Arkansas often gets lumped in with other Midwestern states, and not always for the wrong reasons. Like its neighbors Kansas and Missouri, Arkansas has a history of dealing with strong weather events such as tornadoes and hailstorms, which cause severe property damage around the state.
Texas and Mississippi, also bordering Arkansas, have their own struggles with hurricanes and flooding to contend with. Unfortunately, flooding can also affect sections of Arkansas as well. These severe weather events and their consistency can make it difficult for residents of Arkansas to find affordable access to homeowners insurance in their area.
Additionally, the high number of older homes and homes located in high-risk areas serve to increase the premiums for the homeowners policies that are available. Arkansas ranks tenth in the country for the frequency of tornadoes that hit the state, and yet it is also fourth in the number of uninsured homes.
Many people are deterred by the state of homeowners insurance in Arkansas and therefore don’t purchase insurance; however, the risks of not having insurance are far greater than the expense of having it when you need it most. Read more about Benzinga’s choices for Best Homeowners Insurance.
Best Homeowners Insurance in Arkansas:
Average Annual Premium in Arkansas
The average annual homeowners insurance premium in Arkansas varies depending on where in the state you live, how old your home is and how prepared you and your home are for the kinds of severe weather that can hit. All these factors can influence how much you’ll end up paying for homeowners insurance. Residents of Arkansas have higher homeowners insurance rates than most states in the U.S., according to the Arkansas Department of Insurance.
The average cost of a homeowners insurance premium in Arkansas is about $1,279. Once again, weather and risk are major factors in influencing premium costs. Some Arkansas homeowners choose not to have homeowners insurance; therefore, the risk has increased across the entire state for those who choose to purchase insurance. When severe weather happens and insurance claims are made because of the damage, there are fewer insured customers who are spreading this risk out and premiums increase.
Finding the Best Premium for Your Home
Finding the best premium for you and your home is a balancing act between finding the right value for your money and getting everything covered that you need to be insured. It’s easy to be tempted to go for the general homeowners insurance policy, without considering what additional coverage you may need in order to receive protection for weather events and other disasters. Depending on the insurance policy you want, you’ll need to make sure to know what your homeowners insurance covers and what it doesn’t.
For instance, some policies will cover the structures on your property and the costs for replacing those physical buildings, but it won’t cover items like jewelry, collections you may have, or other valuable objects inside your home or property buildings. Some homeowners insurance policies will need additional coverage for flooding, fires, earthquakes, or ice and snow damage. These weather events might not seem like they occur often, but the damages that result from just one storm can be catastrophic.
You can often save on your homeowners insurance premiums by minimizing the risk of damage in your home. Improvements like updated fire safety measures (smoke detectors and fire up-to-date fire extinguishers) and structural improvements can decrease your home’s risk of being damaged by hail, tornadoes, or other severe weather. Check with your insurance company to see what improvements might signal discounts for you.
Inclement Weather in Arkansas
Inclement weather is part of living in Arkansas. The mountains, plains, river valleys, and rolling fields are all beautiful to view, but each geographic area can also breed its own nasty weather systems. Insurance claims related to weather damage in Arkansas have increased in recent years.
In 2008, 61% of homeowners insurance claims that were caused by tornadoes and hail were paid; this number dropped to just 49% in 2011. Catastrophic insurance policies are that much more important to consider, especially if you find that your homeowners insurance policy isn’t covering everything you need it to in severe weather instances.
Most homeowners don’t consider how a flood could affect their homes and neighborhoods until it is too late. Homes near lakes and rivers should be on the lookout for flood policies. Different locations will have a varied amount of flood risk, but even homes on high ground can be damaged by water.
If you live in the mountains or near a mountain river, check to see what potential risks there could be for landslides or other disasters that could be triggered by a lot of precipitation. With the right homeowners insurance policy, you can be sure to recoup your financial losses from these items. An insurance agent can come and inspect your house and neighborhood to let you know what your risks for flooding is and how you can protect yourself with the right insurance policy.
