Over the years, Kentucky has experienced dramatic, life-threatening weather events, including ice storms, flooding, and tornadoes. A home insurance policy can help protect a Kentucky home owner against these potentially destructive natural events.
How Much Does Kentucky Home Insurance Cost?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Kentucky was $766. But the exact amount of your premium will depend on a number of factors, including the age, condition, and location of a home, as well as the amount of deducible you pay, your credit rating, and any additional coverage you choose.
The Kentucky Department of Insurance provides information for consumers looking to buy a home insurance policy. If you are unable to obtain insurance through the private market, you may be able to obtain a basic policy through Kentucky’s Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan Reinsurance Association.
What Does It Cover?
In Kentucky, home insurance helps you rebuilding your home and replace personal items in the event of events like fire or theft, as well as protects you if people are injured on your property thanks to liability coverage. Standard policies, however, won’t cover damage from floods and earthquakes, both of which Kentucky is known to have, so you’ll likely have to buy additional policies or add riders to your standard homeowner’s policy so you’re covered.
Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Kentucky?
Home insurance is not required by law in Kentucky. However, 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. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not protect you from flooding, but you can get flood coverage through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is purchased as a separate policy from an insurance agent. Portions of Kentucky that are included in the Ohio River basin have an above-normal risk of flooding, according to the Insurance Information Institute, making flood insurance especially important for people in that area.
- Earthquake. Earthquake coverage may only seem necessary for residents of earthquake-prone states like California, but it is also relevant to residents of Kentucky, since western Kentucky lies on one of the country’s major fault areas. Homes close to this fault can expect to pay higher insurance premiums. More information on earthquake insurance coverage is available through the Kentucky Department of Insurance.
- Landslides, mudslides, and mudflow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a landslide is when masses of rock, earth, or debris move down a slope, while a mudslide (also called a debris flow) is a type of fast-moving landslide that tends to flow in channels. Perhaps confusingly, the NFIP defines a mudflow as a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land. Mudflows are covered by the NFIP while damage from landslides is not. If you live in an area subjected to heavy rains, review your homeowner’s policy to see if and how these different potentially catastrophic events are defined, and consider getting coverage for each if necessary.
- Tornadoes. In March 2012 a tornado outbreak occurred across the Southern United States and into the Ohio Valley region, causing 40 tornado-related deaths, 22 of them in Kentucky. A tornado has the potential to destroy an entire home, so it is important to be certain the cost of rebuilding your home and renting a temporary residence is covered by your policy.
Mobile Home Insurance in Kentucky
Mobile and manufactured homes, especially older ones, are highly susceptible to damage from tornadoes. Exact coverage will vary, but a mobile home insurance policy from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance includes damage from fire or lightning, windstorm or hail, explosion, flood, aircraft, theft, falling objects, ice, snow, and overflowing water from a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or automatic fire protective sprinkler system. Additionally, a mobile home insurance policy generally offers liability protection resulting from bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, and legal defense.