Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and renters insurance

Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and renters insurance

Homeowners insurance expenditures

The average homeowners insurance premium rose by 3.6 percent in 2015, following a 3.3 percent increase in 2014, according to a January 2018 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The average renters insurance premium fell by 1.1 percent in 2015 after rising 1.1 percent in 2014.  Florida had the highest average homeowners insurance premium in 2015 ($1,993) and Oregon had the lowest ($643). The countrywide average homeowners insurance premium was $1,173 in 2015.

Causes of homeowners insurance losses

In 2015, 5.9 percent of insured homes had a claim, according to ISO. Property damage, including theft, accounted for 97.1 percent of those claims. Changes in the percentage of each type of homeowners loss from one year to another are partially influenced by large fluctuations in the number and severity of weather-related events such as hurricanes and winter storms. There are two ways of looking at losses: by the average number of claims filed per 100 policies (frequency) and by the average amount paid for each claim (severity). The loss category “water damage and freezing” includes damage caused by mold, if covered. Every state except Alaska, Arkansas, New York, North Carolina and Virginia has adopted an ISO mold limitation for homeowners insurance coverage, which allows insurers to exclude the coverage unless the condition results from a covered peril.

Home inventories

On average, over the past nine years about half of homeowners said they prepared an inventory of their possessions to help document losses for their insurers, according to polls conducted for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). Fifty-two percent of homeowners said they had an inventory in a June 2015 I.I.I. survey. The survey showed that homeowners in the South were more likely to have a home inventory (57 percent), followed by homeowners in the Northeast and West (56 percent and 50 percent, respectively). Only 43 percent of homeowners in the Midwest said they had an inventory.

Sinkhole claims

In March 2013 an entire house fell into a huge sinkhole in a suburb of Tampa, Florida, garnering national attention. Although such large, sudden and destructive sinkholes are relatively rare, thousands of small sinkholes appear in the U.S. each year. The most damage from sinkholes occurs in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Most homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage for sinkhole damage. However, homeowners insurance companies in Florida and Tennessee are required to offer the coverage. In Florida catastrophic ground cover collapse is mandatory; comprehensive sinkhole coverage is optional.