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California Home Insurance

With the cost of housing in California, shopping Save Money On California Home Insurancefor homeowners insurance is a little more involved than in other states, but with a little effort you can still find affordable California Home Insurance.

We’ve made that process a little easier, first by providing the information you need to shop wisely, then giving you a fast way to find the best insurance companies in your area.

Finding Affordable California Home Insurance

The California Department of Insurance recommends shopping for insurance the same way you shop for any other major purchase - do your homework, compare prices and coverage, check out the company, and don’t rush to a decision. Each insurance company is permitted to set their own rates, so unless you shop around, you could pay too much!

Homeowners insurance covers things like:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm and hail
  • Theft
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism and malicious mischief
  • Loss of use

Buying Enough California Home Insurance

It’s important to buy enough insurance coverage to rebuild your home. During the last spate of fires many homeowners discovered their policy limits were too small to fully replace their homes; make sure that your policy is big enough to cover potential losses.

California home Insurance companies have formulas to determine the replacement cost of your home which doesn’t have anything to do with the appraised value. It’s based on the cost of materials and labor, but does not include a value for the land, since you already own that. To make sure the home value amount is sufficient:

  1. Keep track of updates, renovations and improvements to your dwelling, and notify the insurance company of each change.
  2. Consult local builders about current costs to build your home.
  3. Pay attention to changes in the local building codes, since any rebuilds must be built to the new standards.
  4. Review your insurance annually to confirm the coverage limit amounts.

California Earthquake Insurance

Living in the beauty of California also means exposure to the dangers of things like earthquakes. State code requires all insurance companies in California to automatically offer earthquake insurance to all homeowners.

You must specifically accept earthquake coverage and the associated increase in premiums, usually about 15%, if you want your policy to cover against this peril. When you receive the offer of earthquake insurance you have 30 days to accept it or reject it; a lack of response is interpreted as a rejection.

There are several ways to save money on earthquake insurance, such as:

  • Bolting your home to its foundation, especially if it is a wooden structureBracing sheer walls
  • Securing and bracing the water heater
  • Bracing the fireplace chimney
  • Adding automatic gas shut-valves
  • Upgrade your home to meet current building codes

The Proximate Clause

When an earthquake indirectly causes some type of damage, it’s called “proximate damage.” There are special rules in California that permit your normal homeowners insurance to not cover that damage if you don’t have earthquake insurance. The only exception is fire - if an earthquake causes a fire that damages your house, your original California home insurance policy will cover it.

California Condominium Insurance

Condominium insurance covers personal property and interior damage to your unit. The condo association usually purchases insurance for the building structure and common areas. Double check your association policy to see the coverage levels in case of an earthquake. You may need to buy additional coverage to make sure you have enough protection.

Personal Property Coverage

Normally the limit on content coverage is set at 50% of the dwelling amount for homes and 40% for condominiums. While this sounds like a lot of money, make an inventory of all your personal property (always a good idea for homeowners insurance) and total up the amount it would be to replace everything, including the drapes, small appliances, clothing and shoes. Then you can see if the 50% cap is enough.

If you have high ticket items like expensive computers, jewelry, collectibles or antiques, know that there’s usually a cap on the reimbursement amount for those types of items. Consider buying an extra coverage rider which will provide the necessary coverage to replace those types of items.

Shopping for California Home Insurance

Now that you know the rules and requirements for home insurance, the next step is comparing quotes. That part is easy - just enter your zip code in the box below and you’ll be instantly matched with great insurance companies that sell home insurance in your area. Request free quotes from three or four of them, then compare the coverage and rates to find the best deal. Why wait to start saving on your home insurance policy - enter your zip code now!


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