Margaret Huntley Last Updated On: February 9, 2024

Hurricanes, Earthquakes and High Crime, High Risk Home Insurance

If you live in an area where these sorts of things occur or may occur, you may find it difficult to obtain a homeowners policy. These are a few factors that high risk homeowners insurance providers look at when evaluating whether to write coverage for your home.

High risk home insurance providers other considerations are; credit history, age of home, structural integrity, and claim history on that or other property you have owned. FEMA provides data to insurers about hazards such as flood or earthquake information. Hurricane and tornado areas are based on occurrence experience. Crime statistics are provided by both state and federal sources. However, for the past 20 years, the greatest losses have been brought about by storm damage.

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Table of Contents

What Is High Risk Homeowners Insurance?

You probably have a pretty good idea of what high-risk homeowners insurance is just from reading that introduction. However, let’s the recap.

High-risk homeowners insurance is insurance for people living in areas prone to natural disasters and people whose history of behavior has put them in the high-risk category.

These behaviors include:

  • Having a low credit score
  • Having a criminal record
  • Having a history of submitting many claims

All of these factors can lead to you being classified as a high-risk homeowner, but there are few lesser-known red flags for insurance companies. They include:

  • Having a high-risk dog breed.Certain more aggressive breeds (e.g. pit bulls and rottweilers) are flagged as higher risk, not only to guests coming on your property but to the property itself.
  • Home vacancy.If your home sits empty for most of the year, then it’s considered high-risk. The logic is simple: you won’t be there to account for its safety and security.
  • Having an older or historic home. Since these homes may not be up-to-code, having an older or historic home may result in your being classified as a high-risk homeowner. The good news is you can always make improvements to your home and nix your high-risk classification.

How to Get High Risk Homeowners Insurance?

Procuring high-risk homeowners insurance is not often as easy as getting traditional home insurance, and some providers—especially private providers—can give high-risk owners a hard time.

But that doesn’t mean getting high-risk home insurance is impossible. You just have to know how to go about accessing your coverage.

Here are a few tips:

  • Talk to your neighbours. If your high-risk status has to do with your location, then it makes sense to ask the people who live in your community how they got their insurance and who they got it from.
  • Ask your realtor. Your real estate agent likely deals with many homeowners in your area and these professionals are notoriously networked, so chances are, they know of an insurance company or broker who can help you.
  • Request a quote from us. We have curated a list of the best and most affordable high-risk homeowners insurance providers near you, so you can get a fast, secure and free quote that will help illuminate your coverage options.
  • Go surplus. A surplus carrier can cover risks not covered by traditional insurance, and while typically more expensive, they can cover against perils otherwise not included.
  • Check FAIR insurance. FAIR insurance (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) is a government-run plan that aims to insure people have (as the name suggests) fair access to insurance coverage. This plan may offer you protection when all else fails, but just keep in mind that not all states offer FAIR insurance.

Here’s a list of states that currently have FAIR plans:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington DC
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Texas Windstorm
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Contact your state’s insurance department to see if you are eligible to enroll in a FAIR policy. Not only will they let you know if FAIR is available in your state—and if your home is located along hurricane-prone Gulf and Atlantic coasts or wild-fire prone California, chances are, it is—but FAIR will connect you with a licensed provider.

Just bear in mind that FAIR insurance is where your search for high-risk home insurance should end, not start since FAIR plans are more expensive and usually provide less coverage.

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What Does High Risk Home Insurance Cover?

High-risk home insurance is not as comprehensive as standard insurance and varies depending on where you live. The majority of these policies cover the structure of the home (called dwelling insurance), and sometimes, personal property and liability. These are the cornerstones of most standard insurance policies too.  

When it comes to high-risk home insurance, it’s important to remember that the kind and scope of coverage you receive will depend largely on why you’re considered high-risk.

This is why getting a quote and talking to an agent is so important: It moves this speculation into the specific and puts you one step closer to getting a high-risk insurance plan that works for you. 

How to Reduce the Cost of High-Risk Homeowners Insurance?

While we cannot tell you exactly how much your high-risk insurance will cost without giving you a quote, we can share tips on how to lower your high-risk home insurance.
  • Do a home safety upgrade. If you can afford it, consider installing safety features (e.g. security system) or upgrading plumbing or wiring to shift your home into a lower risk category.
  • Pay a higher deductible. You can take a serious chunk out of your premiums if you pay a higher deductible off-the-hop. The deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in and it will lower the amount you have to pay monthly or annually for premiums.
  • Exclude the risk. If you agree to not have the risky element covered (which means you’ll have to pay for any damage yourself), some companies may agree to insure you. Examples of this risky element could be water back-up, a pet with a biting history or tendency, or, you could agree to settle for a cash-value settlement instead of a replacement value settlement, which is generally lower.

Find High-Risk Homeowners Insurance - We’re Here to Help

Unlike high-risk auto insurance, which tends to have more to do with how you act and less to do with what you drive, high-risk homeowners insurance is just as much about your home as it is about you and your behavior. 

High-risk homeowners insurance is a type of coverage made for homeowners who live in peril-prone areas and/or who have a history of filing a lot of insurance claims—and just like high-risk drivers, these homeowners can have trouble finding affordable home insurance. In fact, they may have trouble getting homeowners insurance, period. 

But we can help. We’re going to give you the rundown on high-risk homeowners insurance so you know why, how and where to get the best coverage.

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The Takeaway: High-Risk Homeowners Insurance May Be Necessary

No one wants to have to get high-risk home insurance. It can be more work to find and it’s unequivocally more expensive than traditional homeowners insurance. An equal truth is that it’s also necessary. Mortgage companies need proof of home insurance to provide financing and even if you could afford to buy your home outright, could you afford to replace the entire home if something happened or cover an expensive lawsuit?

You don’t have to get all possible coverage options, but you should get some basic dwelling, liability, and personal property insurance to cover the basics. 


That really depends on your policy and why you are considered high-risk. For instance, if you live in an area prone to wildfires, your home may have very limited protection from fires (or none at all). This said, basic dwelling insurance is usually covered (though there may be exclusions), as well as liability and personal property.
There are several ways to reduce the cost: negotiating the deductible, improving your property and excluding the risks are all good places to start. Also, be sure to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best possible price.

If you don’t have a mortgage, you may not need a high-risk policy, but by virtue of being classified as someone who is high-risk (and therefore more likely to file a claim), chances are, you should have it.

If you have a history of filing many claims, have poor credit, a criminal record, a high-risk pet, an older home, or live in an area prone to natural disasters, you are likely classified as a high-risk homeowner and require high-risk homeowners insurance.


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