If you are a homeowner in paradise, insurance for your property is one of the most important things you purchase. Hawaii, although beautiful, has many natural disasters including hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions that can threaten your property. The State of Hawaii does not require homeowners insurance but if you have a mortgage, your lender will almost certainly require insurance on a home for the duration of your loan.
Comparing Hawaii Home Insurance Rates
In Hawaii, the cost of your homeowners insurance premium will vary depending on the coverage you select. As you look for home insurance coverage, review the different coverage options available to you. The following factors determine your premium amount:
- Age of the home
- Type of construction (brick, wood, etc.)
- Deductible levels
- Coverage limits
- Value of the home
- Previous claims
- Loss preventative devices, such as a security system
- Whether your home is in a high lava zone
It's important to remember that your homeowners insurance will not cover flood damage or earthquake damage. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program, while earthquake coverage is a separate policy you can purchase. Most homeowners insurance policies do cover damage caused by a volcanic eruption.
Hawaii is also susceptible to hurricanes between the months of June and November. A separate hurricane deductible in your policy helps cover any damage you may encounter from a storm.
A rate comparison can also give you a good idea if you are paying too much for your current homeowners policy. Don't be afraid to shop around and get several quotes to find the best rate.
Preparing Your Home and Yourself for Hawaii's Natural Disasters
Living on an island is not without its disadvantages. One important thing you need to plan for as homeowners is an evacuation route. Although weathermen can predict the path of a hurricane and to some degree a tsunami, earthquakes from volcanic disturbances and volcanic eruptions themselves are less predictable. The Hawaii State Civil Defense has some good tips on preparing your property and yourself for the unexpected.
If your home is located on Hawaii or Maui, you should have an evacuation plan in place if you need to leave your home due to a lava flow in your direction. In the face of a hurricane or typhoon, take action to protect your home regardless of which Hawaiian island you live on. Planning for an earthquake is tricky since it is an unpredictable event.
When you decide to evacuate your home, only take important paperwork and valuables with you. Definitely take a copy of your homeowners insurance policy. Another good suggestion is to photo document your home prior to leaving. This way you know exactly what possessions you left and if your home suffers damage, you'll have a good way to make an inventory for a claim.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hawaii Home Insurance
Home insurance is often confusing to homeowners. Here are the some frequently asked questions regarding Hawaii home insurance:
1. How does one determine if his or her house is in a lava flow hazard zone?
To determine if your property is in a lava flow hazard zone, use the informative maps from the U.S. Geological Survey. These maps are for informational purposes only.
2. How much coverage does one need for home insurance?
The amount of coverage you need should be enough to recover the cost of rebuilding your home and the replacement of any interior valuables. Discuss specific premium amounts and deductibles with your insurance provider.
3. Should you carry separate flood and earthquake coverage?
These types of coverage are completely optional, but they are a good idea to keep your property completely insured against all types of damage.
4. Are there discounts available for insurance premiums?
You may be able to save on your insurance through a number of discounts offered by the insurance company. Examples of discounts include multi-policy, monitored alarm systems, and renewal credits.
How to Get Great Rates on Hawaii Home Insurance
Has it been a while since you shopped for homeowner’s insurance? Is so, loyalty doesn’t always pay because prices vary from insurer to insurer. Another company may offer you a much better deal. Looking for home or renter’s insurance quotes? insuranceQuotes.com can help you find the best homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy at the best price. Every year, we match 15 million consumers to the nation’s biggest home insurance companies, including Allstate, State Farm and Farmers.
Hawaii Home Insurance Resources
Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs
Hawaii insurance consumer information and complaints