Many people dream about owning a beach front home, yet few want to face the high home insurance rates that come with it. To enjoy the view, you have to accept the higher and more unpredictable risks of flood, wind, and hail-risks that are far greater than those for fire and theft.
Most likely, home insurance on your beach front home is necessary, either because it’s required by your mortgage lender or by the jurisdiction in which it’s located. Even if insurance is not required, you’ll want it for your own peace of mind. Regular homeowner’s insurance is not enough because it won’t cover Acts of God; flood insurance will.
Because beach front homes are more desirable places to live, they’re usually worth more, attracting higher rates. Local authorities may also require that a beach front home be built according to stricter codes, making it more expensive in value and insure. And third, especially if the beach front home is in an area known for storms, the risks of flood and damage from weather factors are much greater. With the increase in extreme weather events caused by global warming, those risks are increasing.
If you can compromise your dream, build or buy a home a few blocks from the beach. Not being on the shoreline lessens the impact of off-shore storms and avoids the problem of soil erosion. With global warming and rising sea levels, coastline erosion is worsening around the world. Erosion weakens foundations, which are very expensive to repair.
The costs of damage caused by weather events on a beach front home may be mitigated by disaster relief from your government or from government-sponsored flood insurance. Every jurisdiction offers different types of protection; however, some offer none at all. In any case, government aid is never sufficient to cover your losses, and coverage isn’t dependable enough to eliminate the need to purchase your own insurance.
Before purchasing insurance for a beach front home, remember these factors: First, despite the high insurance rates for beach front homes, don’t even consider not having flood insurance. Your regular homeowner’s insurance will not cover losses caused by flood. Second, buy insurance from a major insurance company; this ensures that your insurer can sustain a major disaster. Third, be prepared for higher home insurance rates with higher deductibles. If you can’t afford the continuing cost, consider whether you can afford a beach-front home in the first place.
However, home insurance rates for beach front homes vary by area. Know the rates in your area and do your homework, especially if you build a beach-front home in another country.