Do I Need High-Risk Home Insurance?

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You may have to shop for homeowners insurance from non-standard insurance providers if you have been labeled as high-risk due to personal factors like your credit score and claims history or the location of your home and the risk factors associated with the area. The riskier you are to insure, the more you will have to pay for coverage and the harder it may be to find an insurance company that will cover you.

Read below to learn more about the factors that can make a property riskier to insure and how you can purchase high-risk home insurance for yourself.

Key Takeaways

  • An insurance company may view you as risky to insure due to personal factors like your credit score and claims history or details about your home such as its condition and the likelihood of natural disasters impacting your area.
  • If an insurance carrier considers you too risky to cover, it can turn you down and you may have to shop from non-standard insurers that specialize in high-risk coverage instead.
  • High-risk homeowners insurance is typically more expensive and provides less coverage than a standard home insurance policy.
  • Every state has a government-instituted insurer of last resort that should be able to offer you limited coverage if you have been repeatedly denied coverage from traditional insurance companies.

What Is High-Risk Home Insurance?

High-risk homeowners insurance is a general term that refers to coverage for homeowners with significant risk factors that make them far more likely than other homeowners to file a home insurance claim requiring a large payout or to file several smaller claims within a relatively short window of time.

Keep in mind that an insurance company has the right to deny you coverage if it considers you too much of a risk to insure.

As a result, you may have to seek out coverage from non-standard insurance providers that specialize in high-risk coverage depending on your circumstances.

What Makes You a High Risk for Homeowners Insurance?

Various factors can result in homeowners insurance companies considering you high-risk including your personal characteristics and details about your home.

High-Risk Scenarios for Homeowners

Home insurance companies could view you personally as a risk to insure based on factors such as the following:

  • Claims history: If you have filed multiple claims in the past, insurers will typically view you as more likely than other policyholders to file multiple claims in the future.
  • Credit score: Many insurance companies look at a credit-based insurance score to evaluate your likelihood of filing a claim because people who manage their finances better are statistically less likely to file insurance claims. However, the use of credit as a rating factor for homeowners insurance is limited in some states like Maryland and Massachusetts.[1]
  • Home-based business: Homeowners insurance companies will often outright exclude coverage for a business you operate out of your home. However, if your insurer does offer a home-based business endorsement for your homeowners policy, the company naturally takes on additional risk by covering your commercial property and business-related liability claims.
  • Pets: Home insurance typically includes coverage for dog bites and other pet-related liability claims, which means you may be considered a high risk if you own a dog breed that has a reputation for being aggressive or any other kind of exotic or dangerous animal like a snake.
  • Primary residence: It can be risky to insure any house you own that is not your primary residence such as a vacation home. Since you don’t actively live in it, a second home can be an easier target for theft or vandalism and it’s more likely that you won’t be there to catch damage from something like a burst pipe early.[2]

High-Risk Factors for Homes

Even if none of the above scenarios apply to you, your home itself could be considered high-risk depending on the following factors:

  • Natural disaster risk: An insurance company will likely classify you as risky to insure if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, wildfires or any other natural disaster that homeowners insurance typically covers.
  • Crime rates: If there is a high crime rate in your area, there will naturally be a greater chance that you will need to file an insurance claim related to theft, vandalism or civil commotion.
  • Age and condition of home: If your home and roof are old, structurally insecure, unable to pass an inspection or otherwise in poor condition, there is a bigger risk of your home incurring significant damage that could lead to an expensive insurance payout.
  • Type of home: Some types of houses are intrinsically riskier to insure than others and may even require special coverage such as mobile homes and historic homes.
  • Access to firefighters: Insurance providers could also categorize your home as risky if it is not easily accessible by firefighters since it is likely to be damaged more severely in the event of a house fire. This could apply if you live in a rural area that is a long distance from the nearest fire station or a densely-populated urban area where fire trucks could face substantial traffic on the way to your home.[3]

How Does High-Risk Homeowners Insurance Work?

To be able to afford covering you, high-risk home insurance companies may have to offer you less coverage than a standard homeowners insurance policy would include. For example, home insurance usually covers wind and hail but your policy may exclude coverage for these perils if you live somewhere that experiences a high rate of wind and hail damage such as the Texas Gulf Coast.[4]

Alternatively, your insurer could require you to pay a percentage-based deductible for certain types of claims rather than making you pay a flat amount of money up front. For example, homeowners in nearly 20 hurricane-prone states have to pay between 1% and 5% of the amount of coverage they have for the structure of their homes as the deductible for all hurricane-related claims.[5]

maps of hurricane and windstorm homeowners insurance deductible coverage by states

What Does High-Risk Home Insurance Cover?

While coverage can differ for homeowners insurance for high-risk properties, most standard policies include six core coverage types: dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, personal liability and medical payments coverage.

Dwelling insurance protects the structure of your home, while other structures insurance covers detached structures like sheds and fences. A standard homeowners policy insures your home and other structures against any peril not listed as an exclusion in the policy. Meanwhile, personal property coverage typically insures your belongings against the 16 perils listed below, although coverage can vary based on your location and other risk factors.

