Hawaii Homeowner's Insurance
Hawaii homeowner's insurance premiums average around $862, which is only slightly higher than the national average of $791.00. The important thing is to familiarize yourself with what the different parts of your policy cover, and the perils your home faces, so that you can better make the choices necessary to keep your home safe.
The primary residence is typically the dwelling portion of the homeowner's insurance policy. The dwelling includes any structures that are built into it, but does not include free-standing structures or buildings that are temporarily connected to the dwelling.
Any building or other construction on the property that is not part of the dwelling is grouped into a portion of your policy called "other structures." These structures can be anything, from a fence to a guest house. When you add a new structure, such as a boat house, be sure to have it added to your home insurance policy.
This is the property you own that is kept on the premises. It includes your home furnishings, appliances, wardrobe and anything else on the property which is exclusively your own. Your personal property is only insured up to a certain amount, usually 10 percent of the home value or less. Additional coverage can be added to your home insurance policy.
Loss of Use
If you cannot use the home for a period of time, you can be reimbursed for the costs of staying elsewhere under the "loss of use" portion of your homeowner's policy. This portion of the insurance will reimburse you for the costs of maintaining your accustomed standard of life, including lodging, meals, and incidental costs such as laundry facilities. You will need to save the receipts for items that will be claimed under loss of use and turn them in to your insurance company.
Average Hawaii Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper Hawaii Home Insurance
The average cost of insurance in your state is $862, but that can be a misleading figure. Since home insurance is calculated according to the square footage of the home, a person with a larger home to insure is going to pay more for coverage even if they would otherwise have the lowest rates of all. However, here are some helpful tips that can reduce your premiums and help you keep your insurance costs in line.
Avoid Unnecessary Claims
Even before you are tempted to file a claim, raise your insurance deductibles as high as you can realistically pay out of pocket. Higher deductibles will get you lower premiums from the beginning. Unless you must, don't file any insurance claims. The more claims you file, the sooner and more your premiums will increase, so never file a claim if you can afford to pay for the repairs yourself.
Smoke and Home Insurance
Insurance companies will reduce your premiums for home insurance if you will quit smoking. It is not so much that the insurance company is worried about your health as it is the simple fact that cigarettes are one of the leading causes of house fires. For the insurance company, your quitting smoking is like eliminating one of the perils that must be dealt with.
Credit Score and Insurance Risk
Not everyone can have a credit score of 700, the state average. But you can take steps to keep your score as high as possible, such as monitoring your credit history for errors or items that have been misrepresented. Your credit score has big effect on what you have to pay for insurance, so keep it as high as possible.
Home Characteristics Affecting Hawaii Insurance Rates
Hawaii being an island state presents a host of possible perils, not the least of which is the fact that Hawaii is home to some of the most active volcanoes in our country. Volcano coverage is not part of a standard home insurance policy and may not be available through traditional insurance channels. Instead, you may have to purchase the coverage through a special high-risk pool that all insurance companies must participate in.
Defending Your Home Against Crime & Vandalism
In Hawaii, the crime rate is 6.37 per 1000 people, which is not that much different from the national average of 5.17/1000. You can reduce the risks even farther by installing deadbolt locks and a professional security system, or just putting up a fence around the perimeter of your property.
Local Natural Disasters Hawaii Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
Hawaii has the potential to be affected by almost every possible peril listed in home insurance policies, including some that cannot be covered through traditional channels. It is important that you understand the dangers your home faces so that you can better be prepared for any eventuality.
Hawaii is one of the few states that experiences volcanic eruptions. This type of insurance is not standard and will probably cost you more than most other coverages put together due to the high-risk nature of the coverage.
Ranked at 3 out of 51, Hawaii is much more likely to experience an earthquake than most places in the country. Read your policy carefully to see if earthquakes are excluded, because they normally are. As with volcanoes, earthquake coverage is available through non-traditional sources.
Hawaii residents filed 25 claims in 2009, compared to 46,621 flood claims filed nationwide. Just because flooding is not common does not mean that it cannot happen to you, so pick up the extra coverage to make sure that your home is safe from any potential threat.
Hail damage is generally included as part of the wind damage portion of your policy, but it is sometimes specifically excluded. If it is not part of your standard policy, ask your insurance company about adding a rider that will give you the protection you need.
Hurricane damages is typically of two types. The wind damage part is covered by most homeowner's policies, but the accompanying flooding will require you to purchase special coverage.
Hawaii has very few tornadoes, and the damage they cause is covered under the wind damage portion of most home policies. There are exceptions to this rule, though, so check your policy carefully to make sure you do not need to buy additional protection.
Around 74,749 wildfires affect our country each year, and Hawaii does experience a portion of them. In fact, a volcano is a potential source of wildfires. Wildfires are included in most policies, but the coverage may have restrictions such as not being applicable to wildfires caused by volcano.
Hawaii Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverage
There are a number of specific perils in Hawaii that are not part of a standard home insurance policy, such as flooding and volcanic activity. Additionally, you should take a look at your home inventory to be sure that you have enough coverage because most home insurance policies only provide a limited amount of personal property protection.
Important Contact Information
Hawaii Department of Insurance
P.O. Box 3614
Honolulu, Hawaii 96811
Phone: (808) 586-27900