Not every home is in an ideal place for homeowners insurance – at least as far as traditional home insurance companies are concerned. They often consider homes where there is a high risk for natural disasters uninsurable. When this happens, homeowners in some states can rely on FAIR plans to provide the coverage they need. However, FAIR plans are usually considered a “market of last resort,” which means homeowners have to be denied by other insurance companies before they can apply.
FAIR plans are usually subsidized by taxes and private insurance carriers that pool resources to pay claims. Unfortunately, the policies provided by these plans are often limited and offer the most basic coverage.
The most common reason homeowners end up with a FAIR plan is because they’re considered high risk, but what that means depends on your state. In many places, homes are more difficult to insure when they’re in an area known for frequent natural disasters. For example, California has major geographic areas (some even within several city limits) that are deemed FAIR plan locations because of wildfire risks.
Homeowners may also need a FAIR plan if:
The specifics for any of these depend on your state’s FAIR plan.
FAIR plans tend to be limited in the scope of coverage they offer. For example, traditional homeowners insurance policy offers six coverage areas, but some FAIR plans only cover the structure of you home﹘not any of the contents or your personal liability.
You may also find that FAIR plans limit the perils covered under the policy. Many are named-peril policies, so they only cover the 16 or so events listed in the policy document. Compare that to an HO3 policy that covers all events unless they are specifically excluded from coverage.
Most states require that you get declined by standard insurance companies before you apply with a FAIR plan. Once you’ve met that requirement, then you can usually sign up for a FAIR plan by contacting an agent or broker who offers it. You may be able to find agents and brokers who can sell FAIR plans by going to the program’s website.
You may also have to meet additional criteria. For example, many states only admit homes to their FAIR plans if:
FAIR plans do not necessarily take every applicant. If that happens, you may have to make major upgrades to your home. Discuss your plans with an insurance agent familiar with the FAIR plan in your state before you do so you know if you’re putting your money to good use.
|Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association||334-943-4029|
|California FAIR Plan Association||213-487-0111|
|Connecticut FAIR Plan||860-528-9546|
|Insurance Placement Facility of Delaware||215-629-8800|
|District of Columbia Property Insurance Facility||202-393-4640|
|Citizens Property Insurance Corporation||850-513-3700|
|Georgia Underwriting Association||770-923-7431|
|Hawaii Property Insurance Association||808-531-1311|
|Illinois FAIR Plan Association||312-861-0385|
|Indiana Basic Property Insurance Underwriting Association||317-264-2310|
|Iowa FAIR Plan Association||515-255-9531|
|Kansas All-Industry Placement Facility||785-271-2300|
|Kentucky FAIR Plan Reinsurance Association||502-425-9998|
|Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation||504-831-6930|
|Maryland Joint Insurance Association||410-539-6808|
|Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association||617-723-3800|
|Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association||313-877-7400|
|Minnesota FAIR Plan||612-338-7584|
|Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association||601-981-2915|
|Missouri Property Insurance Placement Facility||314-421-0170|
|New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association||973-622-3838|
|New Mexico Property Insurance Program||505-878-9563|
|New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association||212-208-9700|
|North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association||919-821-1299|
|Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association||614-839-6446|
|Oregon FAIR Plan Association||503-643-5448|
|Insurance Placement Facility of Pennsylvania||215-629-8800|
|Rhode Island Joint Reinsurance Association||617-723-3800|
|South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association||803-737-6180|
|Texas FAIR Plan Association||512-899-4900|
|Texas Windstorm Insurance Association||800-788-8247|
|Virginia Property Insurance Association||804-591-3700|
|Washington FAIR Plan||424-745-9808|
|West Virginia Essential Property Insurance Association||215-629-8800|
|Wisconsin Insurance Plan||414-291-5353|