Homeowners Insurance in Kansas
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Are you wondering how difficult it is to purchase homeowners insurance within the state of Kansas? Well, it's not an easy process. There are several steps that you, your bank, and your insurance company will have to go through to determine your annual premium. And even then, you will still have to do a lot of legwork in order to find the best price. But don't let this deter you from owning your own home. In fact, homeowners insurance is designed to give you peace of mind and help you rest assured that your property will be protected from whatever comes your way.
Purchasing an H-03 homeowners policy is pretty much the gold standard in almost all states, Kansas included. It is a fairly comprehensive policy which protects against damages to your structure, your personal property, provides liability coverage, and covers medical expenses for anyone who is injured on your property.
|Type of Coverage||Coverage Amount|
|Replacement Cost (Dwelling)||$200,000|
|Replacement Cost (Contents)||$160,000|
HO-3 Policies cover a wide range of scenarios that can and likely will happen within the sunflower state's borders. Depending on where you live in the state, you may want to discuss extra coverages with your insurance agent. This helps to make sure you are fully protected - just keep in mind that the more options you add to your policy, the higher your annual premium may be.
There are many different factors which get taken into account when determining your final premium. Some of those factors include where you live (determined by your zip code), which natural threats are prevalent in the area, property values, and the value of the property you are trying to insure. A larger, more urban city like Wichita will naturally have higher premiums than somewhere with a smaller population such as Olathe. And it's not just about where you live, either - rates can vary widely between companies, too. In Wichita, for example you might get a rate quote as low as $1,369 from a company like Allstate, or an annual premium as high as $2,851 from a company like Farm Bureau. That's why shopping around for quotes is so important.
Laws and Requirements
Like most states, Kansas homeowners aren't required by any state or federal laws to purchase homeowners insurance. However, if you are paying off your purchase with a mortgage, your lender might make a homeowners insurance purchase a legally binding part of your agreement. You may be left vulnerable to expensive litigation if you fail to honor that part of the agreement. And, of course, you will be 100% responsible for any financial damages which happen to or on your property.
Taking a Home Inventory
It takes an honest and thorough home inventory to get the most accurate quote from your insurance provider. A home inventory includes the cost of your property, the house structure, and hard-to-replace contents within your home such as furniture, electronic appliances, and more. An honest and thorough home inventory can help prevent you from underestimating the value of your property - which can protect you from a hefty financial burden in the event of a disaster.
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Choosing What (and How Much) Coverage
Your basic HO-3 policy that many Kansas home insurance companies offer is fairly comprehensive, but it doesn't cover everything. On top of your basic policy, there are many other factors to consider. Such as:
- Fires - Kansas only has an average population density of 53 people per square mile. In some areas, that leaves plenty of room for wildfires to cause a lot of damage. But you can rest easy knowing that HO-3 policies cover fire damage in Kansas.
- Floods - Unfortunately, most standard policies in Kansas do not cover flood insurance. If your insurer doesn't provide optional additional coverage for flood damage, you may want to consider contacting the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Damage from Winter Storms - Although winter storm damage is less of a threat in Kansas than in other states, it isn't exactly uncommon, either. That's why HO-3 policies have provisions for winter damage coverage.
- Earthquakes - due to an uptick in geological activity from fracking and other man-made changes to the environment, earthquakes are on the rise in certain parts of the midwest; this includes Kansas. According to the US Geological Survey, there were more than 900 earthquakes in the state within the past year alone. Many of them are minor, but occasionally they can do some serious property damage. If you are concerned about earthquakes, talk to your insurance agent. They may be able to provide you with a rider to your policy or a separate fee that adds earthquake protection to your policy.
- Tornadoes, Hail, and Severe Weather Damage - Kansas is located right in the middle of Tornado Alley. As a consequence of this, damage of severe weather is highly likely. This not only makes homeowners insurance premiums higher than average for Kansas residents, but you may have trouble adding adequate coverage options to your policy because of this fact. Be sure to discuss severe weather damage and your coverage options with your agent.
- Covering Your Property - Covering the property inside your home is just as important as the outer structure itself. The "Replacement Costs - Contents" coverage on your policy will help pay for replacing things like damaged furniture, appliances, clothes, and more.
- Liability Coverage - Liability coverage is another cornerstone of typical Kansas homeowners insurance policies. It protects you from financial damage in the event that someone or something is damaged on your property, and you are determined liable.
- Umbrella Coverage - If you have a large, expensive house or high-dollar contents such as artwork or expensive jewelry, a basic policy may not give you a sufficient amount of coverage. Umbrella coverage is an additional option that lets you purchase additional coverage limits.
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value
If you get paid the replacement cost of damages to your property after filing a claim, that means you are paid the entire cost of replacing it, period (minus your deductible). Actual Cash Value, on the other hand, incorporates depreciation into the total dollar amount your insurance company will pay out on a claim. While an Actual Cash Value policy may leave you with a larger financial responsibility if something happens, it will typically lower your annual premium as a result. Replacement Cost policies do the opposite.
How Your Credit Score May Influence Your Rate
Your homeowners insurance provider will utilize some of your credit history records in order to determine your final premium. However, since purchasing homeowners insurance is such a complicated process, and since you will need to get multiple claims from several companies, most companies do you a favor by not performing "hard" checks on your credit. Hard checks leave a mark on your personal credit history, and too many of them can artificially lower your credit rating.
Instead, homeowners insurance companies typically use what's called a "CLUE" report. These reports don't leave any blemishes on your credit history, but still provide your insurance company with accurate information on how likely you are to file a claim based on your previous history of filed claims with other companies.
For more information, feel free to click any of the links you see in this article. They all lead to more detailed information about homeowner's insurance, specifics on purchasing a policy, and how to find the best deal. You should also contact local resources in your state, such as:
Or contact them directly through the following resources:
Kansas Insurance Department - Consumer Services Division
420 SW 9th Street
Topeka, KS 66612-1678