High-Risk Homeowners Insurance

How to get home insurance if you or your property are considered high-risk.

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High-risk homeowners insurance: can you be denied home insurance?

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.

  1. What makes you or your home high-risk?
  2. FAIR Plan: what it is and how to get it
  3. High-risk homeowners insurance companies
  4. Additional resources

 

What makes a home — or a homeowner — high-risk?

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.

YouYour Home
Previous claims historyStructural issues with your home
Owning a home businessAge of roof
Low credit scoreLiving in a high-risk area (crime or weather)
Criminal historyVacant home/vacation home
Aggressive petsAge 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.

 

What is FAIR Plan insurance?

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.

 

What does FAIR Plan insurance cover?

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 CoverageStandard Dwelling Coverage
WindstormsLightning and fire
FireHail and windstorm
VandalismDamage caused by aircraft
RiotExplosions
 Riots and civil disturbances
 Smoke damage
 Damage caused by vehicles
 Theft
 Vandalism
 Falling objects
 Volcanic eruption
 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
 Pipe freezing

 

Although FAIR is not as comprehensive as insurance provided by standard private insurers, it's better than leaving your home uninsured.

 

How to get FAIR insurance coverage

FAIR is state-specific. Below are the numbers and websites at which you can find eligibility requirements and get a quote.


StatePhone Number
Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association334-943-4029
California FAIR Plan Association213-487-0111
Connecticut FAIR Plan860-528-9546
Insurance Placement Facility of Delaware215-629-8800
District of Columbia Property Insurance Facility202-393-4640
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation866-411-2742
Georgia Underwriting Association770-923-7431
Hawaii Property Insurance Assocation808-531-1311
Illinois FAIR Plan Association312-861-0385
Indiana Basic Property Insurance Underwriting Association317-264-2310
Iowa FAIR Plan Association515-255-9531
Kansas All-Industry Placement Facility785-271-2300
Kentucky FAIR Plan Reinsurance Association502-425-9998
Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation504-831-6930
Maryland Joint Insurance Association410-539-6808
Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association617-723-3800
Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association313-877-7400
Minnesota FAIR Plan612-338-7584
Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association601-981-2915
Missouri Property Insurance Placement Facility314-421-0170
New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association973-622-3838
New Mexico Property Insurance Program505-878-9563
New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association212-208-9700
North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association - FAIR Plan919-821-1299
Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association614-839-6446
Oregon FAIR Plan Association503-643-5448
Insurance Placement Facility of Pennsylvania215-629-8800
Rhode Island Joint Reinsurance Association617-723-3800
South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association803-737-6180
Texas FAIR Plan Association512-899-4900
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association800-788-8247
Virginia Property Insurance Association800-899-7973
Washington FAIR Plan425-745-9808
West Virginia Essential Property Insurance Association215-629-8800
Wisconsin Insurance Plan414-291-5353

 

High-risk insurance companies — alternatives to the FAIR Plan

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.


1. Determine why your insurance coverage was denied

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.


2. Exclude certain perils from coverage

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.


3. Consider non-standard insurance companies

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. 


4. If you get a FAIR Plan policy, look for supplemental insurance

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.

 

Additional resources




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