Hawaii’s climate and unusual, and beautiful topography make it a unique place to own a home. Homeowners should strongly consider purchasing some kind of home insurance to protect their property against potential damages from unpredictable events, including volcano activity.
How Much Does Hawaii Home Insurance Cost?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowner’s insurance in Hawaii was $938. Typically, companies offering homeowner’s insurance will consider several factors when it comes to determining how much a policy will cost. The age, location, and construction materials of a home will affect the cost of premiums. Homes located in areas with higher crime rates, or in areas that have a higher number of claim incidents, will have higher premiums.
In order to find the most comprehensive and least expensive insurance policy, take the time to compare different products offered by a variety of providers. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) provides a helpful guide on homeowner’s premium rate comparisons so that you can see the types of coverage and premiums in your area.
What Does It Cover?
Home insurance protects your home from damage and helps you to replace your possessions should you ever be the victim of theft, natural disaster, or any other potentially catastrophic event. In addition to protecting your home and personal property, home insurance can help pay for a place to stay if extensive repairs to your home require that you stay somewhere else, and it can protect you from costs associated with accidents involving other people on your property that results in bodily harm. Liability coverage, which protects homeowners from the cost of lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that is caused by the homeowner, or family members living in the same home, is not always included in a standard policy, and may need to be purchased separately.
Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Hawaii?
Home insurance is not required by law in Hawaii. But buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances, and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property.
Optional Coverage to Consider
- Flood. As is the case with most states, flood damage is not covered by your basic policy in Hawaii, but some insurance companies will offer flood insurance under a separate policy. Flood insurance is not typically required by your mortgage lender unless a homeowner’s property lies within a flood plain. Hawaii homeowners who wish to purchase flood insurance do so through the National Flood Insurance Program, as long as the property is located within a participating community.
- Fire and Lightning. While most home insurance policies in Hawaii include fire and lightning coverage under standard coverage, you should still double check your policy to ensure that you are covered. Fire can cause catastrophic damage to your home and personal belongings, so making sure you have the proper coverage is extremely important. Alert your home insurance provider to any fire devices you have in your home such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers, or sprinkler systems, as most insurance companies will offer discounts for having them.
- Hazard. Hazard insurance generally covers physical damage to your home or property that is caused by fire, vandalism, and smoke damage. This is another type of coverage that can change drastically from policy to policy, so make sure to read and understand yours thoroughly. Some policies will cover only a handful of specifically named perils, while other policies may cover all perils except those excluded by name.
- Earthquake. Homeowners in Hawaii should definitely consider purchasing a separate earthquake policy. Damages associated with earthquakes are typically not covered under a standard home insurance policy. Due to fault lines in the Pacific and substantial volcanic activity throughout the state, purchasing an earthquake policy if you live in Hawaii could spare you from having to pay for extensive damages that can often result from earthquakes.
- Hurricane. Hurricane insurance is a supplemental coverage added to a homeowner’s policy in Hawaii, and is also required by banks as part of a mortgage approval. One of the most important things to remember about hurricane insurance is that, in most policies, it only covers wind-related damage associated with hurricanes. Most policies will not cover flooding, so it is a good idea to pair flood insurance with your hurricane policy as well.
- Watercraft Endorsement. Given Hawaii’s proximity to bodies of water, it makes sense that many residents would own watercraft. By purchasing an additional watercraft endorsement in addition to your standard homeowner’s policy, you can extend your liability and medical payments to cover certain watercraft you may own, including small sailboats, outboard motor boats, and jet skis. A watercraft endorsement policy can help protect you from the potential costs of lawsuits, damages, and medical expenses that may result from someone using your watercraft.
Mobile Home Insurance in Hawaii
Mobile home or “manufactured home” insurance is coverage that typically covers your mobile home and personal belongings inside, and around the property. Similar to home policies, most Hawaii mobile home policies include personal property protection, liability protection for the owner and his or her household, and structural damage protection from perils including fire, vandalism, landslide, failing objects, and explosion.