat that tend to rumble along fairly constantly, causing grave danger hopefully only once in a lifetime.

Snow, ice, hail, and rain are more consistently found across the nation, and therefore create a more standard problem for all homeowners. A record snowfall means an increased chance for roofs falling in or water damage from melting snow.

Ice is dangerous because it may fall off of trees, houses, and structures and onto people.

It may turn your idyllic snowfall into a skating rink cause slipping and broken bones on your front stoop, sidewalk, or driveway.

Regardless of where you live, be sure to use the FREE quote comparison tool at the top of this page!

More Controllable Problems

For other homeowners crime, fire response time, and other circumstances cause losses. If your family is particularly unlucky or accident prone, you may have stock up on your insurance to ensure greater costs covered from injuries, or liabilities.

There is not much you can do about stopping people from being thieves, or improving your local fire house’s response times.

What you can do is have a fire and security monitoring system in place to catch burglars and fire before the events get out of hand.

In addition, ensuring working smoked detectors, fire ladders, and fire extinguishers all lessen the loss of life and property.

Maintaining Your Home

Another aspect of preventing widespread personal disaster, which all creates insurance claims that later increase your homeowners insurance rates, is maintenance. If you are receiving a windfall of snow, then find a way to get it off the roof.

If you have to pay the landscaper or a roofer to come out and do snow removal, it is far less costly than having to pay insurance claims, deductibles, and higher insurance rates as a result.

In addition to regulating the snow, shovel driveways and walkways, and make sure you put down road salt (not the same as table salt) or anything else that melts ice.

Preventing slips and falls prevents expensive insurance claims and potentially halts lawsuits.

Preventing Common Costly Claims

What you may not know is that the two biggest insurance claims for homeowners, in general

  1. Dog Bites
  2. Mold and Mildew Remediation

Technically, both are mostly preventable claims. Dog training, good fencing, or not having dogs all helps. Though, do not take unnecessary drastic measures like giving away a member of the family.

Just be responsible. Know your dog’s range of behavior around children and strangers, in general, before letting them around kids or other people outside of the house. Having a fenced in yard may let your dog get out excess energy in his or her own element, without getting loose and causing problems for neighbors.

Another means of maintenance is keeping good seals on your house. Ensure that all barriers are actually blocking out nature’s elements, as intended. That is the first key to creating a home that is free from mold and mildew.

Mold and mildew are the last signs that you have a moisture, dampness, or otherwise water leaking or rushing where it does not belong in your house’s structure.

average homeowners insuranceHandling Water Problems

  1. Check roof flashing for failure
  2. Siding holes, slippage, and breakage signal inspection needed
  3. Rotting wood or gaps developing around windows
  4. Holes in foundation or otherwise allowing water into the house

When any type of breach is noticed in your home’s barrier, it needs to be fixed immediately. Otherwise, if you have to file a mold or water damage claim, the insurance carriers may refuse to pay the full damages for negligent maintenance.

Risk Factors Affecting All Homeowners

There are risk factors beyond the location of your house and variables, such as fire response time and crime levels. The State of Maryland has a breakdown of underwriting, or evaluation of risk factors that determine insurance premiums, that’s useful for all homeowners.

Homeowners insurance covers these four areas:

  1. Dwelling
  2. Other Structures
  3. Personal Possessions
  4. Liabilities

The main dwelling is generally the main focus of the homeowners policy, though insurance policies contain all four facets. The cost to rebuild your house and likelihood they will need to construct it today is what the insurers evaluate when determining how much your insurance will cost.

A tinder box, or a wood frame house, from 1800 might be more fire prone than a wood frame with specially treated wood and fire walls. Aerated concrete, which is low cost, creates great insulation, and is nearly fire proof, would probably cost less to insure and rebuild, on the other hand.

Other risk factors you may not have considered:

  1. Swimming pool
  2. Roofing materials
  3. Poorly maintained entrance way
  4. Trampoline

According to the Maryland guide, you may want to find out what would get your insurance cancelled.

For instance, in Maryland, one insurer actually cancels customers’ homeowners insurance policies if they make a non-weather-related insurance claim within the first three years of the policy. Makes many customers question wrongly question the value of insurance.

The 80 Percent Rule

The devil is in the details, as they say, where homeowners insurance is concerned.

In particular, buy a policy with a limit that is at least 80 percent of the actual cost to rebuild. It may be challenging to accomplish just that because the cost of materials often skyrockets in areas where disasters have hit.

The reason is that materials become harder to transport into a disaster-affected area. In addition, there may be a shortage and a run on materials as everyone in the same region needs to rebuild at the same time.

Price gauging happens at this time. There is one way around this issue. Do buy 80 percent of the cost to rebuild and get an inflation guard too.

Inflation guard protects you from the post-disaster price gauging. In addition, if you are unable to look at your insurance over the course of a few years, you are still protected.

Protecting Your Possessions

It should be a feeling of inner peace having insurance. Though, with news that if you use your insurance for losses unrelated to huge, devastating emergencies, you may be cancelled, it’s anything but relaxing.

average home insuranceUse personal property claims as a last resort. Consider buying safes that are fire proof and burglar proof. Make sure you bolt them to an immovable surface, such as a concrete floor, in your house. This will deter burglars from stealing from you, which prevents claims.

Be sure to make an inventory, complete with serial numbers, receipts, and videos or pictures. Keep copies of your inventory off property and out of the region to ensure you can be paid for your losses.

Insurers are much more apt to pay a claim quickly if you can prove what you have actually lost.

In addition, always be sure to buy replacement value insurance on your personal belongings. Actual value has greatly fallen out of favor, and it may not be offered to you.

Though, it is important to know the difference in case you come across either term. Replacement value means the insurance carrier will replace your belongings, no matter how old, at today’s replacement cost.

Actual value would indicate that the insurer accounts for weathering and used condition.

Likewise, learn when it is appropriate to make a homeowners insurance claim. Otherwise, you may put your future home insurance protection in jeopardy. Be an informed consumer and it will help you save the headaches of rejection and increased premiums.

Finding insurance is not difficult, though bucking the price increases of the past decade is increasingly challenging. Take time out to shop among the many free insurance quotes that are available.

Compare the costs of the coverage you need with what you are offered, and choose the highest quality insurer at the best quoted price. Price increases and differences of geography make determining an average homeowners insurance average nearly impossible.

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