Top picks for Arkansas
Everyone is familiar with Allstate’s blue and white signage. The national insurer has agents throughout Kentucky, making it likely that you’ll find an agent nearby.
Allstate’s commitment to customer service is evident in the size of its agent network, and connecting customers with a knowledgeable local resource for questions, customer support, and to bind coverage.
Discounts are available for bundling auto and home insurance and Allstate also provides welcome discounts, early signing discounts, and a discount for being claims-free.
Check out Benzinga’s Allstate Review.
Farmers Insurance is actually a group of companies, with Farmers Insurance being the most well-known among its companies.
Within the Farmers Insurance group of companies are several other insurers which gives the company some of the advantages of an independent agent and the ability to find a solution to nearly any insurance need.
Options for Farmers’ home insurance policies include replacement cost coverage, which protects your personal belongings for the full cost of replacing the item(s) in a covered claim. Discounts are available for bundling home and auto, home safety features, and for certain home renovations.
With policies for renters, condo owners, single-family homes, and even farms and apartment buildings, Shelter can meet your needs even if you own multiple properties.
As a money-saving option, Shelter also has a dwelling policy, which is a simplified home insurance policy that covers the major risks of fire and wind/hail, but makes many other coverages optional so you can design your own policy.
Discounts are available for purchasing multiple policies and Shelter gives a discount to customers who are claims-free for six years.
4. State Farm
While many insurers move to online service and phone-based service, State Farm maintains one of the largest agent networks in the business.
With about 18,000 agents throughout its network, State Farm embraces the importance of doing business face-to-face and having local agents who can explain coverage, handle service needs, and bind the right policy to protect your home.
If you own multiple properties, be sure to get quotes from State Farm. The company often offers attractive rates on landlord policies as well as homeowners insurance policies. Bundling home and auto will earn a discount on both policies and discounts are available for home safety features.
5. Farm Bureau
Much like the Farm Bureau in other Upper Midwest states marked by farms and rural areas, the Iowa Farm Bureau has become a valuable resource for insurance and other financial services.
Founded in 1939 to meet the unique insurance needs of farmers, Iowa Farm Mutual Insurance Company expanded its product offering over the years to include property insurance, auto insurance, and even life and health insurance.
Homeowners insurance options with Iowa Farm Mutual Insurance Company include Replacement Cost Coverage or Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage, which pays for repairs up to 125 percent of your home’s insured value — a lifesaver when disaster strikes a large area and construction costs spike due to increased demand. Farm Bureau Member’s Choice policies can earn a loyalty discount to help tame premiums.
Residents of Arkansas should be prepared to deal with all the weird and wacky weather. Although homeowners insurance premiums are high in Arkansas, check out the quotes from insurance companies to see what discounts apply to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How does home insurance liability coverage work?
Most home insurance policies provide liability coverage that can help protect you and your family against several types of lawsuits or liability claims. Coverage limit options usually begin at $100,000 and can go as high as $1 million. Your liability coverage provides coverage for common mishaps, like slip and fall accidents or animal bites and can protect you even when you are away from home. However, home insurance liability coverage does not provide coverage for automobile-related liability or liability related to business activity. Get the best home coverage and policy through our top providers today.
2) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?
Wind and hail claims top the list with nearly 40% of all home insurance claims due to these two acts of nature. Fire and lightning are the second most common, but claims due to fire tend to much bigger than claims dues to other types of risk. The possibility of a total loss is why it’s so important to insure your home for the full cost of rebuilding. Get a custom quote today.
3) Q: If I drop my computer, will home insurance cover the cost of replacement?
Home insurance policies usually cover personal property for a specific list of risks, called named perils. These perils might include fire, theft, burst pipes, and more, but dropping your laptop or TV or spilling soda on your new game console isn’t covered. See the best home insurance providers for a custom quote.