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Iowa Homeowner's Insurance

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Iowa is $612, which is a significant amount less than $791.00, the national average. Even so, it is important to understand what your coverage includes, and what types of perils you need to be protected against. A standard insurance package is okay, but very few locations, Iowa included, are sufficiently protected through a standardized policy.

  1. Dwelling
    Where the family lives is generally the dwelling as it is described in the insurance policy. The dwelling includes the primary residence and any structures built into the residence permanently, such as a garage. Dwelling insurance only covers the primary residence, and does not include the contents of the residence, which is included in the personal property section of the coverage.
  2. Other Structures
    Any building or other construction on the insured property that is not built into the dwelling is considered an "other" structure. This might include a pool house, gazebo or even a stone fence running around the property. If you add a structure after purchasing your insurance policy, be sure to update the policy to include the new building.
  3. Personal Property
    Personal property includes all of your belongings. Tools, appliances, clothing and jewelry are some of the items included as personal property, but the list can include anything that is stored on your land, even a canoe or exercise equipment. As you acquire new personal property, update your home inventory to make sure it is protected and purchase additional personal property coverage if necessary.
  4. Loss of Use
    When you cannot use all or part of your home, save the receipts of places that you must use instead, such as a hotel or restaurant. Your home insurance policy includes loss of use coverage, which will reimburse you for expenses related to maintaining your standard of living.

Average Iowa Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US

Source: USCB

Cheaper Iowa Home Insurance

The average cost of insurance in your state might be $612, but you need to keep in mind that there are a number of factors involved in setting that average, and your own costs are as likely to be much lower as they are to be higher. What you can do to help bring down your home insurance rates is to follow three simple tips that can affect the cost of insurance for everyone.

  • Avoid Unnecessary Claims
    Set your deductible high enough that you would be better off to pay for most minor claims out of pocket. Not only does that lower your premiums because of the higher deductible, it will also decrease the number of claims you file, which could save you a lot of money over the course of years.
  • Smoke and Home Insurance
    Your insurance company would love it if you quit smoking. This is just as true for your home insurance provider as it is for your health insurance underwriter, because quitting smoking gets rid of the most serious causes of fire in the average residential home. When you reduce the risks, the insurance company will reward you by passing the savings on to you.
  • Credit Score and Insurance Risk
    To determine how much risk you are to policy, insurance companies look at your credit score. It may sound strange to have your credit score setting your insurance risk, but statistics have shown a very strong correlation between the two, and a person with a higher credit score is going to get the lowest rates available.

Home Characteristics Affecting Iowa Insurance Rates

The average age of a home in Iowa is 45 years, which makes many homes candidates for the HO-7 insurance policy. This type of home insurance policy is specially designed for older homes and includes full replacement value coverage so that hard-to-find materials can be used in the repairs regardless of their cost efficiency.

Defending Your Home Against Crime & Vandalism

In Iowa, the crime rate is 5.47/1000 people, which is only slightly higher than the 5.17 crimes per thousand that is the national average. Even so, you can both make your home more secure and save money on your home insurance by adding some safety devices and doing some simple installations. A monitored security system is always a good idea, and deadbolt locks on your entryways reduces the risks of simple burglary. And both of these things have the added benefit of earning you a discount on your home insurance premiums.

Local Natural Disasters Iowa Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against

Iowa is prone to fires, floods, severe weather, tornadoes and dangerous winter storms. Earthquakes are not common, but flooding happens annually in some parts of the state.

  • Earthquakes
    Ranked at 46 out of 51, making it one of the least dangerous places in the country, where earth movements are concerned. Keep in mind, though, that movements of the earth can also include erosion, and that makes it more important that you make sure you have coverage to protect you from such dangers.
  • Flood
    Iowa is a flood-prone state, with 675 claims in 2009. Since flood coverage is not part of the standard policy, you will need to pick up flood insurance separately. In some locations, your only option for flood insurance may be to resort to special insurance pools that are contributed to by all home insurance companies doing business in the state.
  • Hail
    Hail damage can be very severe, but is occurs relatively rarely. Hail damage is typically included in your standard policy, so you will not need to purchase additional coverage to compensate.
  • Hurricanes
    Iowa is not prone to hurricanes, but gale force winds left over from hurricanes and tropical storms do find their way through the state on a fairly regular basis. To be properly protected, you will need a combination of wind coverage, standard in most policies, and flood insurance, which is rarely available through traditional channels.
  • Tornadoes
    Iowa experiences as many as 86 tornadoes every year, some of them quite severe. Because the damage from a tornado is considered wind damage, you probably do not need any additional coverage with the exception of flood insurance.
  • Wildfires
    Around 74,749 wildfires affect our country each year, and Iowa is no more immune than any other state. Fire damage is already included in most standard homeowner's insurance policies, so you are protected on that front, but you can reduce the risks by trimming back the shrubbery to keep it away from your house and installing a sprinkler system that can dampen the perimeter of your property if a wildfire encroaches.

Iowa Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverage

Increasing the amount of personal property coverage you have is almost certainly a good idea, because most policies do not include enough of that type of coverage to provide for all of your valuables. And while you are increasing coverage, take a look at your personal injury liability limits to make sure that they are sufficient to prevent you from being sued if someone is injured on your property.

Important Contact Information

Iowa Department of Insurance
330 Maple St.
Des Moines, IA 50319-0065
Phone: (515) 281-5705
Website

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