High-Risk Homeowners Insurance

How to get home insurance if your property is 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

 


 

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.

You Your Home
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 reason 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 Coverage Standard Dwelling Coverage
Windstorms Lightning and fire
Fire Hail and windstorm
Vandalism Damage caused by aircraft
Riot Explosions
  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.


State Phone Number
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

 

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, flooding, etc. — buying warranties, or placing your belongings in storage and purchasing insurance from your storage unit company.

Ross Martin
Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross researches and writes insurance content intended to help users make informed decisions.

Ross's background is in writing and education. He holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, Investopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance

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