States paying the most for home insurance
Being a homeowner can be difficult. 2018 was the fourth costliest year since 1980 in insured losses, according according to Munich Re. It is estimated that $160 billion was lost, of which $80 billion was insured. The largest driver of this was natural disasters, including Hurricanes Michael and Florence. Fifty-eight percent of all losses and 6 percent of insured losses were due to meteorological events, while 20% of all losses and 25% of insured losses were because of climatological factors.
Typically, frozen pipes, broken windows, and siding damage are the major homeowner insurance claims. However, disasters can and do strike. Wildfires, lightning strikes, floods, tornadoes, and ice storms have all impacted the nation last year, with homeowner insurance making the difference in how fast one can recover from these “Acts of God.”
For a homeowner, having to find the money needed to repair or replace a home when the unexpected happens may be an impossible burden. For most, homeowner insurance is a must. However, the amount a homeowner must pay for peace of mind depends on the risk the insurance companies have calculated for that home. This can be based on location, likelihood of meteorological calamities, crime rate, the insured party's wealth, and the prevalence of insurance claims in the region. Sometimes, it is impossible to ascertain why an insurance company may insure one house at one rate, and another at a different rate.
Stacker has looked at home insurance data from Value Penguin to determine which states pay the most in home insurance. For this study, we are looking at the state's average homeowner insurance cost, based on data accurate as of 2019. Our ranking is based on a national average home insurance annual premium of $1,083.
Per Value Penguin, wind and hail damage is accountable for 33.1% of all homeowner insurance claims. This is followed by water damage and freezing at 29.5% and fire and lightning at 26.8%.
Keep reading to learn how your state ranked and why owning a home in New York will cost you.
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Annual home insurance cost: $574 (47% below the national average)
From an actuarial standpoint, Oregon is the safest state in which to own a house. With the state having no major cities and with some of the lowest rates of property crimes and violent crimes in the country, it is relatively safe to live and own property in the state. The state has a low rate of property-damaging meteorological events and has weather that is largely predictable.
Annual home insurance cost: $590 (46% below the national average)
Like Oregon, Idaho is heavily rural. Idaho's largest city, Boise, has a population of 227,000, making it the 99th largest city in the nation. The rural and suburban nature of the state, along with its relatively low crime rates, makes the state one of the safest in the Union. The state also has predictable weather and a low rate of destructive weather.
Annual home insurance cost: $634 (41% below the national average)
Utah distinguishes itself from other states by the overwhelming presence of the Church of Jesus Christ in Latter-Day Saints. The state is notably religious, with a large percentage of the state's population being practicing Mormons. This may add to the feelings of safety and community pride that exist in the state. Utah also has low population density because the southern part of the state is mostly desert.
Annual home insurance cost: $686 (37% below the national average)
Wisconsin finishes in the middle of the pack in terms of safety. On the list of safest states by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics on property and violent crimes, Wisconsin comes in 21st. Despite this, Wisconsin is quiet, weather-wise. Short of the occasional blizzard and ice storm, natural disasters are rare in the Badger State. This is enough to give the state a good actuarial rating for home insurance.
Annual home insurance cost: $695 (36% below the national average)
In 2014, Washington State had 20,136 violent crimes reported and 21,706 property crimes against a population of 7,061,530. This is favorable compared to a state like New York, that had 75,398 violent crimes and 339,282 property crimes against a population of 19,746,227. With Seattle being Washington's only significant metropolis, much of the state is rural or suburban, supporting a safe reputation. Washington is also monolithic, weather-wise, with natural disasters being rare.
Annual home insurance cost: $704 (35% below the national average)
Nevada is mostly desert, with a significant part of it owned by the federal government. Although the state has concentrations of population in the Las Vegas, Carson City, and the Reno/Lake Tahoe areas, much of the state is sparsely occupied. Combined with a climate that is largely predictable, this low population density makes Nevada an easy state in which to get homeowner insurance.
Annual home insurance cost: $736 (32% below the national average)
The lowest home insurance premium on the East Coast, Delaware—while a part of the Philadelphia metropolitan area—is largely pastoral. The sixth least-populous state—with a population of less than a million—the state is also the sixth most densely populated, with its residents crowded together within the state's narrow borders. As Delaware is mostly farmland, it is easy to understand why the state would have favorable home insurance rates.
Annual home insurance cost: $765 (29% below the national average)
There are variables that are common in states that have low homeowner insurance rates: a low occurrence of natural disasters or destructive weather, low property crime rates, high home values, and a low percentage of urbanized areas. Arizona meets all these requirements. With a quarter of the state being Native American reservations, Arizona is also home of the Grand Canyon National Park and significant stretches of desert. Since over two-thirds of the state's population lives in Phoenix or Flagstaff, and because Arizona is a popular destination for retirees and snowbirds, Arizona is logically a low premium state.
Annual home insurance cost: $797 (26% below the national average)
Ohio is the first largely urbanized state on this list. While Northeastern and Central Ohio are by far the most densely populous regions of the state, Ohio has a reasonable amount of municipal development throughout the state. However, with large swathes of the state being dedicated to farming and the Appalachian coalfields lying to the southeast, the state is less metropolitan in feeling than neighbors New York or Pennsylvania.
Annual home insurance cost: $811 (25% below the national average)
Maine is an odd state. It is the least populated state on the Atlantic Seaboard and the least populated state east of the Mississippi River. Forty percent of the state's population is in the Portland metropolitan area, which is within two hours' drive of Boston. With large swathes of uninhabited land in the state's interior and with the state having few natural disasters reported, along with high home values in southern Maine, the state's homeowner insurance premiums come in at 25% below the national average.2018 All rights reserved.