US Home Insurance May Reach Record High

Amid an increase in severe weather events, homeowners insurance rates in the US are skyrocketing toward record highs.

Photo of a flooded street and building
Photo by Wes Warren via Unsplash

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The three most important factors in determining the desirability of a property: insurance, insurance, insurance. 

Amid an increase in severe weather events, insurance rates in the US are skyrocketing toward record highs, with homes in some regions becoming nigh uninsurable, according to a report out Monday from insurance-comparison platform Insurify. One key takeaway: Florida may not have a personal income tax, but its insurance market is killer.

Not-So-Sunny Sunshine State

Severe weather events are becoming ever more frequent. Last year, the US suffered 28 that caused at least $1 billion worth of damage each, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s way up from the baker’s dozen per year average of the 2010s and the thrice-yearly events of the 1980s. Meanwhile, most weather forecasters are predicting an especially rough hurricane season in the months to come.

The storms are making landfall on the insurance market. Average US premiums have increased 20% across 2022 and 2023, and this year could bring another 6% rise, to $2,522, according to Insurify. Naturally, the damage is worse in areas especially prone to natural disasters:

  • The projected average rate of home insurance in Florida will hit $11,759 by the end of the year, or a 7% increase from last year, Insurify estimates. Nearly 60% of residents said their personal finances are worse than a year ago, according to a November poll from independent polling company Cygnal.
  •  Louisiana had the second-highest projected rate, at $7,908, while Oklahoma ($5,711), Texas ($4,437), and Mississippi ($4,482) round out the top five.

Florida is also home to six of the 10 most expensive cities for insurance rates, Insurify found. The state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., or a so-called insurer of last resort, is now the state’s largest insurer.

Out to Dry: Relying on the insurer of last resort beats the increasingly common alternative: skipping homeowners insurance altogether, whether by choice or otherwise. A study from the Insurance Information Institute found that 12% of American homeowners don’t have insurance, up from just 5% in 2015. Farmers Insurance exited Florida entirely last year, citing increased costs, while State Farm stopped issuing new insurance policies in California. Earlier this month, the company said it would not renew 72,000 policies in the state. Which leads us to ask: How bad can those Midwest winters be?