Guide to coastal home insurance in 2022

Coastal homeowners insurance offers robust coverage to protect beach houses from the heightened threat of storm damage.

Kara McGinleyJennifer Gimbel

By

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

&Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

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.

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Coastal homes typically need more comprehensive coverage than what just a standard homeowners insurance policy offers. That’s where coastal home insurance comes in. These are specialized policies provided by select insurance companies that include robust coverage to protect beach houses against tropical storms and hurricanes that many standard home insurance policies will limit protection from.

However, due to the high risk of coastal homeowners filing a claim, many companies limit the number of beach home insurance policies they’ll write — if they even offer them at all. If that’s the case, you may need to rely on your state’s Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan to find coverage for your beach house. Just keep in mind these policies are typically more expensive and offer less coverage than private coastal home insurance policies.

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What is coastal homeowners insurance?

Coastal homeowners insurance (also called beach house insurance) is a comprehensive home insurance policy specifically designed for homes near the water that are at heightened risk of windstorm and water damage. 

This type of policy usually comes with replacement cost coverages for both your home and belongings — meaning depreciation isn’t factored into the cost of repairing your home or replacing your stuff. Beach house insurance also typically covers your home against all hazards except for those explicitly listed as exclusions in your policy. This usually includes perils like flooding, and in some cases, wind and hail. (More on that below.)

Because beach houses have a higher risk of damage due to severe weather, most coastal home insurance policies come with special deductibles that are triggered when your home is hit by a hurricane, named storm, or windstorm. (We’ll chat more about coastal home insurance deductibles in a minute.

Average cost of home insurance in coastal cities around the U.S.

Here’s a look at the average cost of home insurance in popular U.S. coastal cities, according to our analysis of March 2022 home insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services.

Coastal city

Average annual cost

Corpus Christi

$2,742

Fort Myers

$2,288

Jacksonville

$1,884

Miami

$5,003

Naples

$2,502

New York City

$1,769

Portland, Oregon

$858

San Diego

$1,333

San Francisco

$1,533

Savannah

$2,210

Seattle

$1,195

Tampa

$2,606

Virginia Beach

$2,445

How much is insurance on a beach house?

The cost of beach house insurance can range anywhere from $850 to over $5,000 — it varies widely depending on the size, location, and mitigation elements of your coastal property, among other factors.

What is the difference between standard home insurance and coastal home insurance?

Coastal home insurance is harder to find and more expensive than standard home insurance because most companies don’t want to take on the increased risk that comes with insuring homes near the coast.

Here’s a quick look at the differences between standard home insurance and coastal home insurance:

Standard policy

Coastal policy

Dwelling

Replacement cost

Extended or guaranteed replacement cost

Other structures

Actual cash value

Extended or guaranteed replacement cost

Personal property

Actual cash value

Replacement cost coverage

Where to find a policy

Most home insurance companies

Specialized insurance carriers or FAIR Plans

How much it costs

National average of $1,899 per year

Varies, but typically more expensive

Deductibles

One deductible — between $500 and $2,000

Multiple deductibles — 1% to 10% of your dwelling coverage limit

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What other coverages do I need for a coastal home?

Homeowners insurance excludes coverage for certain perils that coastal homes are at risk for, like flood damage, and in certain states, wind and hail damage. This means you may need to purchase two other insurance policies on top of your standard home insurance to ensure you're fully protected.

More

Flood insurance

Since homeowners insurance typically doesn’t cover flood damage, you'll want to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. In fact, if you have a federally backed mortgage and live in a high-risk flood zone, you’ll be required to. 

But even if your lender doesn’t require flood insurance, you should still consider it for a coastal home. Most flood insurance policies are underwritten through FEMA’S National Flood Insurance Program, but you may be able to purchase private flood insurance instead. 

→ Learn more about flood insurance

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Windstorm insurance

Homeowners insurance typically covers wind and hail damage, but insurers may exclude wind coverage if you live somewhere prone to severe windstorms, like some coastal areas. 

If wind and hail damage is excluded from your policy, consider adding windstorm coverage or purchasing a separate wind-only insurance policy to ensure you're fully protected.

→ Learn more about windstorm insurance

3 types of deductibles for coastal homes

Home insurance deductibles are the out-of-pocket expenses you’ll need to pay before your insurance kicks in. Homes in coastal areas may have separate deductibles for different types of storms, according to the Insurance Information Institute. [1]  

Windstorm deductible

Also called a wind/hail deductible, your insurer may require you to pay this for different instances of wind and hail damage, like from a tornado.

Hurricane deductible

This is typically only triggered when the National Weather Service (NWS) or National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports winds of 74+ mph.

Named storm deductible

This is usually triggered when a tropical storm is officially declared by the NWS or NHC.

These special deductibles are typically set at 1% to 10% of your dwelling coverage limit, though it varies by state around how much they can charge and when the deductibles are triggered. Check with your insurer about which deductibles you have and how they work. [2]

Example of a hurricane deductible in action

Say you own a beach house that’s insured for $400,000 with a hurricane deductible that’s set at 3% of your dwelling coverage limit. This means your hurricane deductible is $12,000 (3% x $400,000).

A hurricane hits your beach house, causing $30,000 in damage to your roof. Because your home insurance company will subtract your deductible from your claim settlement amount, your insurance company will only pay out $18,000 to help pay for the hurricane damage to your roof.

What if I can’t find coastal homeowners insurance?

If you can’t find a company willing to insure your coastal home, you may be able to get coverage through your state’s FAIR Plan or Beach and Windstorm Plan. [3] These are insurance programs designed for high-risk homeowners who’ve struggled to find a policy on the private insurance market. 

While they’re run on the state level, they’re funded by private insurance companies licensed to do business in the state. These policies are typically more expensive than standard homeowners insurance policies and offer lower coverage limits.

How comprehensive the coverage options are will depend on your state. To qualify for coverage, you may need to prove you were denied coverage from several private insurance companies a certain number of times, typically three. 

What coastal states offer FAIR Plans or Beach and Windstorm Plans?

Twenty-seven coastal states around the U.S. offer some sort of FAIR Plan, while only seven states situated along the Gulf and East Coasts have Beach and Windstorm Plans.

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Frequently asked questions

Who insures coastal homes in Florida?

You might be able to find coastal home insurance from the following private insurance companies in Florida: Galt Insurance Group, Southern Insurance Group, Pablo Beach Insurance Group, or Gulfshore Insurance.

If these private insurers aren’t willing to insure your beach house, then your next-best option is to check out Citizens Property Insurance — Florida’s insurer for FAIR Plans and Beach and WIndstorm Plans.

How much is home insurance on the Texas coast?

The annual cost of home insurance on the Texas coast ranges anywhere from $2,157 in Freeport to $3,889 in Galveston Beach, according to our analysis of March 2022 home insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. You can explore the most expensive and cheapest Texas cities for home insurance by checking out our complete guide to homeowners insurance in Texas.

How much is homeowners insurance on the beach in Florida?

The annual cost of homeowners insurance on the beach in Florida ranges anywhere from $1,808 in St. Pete Beach to $5,003 in Miami, according to our analysis of March 2022 home insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. You can explore the most expensive and cheapest Florida cities for home insurance by checking out our complete guide to homeowners insurance in Florida.

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 our

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  1. Insurance Information Institute

    . "

    12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs

    ." Accessed July 20, 2022.

  2. Insurance Information Institute

    . "

    Background on: Hurricane and windstorm deductibles

    ." Accessed July 20, 2022.

  3. Insurance Information Institute

    . "

    What if I can't get coverage?

    ." Accessed July 20, 2022.

Authors

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

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.

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