Insuring your home — and the items in it — is wise and generally required if you have a mortgage. The cost might be unavoidable, but there are things you can do to control your how much you pay. Some providers will lower your premium for installations of dead bolts, alarm systems, and the like. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to see an increase in your homeowners insurance if you’re a smoker, have a high claim history, or if the building materials aren’t up to snuff.
One other very important factor affecting the cost of your homeowners insurance is location. Natural disasters and other environmental factors play an enormous role in determining your premium. These 10 cities are home to the highest homeowners insurance rates in the U.S., according to Insurance.com.
10. Garden City, Kansas
- Average annual premium: $2,546
The Midwest is known for all of its sprawling land. These wide open spaces are major highways for tornadoes to form and ravage communities. On average, Garden City, Kansas, has three tornadoes each year and is considered to be a very high risk for them. That’s not the best investment for insurance companies. A policy with $200,000 in dwelling coverage, $100,000 in liability coverage, and a $1,000 deductible in Garden City costs twice the national average of $1,228.
9. Waldenburg, Arkansas
- Average annual premium: $2,571
Sticking to tornadoes, Waldenburg, Arkansas, gets hit with lots of them, too. A few hours east of Ozark National Forest, the town is considered high risk for twisters, with an average of two tornadoes per year. In addition, Waldenburg saw three earthquakes back in the 1970s, which could certainly play into high insurance premiums. (Homeowners worried about quakes should talk to their insurance company about adding coverage for this kind of disaster, since a standard homeowners policy won’t cover earthquake damage).
8. Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Average annual premium: $2,970
The thriving tourist economy of Nantucket, Massachusetts, serves a huge amount of New Englanders on holiday weekends and summer vacations. With beautiful wood-shingled homes and beaches, it’s no wonder people enjoy the island. Unfortunately, the island is no exception when it comes to the perils of hurricanes. Just like any other coastal paradise, the wind and rain can be devastating. Tropical Storm Jose recently dumped 6 inches of rain on the area, causing minor flooding.
7. Forest Park, Oklahoma
- Average annual premium: $3,243
Like its Midwestern neighbors, Oklahoma is in the thick of Tornado Alley. And Forest Park, Oklahoma, experiences five tornadoes per year. The cost of homeowners insurance certainly reflects the risks of living in a disaster-prone region.
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Average annual premium: $3,858
Part of the Grand Strand’s beautiful beachfront, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is wildly exposed to hurricanes and tropical storms. Myrtle Beach recently was hit by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. It reportedly cost over $17.3 million in damage.
5. Galveston, Texas
- Average annual premium: $7,105
Possibly worse than Hurricane Harvey, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 caused massive destruction in Galveston, Texas. The storm killed an estimated 8,000 people and destroyed the city. So it’s easy to understand why insurance companies require such high premiums to insure homes in the area.
4. Gulf Shores, Alabama
- Average annual premium: $7,850
People live in the Gulf Coast for its white, sandy beaches and clear water. But of course there’s also its susceptibility to powerful hurricanes. The potential for flooding and wind damage is a constant fear for Gulf Shores, Alabama. 2004’s Hurricane Ivan still ranks as one of the most devastating for the area.
3. Pascagoula, Mississippi
- Average annual premium: $7,922
Just west of Gulf Shores is Pascagoula, Mississippi, an industrial and fishing city on the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina hit the city, leaving massive destruction in its wake. So it takes a lot to insurance a house in this hurricane-prone area.
2. Venice, Louisiana
- Average annual premium: $11,151
Venice, Louisiana, is located at the point where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. A small speck on the map, homes are at constant risk for flooding. If you can manage to find an insurance company to work with you, you’ll be paying way more than the average American for coverage.
1. Conch Key, Florida
- Average annual premium: $11,702
The string of tropical islands off the southern tip of Florida are a mecca for tourists and snowbirds in search of that slow island life. But these islands are also in the war path for many hurricanes. If Hurricane Irma were any indication of what Mother Nature is capable of doing, you’ll understand why providers charge the most to insure a home in Conch Key, Florida.
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