FAIR Plan home insurance guide

A FAIR Plan is a last-resort insurance option for homeowners in over 30 states. If you're struggling to find coverage due to your home's natural disaster risk, changing build codes, or something else, you may be eligible for a FAIR Plan.

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Pat HowardManaging Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertPat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.&Rachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Edited by

Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.
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Michael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™Michael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™Financial AdvisorMichael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™, is a financial advisor, principal and founder of Elevation Financial, host of the weekly personal finance podcast Wealth Redefined®, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

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Homeowners may have trouble finding home insurance if their property is too high risk. You may have trouble getting insurance if your home is in an area with significant natural disasters, like flooding or wildfires, or if the building itself is old and doesn’t meet modern building codes.

As an alternative, several states created Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plans, or FAIR Plans, to serve as an insurer of last resort for homeowners struggling to find coverage because of their home's geographic area or characteristics.

See if you qualify for FAIR Plan home insurance coverage

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What is a FAIR Plan?

A FAIR Plan is a type of property insurance that's available for homeowners and commercial businesses that aren't eligible for insurance on the voluntary market in certain states. If you find that insurance companies are repeatedly denying your application for homeowners insurance because they consider your home's location or characteristics (like its age or build) to be too high risk, you may need FAIR Plan insurance as a stopgap.

Any revenue that's generated or claims losses that are paid out by the FAIR Plan are divided up proportionally to licensed insurance providers in the state administering the policy according to its market share in the state. For this reason, FAIR Plans are commonly referred to as residual market insurance or "pooled risk" plans.

FAIR Plans: Key facts & figures

As climate change continues to worsen the severity of wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters in residential areas, FAIR Plan policies have become increasingly necessary in states such as Florida, Texas, California, Louisiana, and several others.

  • 33 states and Washington, D.C. offer some type of FAIR Plan coverage for high-risk homeowners, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

  • Colorado is the soon-to-be 34th state to offer a FAIR Plan to its residents thanks to a recent bill HB-1288 that was signed into law. Though the association said it doesn't expect to start offering policies until early 2025.

  • In 2018, FAIR Plans accounted for a 1.6% share of the home insurance market in California. Through the end of 2021, that number jumped to 3%, making the CA FAIR Plan one of the foremost providers of home insurance in the state.

  • The number of homeowners on the Texas state FAIR Plan decreased by about 48% from December 2015 to September 2023, in large part due to the state's more insurer-friendly "file and use" regulatory system.

  • Up until March 2022, Citizen’s Insurance — which is Florida's version of a FAIR Plan — had a 10% market share. As of March 2023, its market share is at 18.69% due to a slew of carriers leaving the state or going bankrupt the last couple of years.

When do you need a FAIR Plan?

If the risk of insuring a property is exceptionally high, insurance companies often charge higher premiums to account for that risk. But there are certain thresholds of risk that are considered too high, like if a home is older and doesn't meet modern building code requirements, or if it's located in an area prone to wildfire or hurricane damage.

If your home is in a high-risk location

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, or other inclement natural events and your home faces a substantially higher risk of damage compared to others, there's a chance you won't be eligible for a standard homeowners insurance policy.

If your home is older or doesn't comply with building codes

If your home is over 50 or 100 years old and still has its original plumbing and electrical wiring from when it was built, it may be considered too high risk for voluntary market carriers. Additionally, older homes can occasionally become uninsurable when building codes in a community change since the cost of rebuilding the property to comply with the updated code may simply be too high.

If you've had several prior claims

If you've made several home insurance claims in the last five years or the residence you're insuring has has a long list of losses that occurred under prior ownership, insurance companies may view you or your property as too high risk and you may be ineligible for standard homeowners insurance.

See if you qualify for FAIR Plan home insurance coverage

We don't sell your information to third parties.

How much does a FAIR Plan cost?

FAIR Plans are generally more expensive than a standard homeowners insurance policy, which costs around $1,754 per year, according to our analysis of home insurance rate data from across the country.

The cost of FAIR Plan insurance is determined by many of the same factors that impact your home insurance rates, including your home’s location, construction type, rebuild cost, and deductible amount.

FAIR Plan insurance eligibility requirements

If you’ve exhausted every option on the voluntary home insurance market, your best option may be your state’s residual market FAIR Plan. While FAIR Plan eligibility requirements can vary from state to state, most will require you to meet the following criteria.

  • Proof of coverage denial. You'll likely need proof that you applied for and were denied homeowners insurance from at least two or three standard "admitted" insurance companies. When an insurance company is admitted, it means they are licensed to sell insurance in a particular state in accordance with that state's department of insurance regulations. A company that only sells surplus lines or specialty insurance is not considered an admitted company.

  • Mandatory home improvements. If your home is in substandard physical condition, like if a section of your roof is missing shingles, or if your plumbing and electricity aren't up to code, you may be required to make repairs or renovations to be eligible for your state's FAIR Plan.

  • No outstanding tax liens or claims. If there are any outstanding tax liens against the property, it likely won't qualify for FAIR Plan insurance coverage. Similarly, if the home has any open claims with other insurance companies, perhaps because they're still reviewing the case or because they simply haven't provided a settlement yet, that will need to be resolved before you can take out a FAIR Plan policy.

