The 5 Best Hawaii Homeowners Insurance Companies
Hawaii’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the low side — on average $1,018 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average of $1,132. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address. Use our tool to find your best rates:
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Hawaii’s beautiful scenery and laid-back culture have made it a world-renowned vacation spot. But native Hawaiians and aspiring locals know that life in the Aloha State is not always postcard-perfect. Hurricane season runs from June to November; tropical storms can lead to flooding and landslides; and if you live on the Big Island, you better be aware of your lava flow zone. The right homeowners insurance policy can cover all these perils and help protect your personal paradise.
The average home insurance policy in Hawaii is about $1,018 per year, which is $114 cheaper than the national average. But as we’ll dig into later, home insurance premiums in the state have been on the rise in recent years. Use the quote tool below to compare rates and find the best coverage in your area.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Hawaii
In our search for the best homeowners insurance in Hawaii, we followed a methodology similar to what we used in our review on nationwide providers. We began by identifying the homeowners insurance providers with the largest market share in the state. We spent hours examining coverage options and discounts, comparing customer service and endorsement options, and experimenting with online tools and resources. We also evaluated the financial strength of each company, studied sample premiums, and experimented with digital tools and educational resources. We then analyzed all the data, tallied up the scores, and ranked each provider. Here’s how they measure up.
Hawaii Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Allstate ranked in the top three in every category we considered, but the company’s greatest strengths are its generous discounts and impressive online resources. For example, if you insure your home and car with Allstate, you can save as much as 30 percent on your premium, which is 13 percentage points more than the multi-policy discount with State Farm. Allstate is also the only provider we evaluated to offer new customers a welcome discount of up to 10 percent, and up to an additional 5 percent when you set up auto payments. These three discounts alone can save you hundreds on your premium each year.
If you ever need to file a claim, you’ll be happy you took the time to create an inventory of your possessions. Allstate’s Digital Locker is a mobile app that helps you create an inventory of your possessions and is a great example of Allstate’s digital dominance. State Farm has a home inventory tool, but none of the providers we evaluated have an app or make it nearly as easy as Allstate. And if you’re uncertain about your coverage needs, take a look at Allstate’s Common & Costly Claims tool. By simply entering your ZIP code, you’ll be able to see the five most common and expensive types of claims in your area. Even if you don’t end up going with Allstate, this tool can inform your coverage needs and no other insurance company provides anything like it.
State Farm is the largest homeowners insurance provider in Hawaii, accounting for just over 32 percent of policies written. But State Farm is more than just a large company; it also has all the characteristics of a great homeowners insurance provider. The best way to describe State Farm is well-rounded, as the company tied for first for endorsements, and was a runner-up for claims management, customer service, and discounts among the companies we evaluated. State Farm also received an A++ financial strength rating from A.M. Best, which, among the providers we evaluated, only USAA was able to match.
There’s nothing overly flashy or showy about State Farm. Its discounts aren’t as generous or numerous as Allstate’s, and its claims management is not quite as good as USAA. But all things considered, State Farm is among the best homeowners insurance providers on the market, and you won’t regret choosing it to protect your home.
Claims management is perhaps the most important aspect of the best homeowners insurance, and that’s where USAA really shined. In Consumer Reports’ Homeowners insurance study, USAA was rated number two overall, beating out 12 other major home insurance providers, including State Farm and Allstate. USAA’s reader score (a metric based on input from 90,000 Consumer Reports subscribers) was 92, which is 10 points higher than State Farm and 15 points higher than the 77 received by Allstate. USAA was also the only provider among those we evaluated to receive a 5 out of 5 for timely payment, which is a great indication that customers were satisfied with how quickly they were paid following a claim. (Note: First Insurance Company of Hawaii and Zephyr Insurance Co. were not included in the study.)
The one drawback to USAA, and the major caveat, is that membership is limited to those with a military affiliation. If you don’t meet the membership requirements, you’ll have to go with a different provider.
First Insurance Company of Hawaii
First Insurance Company of Hawaii (FICOH) may not have as many discounts as Allstate or USAA, but the few discounts it does have are tough to beat. For example, with FICOH’s multi-policy discount, you can save up to 40 percent on your premium when you bundle your home and auto insurance — which is a full 10 percentage points higher than what you’d get with Allstate. FICOH is also the only provider among those we evaluated to offer a loyalty discount, giving you up to an additional 11 percent off when you renew your policy.
If you’re new to homeowners insurance, online resources can be a great way to learn about the coverage options and help you make a more informed purchasing decision. FICOH does have an info center with a blog, glossary, and FAQ section, but overall, the digital tools and resources fall well short of what’s offered by Allstate. You may give up some discounts and access to the best digital resources, but if you’re looking for a local provider, native to Hawaii, First Insurance Company of Hawaii is a great option.
Zephyr Insurance Co.
Acquired by Heritage Insurance Holdings in 2015, Zephyr has grown to be the second-largest home insurance company in Hawaii despite only selling a single product: an annual residential windstorm / hurricane insurance policy. Hurricane insurance is a specialty product that is purchased separate from your standard home insurance policy (more on this later), which makes it challenging to compare Zephyr on a one-to-one basis to the other providers we evaluated. With a Zephyr hurricane policy, your home will only be covered from the time a hurricane watch has been issued by the Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service up until 72 hours after the warning has been canceled. If your home is damaged or you suffer a loss outside of this coverage window, you’ll need to rely on coverage from your traditional homeowners policy.
