What does homeowners insurance in California cover?

A typical California homeowners insurance policy has six main parts:

  1. Dwelling coverage for the house structure.
  2. Personal property coverage for items such as furniture, clothes and kitchen items.
  3. Other structures coverage for buildings not attached to the house, such as garages, sheds and fences.
  4. Loss of use coverage for additional expenses when you can’t live at home due to damage covered by the policy. Additional living expenses can include hotel, food, laundry and other costs.
  5. Personal liability coverage for injuries to others, including medical bills and lost wages. Liability coverage also pays for property damage that you and members of your household cause to others. And it pays court costs if you’re sued because of an accident covered under the home insurance.
  6. Medical payments coverage if people are hurt on your property. It can also pay for injuries you accidentally cause to others that happen away from home.

Does California homeowners insurance cover wildfires?

Home insurance in California covers wildfires, but in areas prone to wildfires it may be hard to find a company that will sell you a policy. Some insurers will sell a policy but require you to manage the growth of trees and plants in order to reduce fire potential.

If you’ve tried to find California homeowners insurance but have been rejected, you can buy a policy through the California FAIR Plan. FAIR plans are available through any California home insurance agent.

Unfortunately, the California FAIR plan has very limited coverage: It covers only dwelling damage from fire or lightning, internal explosions and smoke. Extended FAIR plan coverage can be purchased that adds coverage for vandalism and malicious mischief, windstorm or hail, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles and volcanic eruption.

California FAIR plans are missing coverage for theft, water damage and liability, which are important parts of regular homeowners insurance policies. To fill this gap, if you have a FAIR Plan you can buy a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy from other insurers. The California department of insurance has a list of insurers that sell DIC policies.

Wildfire risk by state

Does California homeowners insurance cover earthquakes?

California home insurance policies do not cover earthquakes. Instead, you can buy earthquake insurance through the California Earthquake Authority or from private insurers that offer their own policies. Find out more about earthquake insurance in California.

How much is home insurance in California?

The average premium for a common homeowners policy, called an HO-3, in California is $1,000, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That’s lower than the countrywide average of $1,192.

25 largest home insurance companies in California

Rank in California Company Group Market share % in California
1 State Farm General Insurance Co. State Farm

17.56

2 Fire Insurance Exchange Farmers Insurance

7.57

3 CSAA Insurance Exchange CSAA Insurance Exchange

6.51

4 Interinsurance Exchange Auto Club Exchange

6.11

5 Allstate Insurance Co. Allstate Corp.

5.31

6 Mid-Century Insurance Co. Farmers Insurance

5.27

7 California Automobile Insurance Co. Mercury Insurance

5.26

8 Travelers Commercial Insurance Co. Travelers

3.18

9 Liberty Insurance Corp. Liberty Mutual

2.58

10 United Services Automobile Assn USAA

2.23

11 Pacific Specialty Insurance Co. Pacific Specialty Insurance Co.

2.1

12 AMCO Insurance Co. Nationwide

2.05

13 USAA Casualty Insurance Co. USAA

1.92

14 AIG Property Casualty Co. AIG

1.82

15 Federal Insurance Co. Chubb

1.67

16 Farmers Insurance Exchange Farmers Insurance

1.59

17 Integon National Insurance Co. National General Holdings Corp.

1.54

18 General Insurance Co. of America Liberty Mutual

1.53

19 Foremost Insurance Co. Grand Rapids Farmers Insurance

1.34

20 Homesite Insurance Co. of California American Family Insurance

1.28

21 Bankers Standard Insurance Co. Chubb

1.07

22 Safeco Insurance Co. of America Liberty Mutual

0.81

23 IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co. Ameriprise Financial

0.8

24 P&C Insurance Co. of Hartford The Hartford

0.79

25 Allied P&C Insurance Co. Nationwide

0.79

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, bases on homeowners multi-peril insurance market share in 2018.
Compare coverage options from these and other companies at the California department of insurance website.