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How to get home insurance if you or your property are considered high-risk.
High-risk homeowners and homes fall into an array of categories. If a prospective homeowners insurance customer has a claim-filled homeownership history or lives near a faultline or floodplain, insurance companies to deem a homeowner "high-risk." This article explores high-risk home insurance options — including the FAIR Plan — and provides tips on how to save.
There are many reasons a homeowner or a property — or both — can be considered high-risk. Below are common reasons for homeowners insurance policy denial.
|Previous claims history||Structural issues with your home|
|Owning a home business||Age of roof|
|Low credit score||Living in a high-risk area (crime or weather)|
|Criminal history||Vacant home/vacation home|
|Aggressive pets||Age of home|
While some of these factors may seem unrelated to homeowners insurance, consider the liability portion of an insurance policy. Liability coverage kicks in if you’re deemed responsible for damage to others or their property. If your past makes you appear riskier to an insurance underwriter, the company may deny you coverage.
Some of these issues have straightforward solutions. Replacing an old roof is expensive, but it can lead to an insurance discount while improving the integrity of your home. This is true of any structural issues. Fixing these issues can re-qualify you for coverage from home insurance companies that have previously issued denials of coverage, should they verify updates are satisfactory.
Other issues, such as your claims history or the home's location, can be trickier. If you live in an area at risk of severe weather, your best option is to compare as many companies as possible. Not every insurance company treats weather-related threats as uninsurable, but they may charge you more for your homeowners policy.
The likelihood of wildfires in a given location is a common homes are deemed too risky to insure. Prior to evaluating high-risk insurance companies, compare a few standard private insurers. If you’re continually denied insurance coverage, consider your state’s FAIR plan.
Although homeowners insurance is not required by law, your mortgage lender will likely require you to carry coverage. If you’re continually denied coverage, look into your state’s FAIR Plan.
The Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan — is a government-run program that aims to provide adequate insurance coverage for all homeowners.
You should consider FAIR as a last resort for homeowners insurance, as it offers less coverage. A typical insurance policy will cover your home from more than 16 threats, while FAIR only provides coverage against fire, windstorms, vandalism, and riot. Moreover, there's no guarantee your personal items will be covered — this just depends on your state.
Below are FAIR coverage options compared to those of typical homeowners policies:
|FAIR — Dwelling Coverage||Standard Dwelling Coverage|
|Windstorms||Lightning and fire|
|Fire||Hail and windstorm|
|Vandalism||Damage caused by aircraft|
|Riots and civil disturbances|
|Damage caused by vehicles|
|Damage from weight of snow, ice, or sleet|
|Water damage from plumbing, heating, or air conditioning overflow|
|Water heater cracking, tearing, or burning|
|Damage from electrical current|
Although FAIR is not as comprehensive as insurance provided by standard private insurers, it's better than leaving your home uninsured.
FAIR is state-specific. Below are the numbers and websites at which you can find eligibility requirements and get a quote.
|Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association||334-943-4029|
|California FAIR Plan Association||213-487-0111|
|Connecticut FAIR Plan||860-528-9546|
|Insurance Placement Facility of Delaware||215-629-8800|
|District of Columbia Property Insurance Facility||202-393-4640|
|Citizens Property Insurance Corporation||866-411-2742|
|Georgia Underwriting Association||770-923-7431|
|Hawaii Property Insurance Assocation||808-531-1311|
|Illinois FAIR Plan Association||312-861-0385|
|Indiana Basic Property Insurance Underwriting Association||317-264-2310|
|Iowa FAIR Plan Association||515-255-9531|
|Kansas All-Industry Placement Facility||785-271-2300|
|Kentucky FAIR Plan Reinsurance Association||502-425-9998|
|Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation||504-831-6930|
|Maryland Joint Insurance Association||410-539-6808|
|Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association||617-723-3800|
|Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association||313-877-7400|
|Minnesota FAIR Plan||612-338-7584|
|Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association||601-981-2915|
|Missouri Property Insurance Placement Facility||314-421-0170|
|New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association||973-622-3838|
|New Mexico Property Insurance Program||505-878-9563|
|New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association||212-208-9700|
|North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association - FAIR Plan||919-821-1299|
|Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association||614-839-6446|
|Oregon FAIR Plan Association||503-643-5448|
|Insurance Placement Facility of Pennsylvania||215-629-8800|
|Rhode Island Joint Reinsurance Association||617-723-3800|
|South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association||803-737-6180|
|Texas FAIR Plan Association||512-899-4900|
|Texas Windstorm Insurance Association||800-788-8247|
|Virginia Property Insurance Association||800-899-7973|
|Washington FAIR Plan||425-745-9808|
|West Virginia Essential Property Insurance Association||215-629-8800|
|Wisconsin Insurance Plan||414-291-5353|
The FAIR Plan does not provide comprehensive home insurance. Furthermore, it can be more expensive than standard private insurance. Only consider this option if you’re continually denied home insurance. Prior to FAIR, consider these steps.
There might be something easy you can do — replacing screens or removing debris — to make your property insurable. In other cases, you might need to replace your roof or erect a fence around your swimming pool.
If your restricted-breed dog is the reason for your coverage denial, speak to your insurance company about removing your dog from the liability portion of your homeowners policy. Not every company will offer this option, but it's worth inquiring about.
Major insurance companies like State Farm, Farmers, and USAA are hesitant to write policies for high-risk customers. Consider local insurance companies and other non-standard providers for home insurance coverage.
If FAIR is your only option, look for supplemental insurance policies to protect your contents. This means purchasing specific coverage for certain items — jewelry, art, firearms, etc. — buying warranties, or placing your belongings in storage and purchasing insurance from your storage unit company.