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Did You Know?
Premiums are on the rise, but getting a quote from multiple providers can save you some serious cash.
For the past several years, the Insurance Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has collected sample premiums from dozens of licensed homeowners insurance providers in Hawaii. This is a huge benefit to homeowners, because it gives you the ability to compare premiums and get a general benchmark for what you might expect to pay each year.
The table below shows the average home insurance premiums over the last four years for three different $250,000 homes on Oahu. Public Protection Class (PPC) is a rating system that measures a community’s access to fire protection services. According to the Department of Commerce and Affairs, most homes on Oahu are classified as a PPC 3, but generally speaking, if you’re more than five miles away from a fire station and 1,000 feet from a four-inch fire hydrant, your property would be considered a PPC 10. Note that these premiums do not include the cost of hurricane insurance.
Home Built in 1980; Wood, Single-Wall
Home Built in 1990; Wood, Double-Wall
Home Built in 2005; Masonry
*In 2015, the 1980 sample home was replaced with a similar home built in 1972, which probably resulted in higher average rates.
Here are a few key takeaways:
- Regardless of the year built, type of home, and PPC, homeowners insurance premiums are on the rise. For example, in 2012, the masonry home built in 2005 had an average premium of $342, but in 2015 that jumped all the up to $618. That’s an increase of 81 percent. From 2012 to 2015, the average increase for these PPC 3 homes was 77 percent, while the average increase for the PPC 10 homes reached 84 percent.
- The PPC rating of your home has a considerable impact on the home insurance premium. In 2015, the PPC 10 double-wall wood home would be $264 more expensive than the same home rated at PPC 3. You can learn the PPC rating of your home by speaking with your insurance agent.
- The best way to find the most affordable homeowners insurance is by receiving a quote from multiple providers. In the 2015 survey, the same 2005 double-wall home received quotes as low at $192 and as high as $1,743. That’s a difference of $1,551 dollars! It might mean a little extra leg work up front, but it absolutely pays to shop around.
Additional details about the sample policy and the homes used in the survey, rates from individual home insurance providers, and premium data for neighboring islands, can all be found by downloading the Homeowners Premium Comparison PDFs provided by the State of Hawaii.
If you have a mortgage, you’ll need hurricane insurance.
Despite Hawaii’s tropical location, the ocean waters that surround the islands are not quite warm enough to facilitate frequent hurricane activity. A major hurricane has not made landfall on the islands since Hurricane Iniki back in 1992, but as the recent threat of back-to-back hurricanes in a single week illustrate that hurricanes are still a valid concern that homeowners should prepare for. A typical homeowners insurance policy likely covers certain instances of water and wind damage, but similar to flood insurance, hurricane coverage is a supplemental policy that’s purchased. Though not legally required, if you have a mortgage on your house, your lender will require hurricane insurance as part of the financial approval process.
The Insurance Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs collected sample premiums for hurricane insurance from more than 20 providers in 2015. Here’s a quick look at the average annual premium for hurricane coverage, for three different types of homes with a replacement cost of $290,000:
Wood, Single Wall
Wood, Double Wall
Average Annual Premium
The State of Hawaii has put together a comprehensive guide on how to help strengthen your home and better prepare for a hurricane that is worth studying. Adding foundation anchors, roof clips, and other wind-resistance devices not only makes your home safer, but also plays a huge role in the cost of your premium.
Be mindful of your lava zone.
If you’ve spent much time on the Big Island, volcanic activity is nothing new. But if you’re buying a home on the island for the first time, you may not be familiar with lava zones and how they can impact your homeowners insurance. Since 1974 the Big Island has been divided into nine lava flow zones. The zones are rated one through nine (one being the most hazardous), and are based on the location of probable eruption sites, the likely path of lava flows, and the frequency of lava flow over the past several thousand years.
If you live in a high-risk zone you can still get homeowners insurance, but you’ll likely pay a higher premium. Lava flows are not uncommon on the Big Island. In fact, the Kilauea volcano erupted in May 2016 and continues to flow today. Living in a high-risk zone may also bring other insurance challenges. For example, in 2014, the Hawaii Property Insurance Association (which was set up to serve homeowners in high-risk zones on the Big Island), placed a moratorium on home insurance for the Puna community and homeowners were unable to purchase new policies or increase their current coverage. Fortunately for homeowners, legislation was passed the following year that required HPIA to lift the moratorium giving all homeowners the opportunity to purchase coverage.
Before you buy a home on the Big Island, talk to your insurance agent about how the lava zones might affect your premiums.
The Bottom Line
Hawaii’s beauty helps it stand out as one of the most popular tourist destinations. But for native Hawaiians and others who call Hawaii “home,” hurricanes, heavy rains, and other perils are just a part of island life. Finding the right homeowners insurance can protect your home from the unexpected, and help preserve your own piece of paradise. Use the quote tool below to compare rates and find the right coverage for you.
Find the best homeowners insurance in your area.
Get a quote by entering your ZIP code and start saving today.