Market tighter, but shoppers still have options for homeowners' insurance
Updated Premium Comparison publication now available
Currently, homeowners insurance in Arizona, as in other states, is generally less available and more expensive than previously. Increases in expense and claim costs, together with decreases in investment income that some insurers would otherwise use to offset losses, are the reasons insurers most often cite for these changes. Consumers are feeling this change predominantly in the form of higher premiums, but some insurers are not interested in new business right now or are being more selective in the risks they will write, making it more difficult for some applicants to obtain insurance.
In 2002, consumers contacting the Department expressed difficulty obtaining coverage especially for vacant dwellings, dwellings in unprotected areas, low-valued dwellings, old dwellings, high priced dwellings and dwellings that have had any losses within the last three years.
However, homeowners insurance remains available at a range of prices, if the homeowner explores the market. The Department of Insurance offers a wide variety of tools to assist buyers as they comparison shop for insurance.
Each year, the Department conducts a survey of insurers selling homeowners insurance to compare prices between companies. The 2003 Homeowners Premium Comparison Survey is now available. The range in prices for homeowners insurance are illustrated by the quotes in this publication. For instance, the cost to insure ($100,000 dwelling/$75,000 contents) a two-story masonry home built in 2001, located in zip code 85022 ranges from $278 to $1,265 per year. For the same home and coverage on a home located at McDowell and Power Road in Mesa, premiums range from $179 to $1,265.
How can the Department of Insurance help?