Popular Questions about Homeowners Insurance in California

On average, American homeowners pay $1,211 per year for their home insurance coverage. However, in California, the average annual premium is lower at just $1,008 a year. Shopping around for the best price helps you be sure that you are getting the coverage you need at a competitive price.

Even though the cost of home insurance may seem like a lot of money, having this coverage is important because hazards like severe weather, property crimes, and even liability lawsuits can result in expensive losses for California homeowners who are not insured.

Your home insurance policy is designed to cover you against many of the hazards you are likely to face as a property owner in California. Whether you have been impacted by a severe storm or a rash of burglaries, you can gain peace of mind from knowing that a suitable California homeowners insurance policy can absorb your financial losses.

Let’s look at the coverage your California policy can provide:

  • Pays to repair or replace your home and your belongings
    • Example: A burglar breaks a window to enter your home, and runs off with several thousand dollars’ worth of property, including electronics and jewelry.
  • Pays for someone else's injuries or property damage when it's your fault
    • Example: You plan to have a dead tree removed from your yard, but before you get to it, the tree falls onto your neighbor’s property and causes significant damage.
  • Pays for temporary living expenses when your home is damaged
    • Example: Lightning from a Pacific storm damages your roof and water pours into your home. The house is rendered uninhabitable until repairs are made, and you must stay in a hotel for several days while the work is being done.

With its high risk of major disasters, you may wonder why California has lower-than-average homeowners insurance rates. The answer is that many of the top causes of disasters that occur in this state are not covered by most homeowners insurance policies .


Every year, wildfires erupt in California. In recent years, these fires seem to be getting worse, tearing through neighborhoods and destroying homes. Homeowners who live in areas that have a high risk of being affected by wildfires are finding it hard to find a homeowners insurance company that will cover them, and when they do, the policies offered often exclude coverage against fires.

Some residents are able to purchase a separate fire insurance policy. These policies often have a higher deductible and can be fairly expensive. Property owners who are unable find affordable coverage, or who are deemed uninsurable, can buy into the California FAIR plan. This state-sponsored program can provide up to $1.5 million in structure and contents coverage.

A local independent insurance agent will be well aware of the fire risks in your neighborhood and can provide advice and help you find the right coverage so that you do not need to worry about losing everything if a fire takes out your neighborhood.


Some residents of California are prone to flood damage, but this damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. According to FEMA, as little as one inch of rainwater in your home can cause up to $25,000 in damage in a typical home.

A local independent agent can help you assess your flood risk, and if you feel that it is significant enough to require coverage, can help you purchase an affordable flood insurance policy.

Flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect, so you should not wait until heavy rains are imminent to purchase a policy.


California is known for its risk of earthquake and tremor activity. This is especially true for residents who live close to the San Andreas Fault. Earthquakes can cause significant damage to area homes, damaging structural walls and foundations as well as causing damage to personal property inside homes.

Earthquake damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. To be covered, you will need to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy, or, if your homeowners insurance offers it, an earthquake coverage endorsement.

This insurance can cover the cost to repair, rebuild, or replace property that has been damaged by an earthquake. It can also cover debris removal and clean-up costs. Talk to a local independent agent to learn more.


When heavy rains fall in California, the ground can easily become saturated and mudslides can occur. Mudslides and landslides can significantly damage your home and property, but this hazard is not covered by homeowners insurance.

Fortunately, you can find insurance against landslides and mudslides to ensure that this disaster does not cause you significant financial harm. A local independent insurance agent can help you assess your risk, and can then find you a suitable policy if you are interested in supplementing your home insurance with this coverage.

We can’t be 100% certain, but in 2016, insurance companies spent more than $4.1 billion on home insurance claims in the state of California alone. That's a lot of unfortunate events happening to homeowners in The Golden State.

Insurance companies calculate home insurance costs according to how valuable your property is and how likely it is that something bad will happen to it.

The higher the probability that a damaging event will affect your property, the more expensive your home insurance policy will be. These potentially damaging events are called "risks” or “exposures.”

Let’s take a look at how risky California is compared to the rest of the US.


The burglary rate in California is slightly higher than the national rate. The crime rates in the ZIP code in which your house is located can play a large role in how high your premiums are.

  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in the US: 3.76
  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in CA: 4.16

Many insurance companies offer policy discounts to homeowners who take theft preventive measures such as installing secure locks and home security systems. Learn more by talking to an independent agent.


Severe weather events, such coastal storms and heavy winds, can wreak havoc on residential properties in this state. Be sure that your home insurance provides all the coverage you need before disaster strikes.

  • Number of federally declared disasters since 1953:  250+
  • Most common causes of disasters in the state:  Wildfires, floods, severe storms, and earthquakes
  • Average number of tornadoes per year in the state:  10.6
  • Amount paid in home insurance claims in 2016:  $4,158,620,000

It is important to note that three of the four main causes of disasters in this state require specialized coverage. See the section on what is not covered by California homeowners insurance to learn more.

Home Values

The size of your home can affect your home insurance rates, since larger homes tend to have more personal property inside them. The estimated cost to rebuild your home will also play a large role in how much your home insurance costs.

