California Home Insurance - What's Happening
When it comes to premiums, California truly is golden. Annual premiums for California homeowners insurance totaled only $629 in Q2 of 2014, that's almost 25% below the national average of $829. Homes in the Golden State face three main natural hazards: wildfires, earthquakes, and floods. The latter two hazards on that list (floods and earthquakes), aren't covered by standard California home insurance policies. Make sure you have the coverage you need so you don't find your house rocked or under water.
How can you get the California homeowners insurance protection you need? Call a HomeInsurance.com agent licensed in the state or enter your ZIP code above.
Curious about car insurance? Click here to learn more about auto insurance in California.
California Home Insurance Report Card
We get that buying home insurance is complicated. We've demystified it by assigning each state grades based on information collected from HomeInsurance.com customers about their houses. It's a coloring-outside-the-lines approach that shows how factors about a home can affect what you pay for coverage.
Home (Grades related to the house itself)
Insurers like what they see in a California home: not too old and smaller than the national average. Unsurprisingly, however, the state has some of the highest building costs in the nation. Everyone wants to live in California, but that also makes it incredibly hard – and expensive – to rebuild in the event of a loss.
Average year built
The average California home, built in 1974, is six years older than the average U.S. home. Older homes cost more, in general, to insure.
Average home size
The average California home measures 1,890 square feet, and is 81 square feet smaller than the average home nationwide.
Average replacement cost
Need to replace your home after a total loss? You'd have to fork over $322,644 on average in California, compared with only $278,576 across the country.
% of homes with sump pump
Only 1% of the "Golden State's" homes have sump pumps –pretty good considering only 2% of homes in the state have basements.
Property (Factors related to the property and location)
California residents avoid the liability associated with ATVs and snowmobiles, but the percent of houses in the state with swimming pools (11.2%) is twice the national average. Swimming pools, especially those without locking fences, pose great risk to homeowners, guests, and others on the property. The replacement cost for other structures (such as detached garages or sheds) on California properties also is high, leading to a lower property grade.
On the other hand, California has the most homes in the country that are 1,000 feet or fewer from a fire hydrant. Though this safety measure is necessary considering the state's penchant for wildfires, it still means that fire response times in California can be cut significantly and safely.
Bonus (Other factors that influence your home insurance premiums)
% of homes with fire extinguishers
90% of homes reported having fire extinguishers, as opposed to the national average of 91.4%.
% of homes with dead bolt locks on exterior doors
California homes are safer than the national average. 97% have deadbolt locks compared with the national average of 95.9%.
% of homes with smoke detectors
Californians know not to play with fire. About 99% of homes have working smoke detectors.
% of homes with security alarms
24% of homes in the state have security alarms, the 6th highest percentage in the country.
Overall Grade -B (almost golden)
Considering the hazards that California faces, its overall homeowner grade is pretty good. California residents took fire safety precautions, installed anti-theft locks and devices, and avoided risky property features such as ATVs. Though homeowners got rid of many property and liability risks, a large number of pools (twice the national average) made liability lawsuits a possibility. High building costs also denied the state a top grade. Remember to factor local construction costs into the price of your coverage. If you don’t, you could be stuck in a rut when it comes to rebuilding after a loss.