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California homeowners insurance: what you need to know
The average cost for home insurance in California is $1,031 per year or $86 per month — this is 35% cheaper than the national average. The best way to get a cheap home insurance policy in California is to view prices from multiple insurance companies.
Unlike car insurance, homeowners insurance isn't controlled by state legislation. Even so, major gaps exist in home insurance rates on a state-by-state basis. Policy prices in states may vary based on the total number and value of homeowners claims filed in that particular state, such as California, and depend on the value of the belongings and structures covered by the policy.
Learn average home insurance rates in California by reviewing the below data. Individual rates may vary depending on coverage options and the value of the dwelling being insured.
Table of contents:
- Rates by company
- Rates by coverage amount
- Rates by deductible amount
- Rates by city
- Bundling savings
- Frequently asked questions
- Natural disaster coverage
Rates for home insurance in California differ depending on the insurance company you choose. California Automobile provides the most affordable homeowners policies in California — $639 per year. This beats the state's average rate of $1,031, providing a $392 discount on average policy costs statewide.
Start shopping for a homeowners insurance policy by reviewing the best California insurance companies, detailed below.
AFFORDABLE HOME INSURERS IN CALIFORNIA
|Average Yearly Rate in California
You can also check out our guide to the best home insurance companies based on the results of The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Your chosen amount of homeowners coverage has an impact on the insurance premiums you pay. In California, maintaining $100K dwelling coverage costs an average of $403 per year, while carrying dwelling coverage up to $400K costs $1,290 per year.
POPULAR COVERAGE LIMITS IN CALIFORNIA
|Average Annual Cost
One of the many choices that you will make when looking at homeowners insurance policies is how high or low to set your deductible. A deductible is the amount for which a homeowner is responsible before the insurer will cover a claim. The deductible level you choose can have a big impact on home insurance rates.
When choosing a deductible, keep in mind that the higher your deductible is, the lower your premiums will be. Therefore, if you are aiming for lower home insurance rates, you’ll want to keep your deductible higher. Bear in mind: your deductible should not be set at an amount that you would have difficulty paying in the event of a loss. Consult with your mortgage provider as they may limit how high of a deductible they will allow.
The chart below outlines the typical premium costs associated with deductibles offered by most home insurers.
HOME INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY DEDUCTIBLE IN CALIFORNIA
|Average Annual Homeowners Insurance Rate
Not all California cities have the same home insurance rates. Policy pricing depends on locally specific variables such as the number of claims filed nearby, giving your ZIP code weight in deciding how much you pay.
The cheapest home insurance in California is found in Oxnard. The average home insurance policy in Oxnard costs $722 per year — $309 less than the statewide average. The below cities have the most affordable homeowners insurance in California. Remember, however, that the cheapest is not likely to be your best option.
CHEAPEST CITIES FOR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE IN CALIFORNIA
|Average 12-Month Home Insurance Rate
Looking for insights on homeowners insurance in a particular city? Check out our breakdown of major California cities:
- Chula Vista
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Santa Ana
If you want to save on insurance, consider purchasing a combination of your home and auto policies from the same insurance company. A home and car insurance bundle in California can lead to substantial savings on your auto insurance bill. Bundling policies in California leads to a yearly discount of $200.
HOME AND AUTO BUNDLE DISCOUNTS IN CALIFORNIA
Avg. Annual Rate (No Bundle)
Avg. Annual Rate (w/ Bundle)
Annual Savings ($)
Annual Savings (%)
Do you need homeowners insurance in California?
The state of California will not require you to carry homeowners insurance but your mortgage lender may (if applicable).
What percentage of California homeowners have earthquake insurance?
Approximately 10% of California residents have earthquake coverage. This is typically based on location, as some mortgage companies may require earthquake coverage in certain areas that are more seismically active.
Does homeowners insurance cover earthquakes in California?
California deals with roughly 257 earthquakes each year, so California residents might want to consider attaining earthquake insurance.* However, this coverage is not a regular feature in home policies. Earthquake coverage comes in the form of an added endorsement to your homeowners policy and protects you against damages that result from earthquakes.
Aftershocks pose another serious threat. Aftershocks can be severe and wreak havoc for days after the initial earthquake. Luckily, you pay only one deductible for losses resulting from the initial earthquake as well as all related aftershocks that occur inside a period of 72 hours. However, be mindful of how the deductible will be applied, as it will almost certainly be separate from the deductible on your homeowners policy.
If your home is in an area prone to earthquakes, expect higher home insurance rates, especially in the highest-risk locations. Earthquake insurance is not available from most standard insurers, but there are options for those who live in states where earthquakes are a threat. Insurance companies in California may allow you to purchase an endorsement to cover damage from earthquakes. Keep in mind that earthquake insurance deductibles tend to be more costly than standard deductibles. In California, a homeowners insurance endorsement for earthquake coverage carries an additional cost of $373 per year.
Have a look at the best options for earthquake coverage in California listed below. It's important to treat these figures as estimates only, as rates will differ based on your specific property.
*Source: United States Geological Survey
CHEAP HOMEOWNERS EARTHQUAKE COVERAGE IN CALIFORNIA
|Average Annual Earthquake Insurance Rate
Does homeowners insurance cover fires in California?
Homeowners insurance covers fire damage in California. If your home was damaged or destroyed by a fire, your homeowners insurance company would cover the damage to your property up to your policy limits. The prevalence of wildfires in California reinforces the importance of having sufficient homeowners insurance: 15% of California households are in danger of sustaining damage from a wildfire. In fact, 1,823,153 of the state's acres fell victim to fires in the state in 2018.* However, there are some important caveats when it comes to homeowners insurance and wildfires.
Your location in relation to wildfire prone areas will have a huge impact not only on your rates, but also on which companies will even consider you for coverage. Access to water as well as terrain and ground covering can also have a significant impact on your rates.
In addition to covering damages — up to your policy limits — your home insurance would cover additional living expenses if your home is deemed unlivable. Damage occurring via arson — or fire-related damage to a vacant home — will not be covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Find out more about high-risk homeowners insurance.
*Source: Insurance Information Institute
Does homeowners insurance cover flooding in California?
Damage from flooding, whether from a hurricane or a torrential downpour, is not covered by homeowners insurance policies. To insure your home against flood damage, buy insurance from a private flood insurance company or through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Your mortgage company will advise on whether you are required to purchase flood coverage depending on your proximity to flood-prone areas.
Flood insurance coverage from private companies may vary, but if you buy through the NFIP you are allotted coverage for:
- $250,000 structural coverage
- $100,000 personal property coverage
If the value of your personal property and home exceeds these limits, consider purchasing a flood insurance policy from our partners at Neptune for additional protection. Flood insurance is a necessity in California, which faced $4,589,636 in flood insurance claims in 2016, according to FEMA.*
Find an affordable homeowners policy in California today!
About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
- The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
- The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
- The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.