While the quality and cost of FAIR Plan insurance can fluctuate from state to state, these policies are generally subpar and come with a high premium, so the only time you should really look to purchase one is when you can’t get insurance anywhere else.

What does FAIR Plan insurance cover?

While FAIR Plan insurance coverage can vary considerably based on your state, most policies provide basic coverage for your home's structure against wind, hail, and fire perils. Coverage for your personal belongings and standalone structures on your property may also be included — though in many cases this coverage is only available as a policy add-on. Other standard home insurance coverages, such as loss of use and personal liability coverages, are rarely included at all in FAIR Plans.

However, due to the increasing reliance on these policies due to climate change and worsening weather in recent years, insurance departments in a handful of states, including California and Texas, have reworked their FAIR Plans to more closely resemble a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Here's a look at what's covered under a Texas FAIR Plan policy. [1]

Coverage type

What it covers

Coverage limit

Dwelling

Covers damage to the structure of your house

$1 million

Other structures

Covers damage to structures that aren’t attached to your home (sheds, fences, detached garages)

10% of dwelling limit

Personal property

Covers your personal belongings (furniture, electronics, appliances)

50%, 60%, or 70% of dwelling limit

Personal liability

Covers medical bills and legal expenses if you're held liable for an injury at your home

$100,000 or $300,000

Medical payments to others

Covers guests’ medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault

$5,000 per person/$25,000 per occurrence

Loss of use

Covers your temporary living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt

10% of dwelling limit

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See if you qualify for FAIR Plan home insurance coverage

We don't sell your information to third parties.

How do you get FAIR Plan insurance?

Once you’re ready to apply, contact your state’s insurance department or an independent insurance agent to find out next steps.

If you live in California and you're struggling to find coverage, you can apply for the California FAIR Plan and other high-risk providers by comparing home insurance quotes with Policygenius.

FAIR Plans by state

As of early 2024, 33 U.S. states and Washington D.C. offer some form of FAIR Plan home insurance to individuals and businesses who qualify. Here's a list of FAIR Plan resources and contact information for each of these states.

State

FAIR Plan website

Phone number

Alabama

Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association

334-943-4029

California

California FAIR Plan Association

213-487-0111

Connecticut

Connecticut FAIR Plan

860-528-9546

Delaware

Insurance Placement Facility of Delaware

215-629-8800

Florida

Citizens Insurance Corporation (Florida FAIR Plan)

202-393-4640

Georgia

Georgia Underwriting Association

904-296-6105

Hawaii

Hawaii Property Insurance Association

770-923-7431

Illinois

Illinois FAIR Plan Association

808-531-1311

Indiana

Indiana Basic Property Insurance Underwriting Association

312-861-0385

Iowa

Iowa FAIR Plan Association

317-264-2310

Kansas

Kansas All-Industry Placement Facility

515-255-9531

Kentucky

Kentucky FAIR Plan Reinsurance Association

785-271-2300

Louisiana

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

502-425-9998

Maryland

Maryland Joint Insurance Association

504-831-6930

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association

410-539-6808

Michigan

Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association

617-723-3800

Minnesota

Minnesota FAIR Plan

313-877-7400

Mississippi

Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association

612-338-7584

Missouri

Missouri Property Insurance Placement Facility

601-981-2915

New Jersey

New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association

314-421-0170

New Mexico

New Mexico Property Insurance Program

973-622-3838

New York

New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association

505-878-9563

North Carolina

North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association (FAIR Plan)

212-208-9700

Ohio

Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association

919-821-1299

Oregon

Oregon FAIR Plan Association

614-839-6446

Pennsylvania

Insurance Placement Facility of Pennsylvania

503-643-5448

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Joint Reinsurance Association

215-629-8800

South Carolina

South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association

617-723-3800

Texas (FAIR Plan)

Texas FAIR Plan Association

803-737-6180

Texas (Wind Plan)

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

800-979-6440

Virginia

Virginia Property Insurance Association

512-899-4900

Washington, D.C.

District of Columbia Property Insurance Facility

804-358-0416

Washington

Washington FAIR Plan

425-745-9808

West Virginia

West Virginia Essential Property Insurance Association

215-629-8800

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Insurance Plan

414-291-5353

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Alternatives to FAIR Plan insurance

In most states, you need to provide proof that you’ve been denied coverage by two or three insurance companies before you can become eligible for a FAIR Plan.

  1. Talk to the insurance company If your homeowners insurance is canceled or you’re denied coverage because your home is too high risk, reach out to the insurance company and ask for the reason for denial. The insurer may provide you with a list of fixes or upgrades that can make your home more insurable.

  2. Talk to your neighbors Chat with people in your area and ask who they're insured with. If an insurance company is willing to insure the house down the street from you, then they may be willing to insure your home, too.

  3. Check your state’s department of insurance In addition to offering FAIR Plans, states also have departments that both regulate property insurance and provide educational resources about how to get insurance on the private market. Check your state’s website to get a list of private admitted insurers or non-admitted surplus lines insurance companies who provide homeowners insurance in your area.

See if you qualify for FAIR Plan home insurance coverage

We don't sell your information to third parties.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. Texas Department of Insurance

    . "

    Texas FAIR Plan Association Overview

    ." Accessed January 29, 2024.

Authors

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Expert reviewer

Michael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™, is a financial advisor, principal and founder of Elevation Financial, host of the weekly personal finance podcast Wealth Redefined®, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

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