Most insurance policies come with mandatory fees, and we want to be as transparent as possible about the charges you might find in your policy. Some home insurance fees are based on where you live, but others can pop up if you need an inspection or choose to pay your premium in installments. Let’s take a look at all of these.
Home insurance fees in Florida
Florida has two unique fees. The first is called an EMPA fee, and it’s added to all home insurance. The other is a fee that’s periodically added to policies to help the state cover claims when admitted insurers become insolvent.
By state law, a flat $2 for each Florida homeowners insurance policy sold must go toward the Emergency Management, Preparedness, and Assistance Trust Fund. This fund helps pay for emergency management activities (e.g., when a big hurricane hits and the state must quickly assist citizens).
If you have a taste for legal jargon, you can read up on the statute.
Once the policy is issued, the fee has been fully earned and is non-refundable, even if you cancel the policy shortly thereafter.
The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, or FIGA, is a nonprofit organization established under Florida law that protects Florida property and casualty insurance policyholders by handling any outstanding claims if their insurers fails and becomes insolvent. Sometimes FIGA needs additional funds to resolve outstanding claims, so it periodically requires member insurance companies to collect assessment surcharge fees from their policyholders.
In 2023, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation requested and had approved a 1% emergency FIGA assessment following the insolvency of United Property and Casualty Insurance Company. The money will be used to pay off revenue bonds FIGA has issued to pay off short-term financing and to cover remaining claims.
As required by law, this FIGA fee:
Applies to all covered lines of insurance except auto.
Will be collected by insurers and submitted to FIGA quarterly.
Can be recouped from policyholders beginning on October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024.
Will continue until the bonds are paid in full.
Mississippi home insurance fees
In Mississippi, we operate as an excess and surplus (E&S) producer, which often makes it easier for us to cover homeowners that have unique situations, such as living in a high-risk area. But it also means we’re required to add a couple of fees to the policies we sell.
MSLA stamping and participation fees
Our status as an E&S insurance company means we participate in the Mississippi Surplus Lines Association, or MSLA. This organization helps the Mississippi Insurance Department regulate E&S insurance and encourages E&S insurance companies and agents to be in compliance with surplus lines law. MSLA stamping and participation fees are 0.25% and 4% of your premium (not including your surplus contribution), respectively.
MWUA (wind pool) fee
MWUA stands for the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association, an organization established by state law in 1987 to ensure coastal property owners can get adequate coverage for wind and hail. Every admitted insurer that writes property coverage in the state is required to be part of MWUA and to help cover the association’s losses.
As an (E&S) producer, we don’t participate in MWUA, but our Mississippi home insurance policies are subject to a non-admitted policy fee of 3% of your premium not including your surplus contribution.
If you opt to pay your premium in installments – typically, the options are 1, 2, or 4 installment payment plans – installment fees apply. The amount of the fee varies by state to account for transaction costs. For homeowners insurance in Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama, it’s $3 per installment.
Most home insurance companies, especially those in catastrophe-exposed states, require a home inspection to ensure the home doesn’t have existing damage and that it meets underwriting requirements. We make this super easy by offering self inspections for our Florida and Louisiana home insurance that cost $15. But if you want an inspector to come to your house, an exterior inspection costs $25 and an interior and exterior inspection costs $57.
In California, exterior inspections are $24, exterior and interior inspections are $44, and if you have a high-value home, the inspection is $175. A wildfire inspection is $64.
When you buy a policy from Kin Interinsurance Network or Kin Interinsurance Nexus Exchange, our carriers, the policy includes a surplus contribution. This fee is approved by Florida regulators and is 10 percent of your premium. It’s used for claims and carrier operating costs only – we don’t make any money off of or take a percentage of this contribution.
In fact, a surplus contribution can save you money over time. The more reserves we have to pay claims and cover operating costs, the lower we can keep our prices.
This fee is refundable on a prorated basis if the policy is canceled.
Our fees are never hidden – we want you to know exactly where your money goes. If you have additional questions, feel free to send them our way at email@example.com.