In California, the average home value is much higher than the national average.

  • Average home value in the US: $188,900
  • Average home value in CA: $509,400

Depending on where you live and the amount of coverage you need to rebuild your home, your home insurance costs can see large deviations from the state average.

Yes! There are currently 469 independent insurance agents in California who are ready to help.

These agents are free to work with multiple insurance providers to help you find the coverage you want at the most competitive price. Discover how easy it can be to find the best home insurance policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs by contacting a local independent insurance agent near you.

How does home insurance work?

Find the Best Homeowners Insurance in Your City

How does your city measure up to the national average?

National average burglary rate 4.69 per 1,000 homes

National average home value $188,900

National average home insurance cost $1,173 year

CityAvg. home valueBurglaries / 1,000 homesAnnual insurance cost
Chula Vista$548,4732.12$955
Long Beach$651,5634.95$897
Los Angeles$907,0523.97$1,215
San Diego$784,5772.61$887
San Francisco$1,299,0006.00$1,105
San Jose$999,3834.33$998
Santa Ana$536,7552.71$884
  1. $100
  2. Los Angeles, CA Monthly average home insurance cost
  3. The average monthly cost of home insurance in Los Angeles is $100.
  4. Keep in mind, however, that homeowners insurance rates can vary from one property owner to the next. Your actual rate will be based on factors like the size, value, and location of your home; the materials used in your house’s construction; and the crime rate in your ZIP code.
  5. Los Angeles occasionally experiences coastal storms that can damage area homes. Keep in mind that in order to be fully covered against the damage that can occur with heavy rains, you may also need to purchase a supplemental landslide and mudslide insurance policy. A homeowners insurance policy on its own will not cover landslide damage.
  6. Local independent agents understand the risks faced by homeowners in this city and can make sure that you are fully covered against all of the hazards that could cause you financial setbacks.

  1. $74
  2. San Diego, CA Monthly average home insurance cost
  3. The average monthly cost of home insurance in San Diego is $74. 
  4. Of course, San Diego is a big city, and some neighborhoods are more expensive than others when it comes to home insurance. Homeowners in Carmel Valley will pay higher average rates than those who live in Balboa Park.  
  5. What would you do if a windstorm caused a tree to fall onto your house? This could cause significant damage to your roof, siding, windows, and even the structural integrity of your house. Fortunately, when you have a solid homeowners insurance policy backing you up, do you do not need to worry about how you will be able to pay for repairs.
  6. Set up a one-on-one consultation with an independent insurance agent in San Diego to learn more about how your homeowners insurance can cover you.

  1. $83
  2. San Jose, CA Monthly average home insurance cost
  3. The average monthly cost of home insurance in San Jose is $83.
  4. However, what you may actually be expected to pay may differ from this amount depending on a number of factors. Your rate will be calculated according to such things as the size of your house, the crime rate and weather risks in your ZIP code, your claims history, and the amount of your deductible. 
  5. Sometimes residents in San Jose experience extended power outages when heatwaves cause an overload in power usage due to excessive air conditioning use. What if you had just returned from the grocery store and had a refrigerator and freezer full of food when the power went out? If the outage lasts several hours or days, your food can spoil and will need to be thrown out. Fortunately, in these cases, you may be able to be compensated for your loss by your homeowners insurance.
  6. Find an independent insurance agent near you to learn more about what a homeowners insurance policy can do for you and to get help finding the best and most affordable coverage for your San Jose home.

  1. $92
  2. San Francisco, CA Monthly average home insurance cost
  3. The average monthly cost of home insurance in San Francisco is $92.
  4. Because your homeowners insurance is completely customized according to details about you and your home, your monthly premium may be higher or lower than this average. Insurance companies consider your home’s size, value, location, and other factors when they calculate your monthly rate. 
  5. San Francisco is known for its earthquake risk. Earthquakes can cause serious damage to your house and property. Unfortunately, earthquake damage is not covered by homeowners insurance, so you will need a supplemental earthquake insurance policy in order to be fully covered.
  6. Independent insurance agents in San Francisco are well aware of your various risks, as well as the limitations of a homeowners insurance policy. They can ensure that you are not left with any risky coverage gaps by helping you find the best and most affordable supplemental policies when needed. Talk to an agent near you to learn more.

  1. $70
  2. Fresno, CA Monthly average home insurance cost
  3. The average monthly cost of home insurance in Fresno is $70.
  4. Your house is not the same as every other in your ZIP code. While you and your neighbors may face the same crime and weather risks, your homeowners insurance premium is also based on factors like the size and value of your home, the age of your roof, the amount of contents coverage you need, your claims history, and the size of your deductible. Your quoted rate for home insurance may therefore be higher or lower than this average.
  5. One of the most common hazards faced by homeowners in Fresno is property crime. This city, in which residents report more than 3,000 burglaries in a typical year, has one of the highest burglary rates in the state. Fortunately, your home insurance covers against property loss and damage to your house if you are the victim of a property crime like burglary or vandalism.
  6. If your house is broken into, first make sure you and your family are safe, and then call the authorities. You will need a copy of the police report when you file a claim. If you need assistance, your local independent agent can advocate for you throughout the entire claims process.