California Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance in California: Complete Consumer Guide

Interested in moving out west to California? Here are some interesting facts about your new home state. California became a state on September 9, 1850. The capital of California is Sacramento. California’s nickname is The Golden State. The state tree is the California redwood. The state bird is the California quail and the state flower is the poppy. The Hollywood Bowl is the largest amphitheatre in the United States. The first motion picture theatre opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902. There are more than 300,000 tons of grapes grown in California each year. Looking for a good wine? California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year.

Types of policy for Homeowners Insurance in California

What type of homeowners insurance policy is best for your home? Let’s take a look at the different types of policies that you have to choose from.

HO-1 This “basic form” covers the 10 most common perils. But you won’t find this form everywhere. Some insurance companies do not offer HO-1 forms.

HO-2 This “broad form” offers more limited insurance coverage. But it still provides more insurance coverage than a HO-1 basic form.

HO-3 This form is the most common and widely used type of home insurance. The HO-3 form provides coverage for named perils as well as personal property. With a HO-3 form, your insurance company will pay to repair or replace belongings damaged from 16 covered perils. These covered perils include smoke, fire, windstorm, lightning, explosions, hail, vandalism, theft, falling objects, the weight of sleet, ice and snow and water damage.

HO-6 This insurance form is used for condominium units. This type of coverage is typically a “walls-in” coverage and may protect the condo unit’s floors, ceilings and walls against 16 perils. This form also includes coverage for a condo owner’s belongings.

HO-8 This type of insurance form is for older houses and it covers 10 perils. This form is paid on an actual cash value basis, which is the cost of the home items minus depreciation.

What factors affect rates on homeowners insurance in California?

There are many factors that come into play when determining the rate on a home insurance policy. Let’s take a look at a few. For instance, the construction materials of your home are a big factor. So are other things such as how much it will cost to rebuild the home and replace all your personal belongings. Whether you have a trampoline or a swimming pool are other factors. Are you a dog owner? You are liable for dog bites and injuries caused by your pet and these things factor into your home insurance. Your credit is another important factor. If you have good or excellent credit this will help to lower your home insurance rate.

Top 5 disasters in the State of California

California federally declared Fire disasters the most with 254 counts since 1953, followed by Flood, Severe Storms, Earthquake, and Dam/Levee Break disasters. Fire or Lightning disasters is one of 16 perils covered on standard homeowners policies. Here are the top 5 federally declared disasters in the state of California:

Rank Declaration Title Disaster Number
3Severe Storms17
5Dam/Levee Break3

Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

How much is homeowners insurance in California?

The average cost of homeowners insurance in California is $966 per year.

Source: The average cost of homeowners insurance by state, Business Insider.

Crime Rate: Is California a safe state?

2019 Crime in California Crime Number Crime Rate*
Property Crime921,1142,331.2

*Rate per 100,000 inhabitants

Safest Cities in California by Property Crime*

  • Imperial, CA has a population of 18,090 with a Property Crime rate of 3.1 per 1k. The city average home value is approximately $285,892.
  • Avenal, CA has a population of 12,991 with a Property Crime rate of 4.5 per 1k. The average home value there is about $164,847.
  • Soledad, CA came in third as the safest city in the state of California and has a population of 26,015 with a Property Crime rate of 5.2 per 1k. Its home value averaged at about $442,539.
  • Rancho Santa Margarita, CA has a population of 48,377 with a Property Crime rate of 6.1 per 1k. Its average home value is $678,741.
  • Moorpark, CA has a population of 36,826 with a Property Crime rate of 6.2 per 1k. The city home value averaged $707,805.

*Based on FBI Uniform Crime Reporting 2019, some cities have been eliminated because of changes in the state/local agency's reporting practices and cities with populations under 10,000. Zillow’s State/Cities average home value for a single family home or a condo as of Sept. 2020.

Compare Home Insurance Rates in California

Top homeowners insurance companies in California

Mercury Insurance was founded in California and the covered perils of its home insurance policies include fire, lightning and windstorms. Both earthquake and flood insurance are available as add-on coverages. Mercury Insurance offers good and local customer service to its California customers.

USAA is a great insurance option if you are in the military. USAA provides low premium prices and good customer service. And you’ll save 10 percent if you bundle your home insurance policy with an auto insurance policy. USAA products and services are only available to military members and their families.

Allstate offers a wide range of discounts and these discounts help to knock down the price of home insurance premiums. These discounts include early signing discounts and home buyer discounts. With Allstate, you could save up to 10 percent on your premium if you sign up on your new policy at least seven days before the current one expires.

California Home Insurance FAQs

Will my insurance go up if I get a new roof?

Getting a new roof will help to lower your home insurance premium. So don’t hesitate to upgrade to a new roof when needed.

Should I show my contractor my insurance estimate?

Showing your contractor the insurance estimate is one way to insure no damage is missed and the price estimate is accurate. So you may want to consider sharing this information with a contractor that you trust. 

What is not covered by most homeowners insurance?

Floods and earthquakes are not covered by most homeowners insurance policies. To get protection for floods and earthquakes, you’ll need to purchase separate insurance policies for each of these perils.

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