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FAIR Plan home insurance

Updated Jun 10, 2024
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Key takeaways

  • Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) insurance policies are policies of last-resort, designed for homeowners in high-risk areas unable to get coverage from a standard provider.
  • FAIR Plan policies cover less than a standard home insurance policy and usually cost more.
  • To qualify for the FAIR Plan insurance, most homeowners will need to show they have been denied coverage multiple times in the private market.

FAIR Plan insurance explained

A FAIR Plan, which stands for Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, is a program that allows high-risk homeowners to purchase home insurance. People who get insurance through a FAIR Plan are typically not eligible for coverage through the standard home insurance market because their home is located in a high-risk area or they have other red flags that concern insurers.

FAIR Plans are state-run programs that are subsidized by private insurance companies. A FAIR Plan is slightly different from a typical home insurance company because it is a shared market plan. Rather than getting coverage from a single insurance company, several insurance companies cover your property in a FAIR Plan, limiting the amount of risk that one company assumes. If you have to file a claim, every participating company pays for a portion of your loss.

When it comes to the actual coverage, homeowners insurance through a FAIR Plan is pretty limited. Many plans may only include dwelling and personal property coverage on a named perils basis. You most likely cannot get liability, medical payments or loss of use coverage through a FAIR Plan. Most states’ FAIR Plans only insure homes at actual cash value, as opposed to replacement cost value.

FAIR Plan home insurance is intended to be a last-resort option. You cannot apply for home insurance through your state’s FAIR Plan as your first option because you will have to prove that you have been denied home insurance from several private companies.

High-risk homes and FAIR Plans

FAIR Plans specifically cover high-risk homes and high-risk homeowners. However, the criteria for what is considered a high-risk home is very specific. Here are some of the characteristics of a high-risk home that may qualify you for FAIR Plan insurance:

  • You live in an area with a high risk of severe weather, like tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes.
  • You live in a neighborhood with a high rate of crime, vandalism or theft.
  • Your home is very old and has outdated systems that make it risky to insure, like old plumbing or electrical wiring.

FAIR Plans also serve homeowners with a lengthy claims history. If you’ve filed more than a few insurance claims, especially major ones, it may be a red flag for insurance companies. When you apply for a new policy, the insurance company can review your Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report, which includes a record of the insurance claims you’ve filed. A spotty claims record can make it difficult to get preferred coverage, so you might have to resort to a FAIR Plan if you fall into this category.

Although you may be able to find private insurance companies willing to insure high-risk homes, it’s becoming more difficult in some states. For example, a number of home insurance companies in Florida are shutting down and canceling policies due to the uptick in natural disasters, expensive claim payouts and fraudulent claims. Therefore, more Florida homeowners may need to consider a FAIR Plan due to the difficulty in finding standard coverage. In the midst of California’s home insurance crisis, an increasing number of homeowners across the state have been forced to rely on the state’s FAIR Plan.

How to get FAIR Plan home insurance

The process of getting FAIR Plan insurance is different in every state, but is usually straightforward. You must be able to prove that you have been denied home insurance from at least two private home insurance companies, but some states may require more denials. To be eligible for the FAIR plan, you must not owe any outstanding taxes, and there must not be any penalties, liens or assessments on your property. Your home must also be in accordance with local building, housing, sanitation or pollution laws.

Keep in mind that some states require FAIR homeowners insurance customers to apply for private home insurance once per year or every two years, depending on your state. If approved, you will no longer be eligible for the FAIR Plan home insurance.

States that offer FAIR Plan insurance

Not every state offers a FAIR Plan, but many do, especially states with a high rate of severe weather. As of 2022, the most recent year with data available, 33 states and Washington D.C. offer or plan to offer FAIR Plans to high-risk homeowners.

  1. Alabama
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. Delaware
  5. Florida
  6. Georgia
  7. Hawaii
  8. Illinois
  9. Indiana
  10. Iowa
  11. Kansas
  12. Kentucky
  13. Louisiana
  14. Maryland
  15. Massachusetts
  16. Michigan
  17. Minnesota
  18. Mississippi
  19. Missouri
  20. New Jersey
  21. New Mexico
  22. New York
  23. North Carolina
  24. Ohio
  25. Oregon
  26. Pennsylvania
  27. Rhode Island
  28. South Carolina
  29. Texas
  30. Virginia
  31. Washington
  32. Washington, D.C.
  33. West Virginia
  34. Wisconsin

Bankrate insight

Colorado plans to begin access to FAIR Plan policies in early 2025.

Frequently asked questions