Fire or lightning

Vandalism or malicious mischief

Windstorm or hail



Volcanic eruption

Riot or civil commotion

Falling objects

Damage by aircraft

Weight of ice, sleet or snow

Damage by vehicle

Freezing of home systems


Sudden/accidental power surges

Sudden/accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of home systems

Water/steam discharge from home systems and appliances

Loss of use coverage can take care of additional living expenses if your home temporarily becomes uninhabitable because of a covered peril. Finally, personal liability insurance can cover medical costs, repair bills and legal expenses if you are held liable for someone else’s injury or property damage, while medical payments insurance can cover treatments for minor injuries incurred by a visitor regardless of whether you are held liable.

What Isn’t Covered?

Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover gradual or preventable damage, which means you’ll usually have to pay for repairs yourself if your property is damaged by wear and tear, poor maintenance, mold or infestations.

There are some sudden sources of damage that are commonly listed as exclusions in home insurance policies such as floods and earthquakes. Your insurance provider may also deny coverage for liability claims related to dangerous animals or attractive nuisances like trampolines.

Ultimately, any peril or liability risk that would be covered by a standard insurance policy could be excluded from your policy if your insurer considers you to be especially high-risk. For example, most home insurance policies will cover water damage caused by a snowstorm but your insurer could exclude coverage for this peril if your roof is in poor condition.[6]

Which U.S. Regions Are Considered High-Risk for Insurers?

California and Florida are particularly high-risk for insurers compared to other states due to their high rates of natural disasters, among other factors. In fact, multiple insurance companies have withdrawn from these states completely or substantially limited the number and types of policies they sell.

While not every area of every state is at equal risk, there are numerous perils that can make regions throughout the United States exceptionally risky for insurance companies to cover. See the below map for examples of some of the most common natural disasters in each region of the U.S.[7]

common natural disasters across the united states

How Much Does High-Risk Home Insurance Cost?

In general, your homeowners insurance premiums will be higher the riskier you are to insure since your insurance provider will want to offset the extra financial risk associated with covering your property.

For example, the average cost of homeowners insurance is $6,295 per year in Islamorada, Florida, which is more than five times higher than the nationwide average of about $1,200 per year.[8] Islamorada faces an extreme risk of flooding and, although standard policies don’t cover flood damage, the area could still be vulnerable to damage from associated perils like wind and falling trees.[9]

How To Get High-Risk Home Insurance

To find the right home insurance policy for your high-risk property, you should consider reaching out to at least three to five insurance companies and giving them information like the age of your home, the condition of your roof, your address and the number of people living in your home so you can get quotes from them.

Individually contacting each insurance carrier to provide this information can undoubtedly be a hassle, especially since any of them could turn you down for being too high of a risk and require you to reach out to even more companies. As a result, the best way to receive quotes is through SmartFinancial’s online platform.

To get started, you just need to type in your zip code below. We’ll take you through a simple questionnaire about your coverage needs and budget and then share your information with homeowners insurance agents in your area who can get you personalized home insurance quotes for free.

Get Coverage for Your High-Risk Home

What if I Can’t Find Coverage?

If you’re struggling to find an insurance carrier that’s willing to cover your property, you should try talking to your neighbors, local insurance agents or even your state’s Department of Insurance to see what companies typically insure homes in your area. You may need to be willing to buy coverage from a local or non-standard insurance provider rather than a major carrier.

In some cases, you may be able to qualify for coverage by making home improvements. Potential updates that could make your home less risky to insure include repairing your roof, buying a home security system, adding shatterproof windows or installing fencing around your property.[3]

If all else fails, your state should have a government-instituted insurer of last resort. Examples of these kinds of policies include beach and windstorm plans and Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plans. Keep in mind that last-resort homeowners insurance for high-risk customers typically covers a smaller number of perils than standard home insurance and sometimes costs more.[10]


Which insurance carriers offer high-risk home insurance?

If a major insurance carrier won’t offer you coverage, you can turn to a non-standard provider that specializes in high-risk home insurance such as PURE Programs or Prime Insurance Company.

How is high-risk home insurance different from standard home insurance?

High-risk home insurance is often more expensive than standard home insurance and may exclude coverage for perils and liability risks that would normally be covered.

What should I do if my home is considered high-risk?

If your home is considered high-risk, you should reach out to multiple insurance providers to see if any of them will cover you, talk to people in your area to see what insurers cover other homes near you and, if all else fails, buy limited coverage from your state’s insurer of last resort.


  1. Insurance Information Institute. “Background on: Credit Scoring.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  2. Insurance Information Institute. “Insuring a Vacation Home.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  3. Mercury Insurance. “Why Is My House Difficult To Insure?” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  4. Texas Department of Insurance. “Homeowners Insurance Guide.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  5. Insurance Information Institute. “Background on: Hurricane and Windstorm Deductibles.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  6. Farmers Mutual Hail. “Roof Exclusion Endorsement.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  7. Red Cross. “The Most Common Natural Disasters Across the U.S.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  8. American Family Insurance. “Homeowners Insurance Calculator.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  9. Risk Factor. “Islamorada, Village of Islands, FL Flood Factor Report.” Accessed August 31, 2023.
  10. Insurance Information Institute. “What if I Can’t Get Coverage?” Accessed August 31, 2023.

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