Finding a Diamond in the Rough: Arkansas Home Insurance
It’s true that Arkansas is the only state in the U.S.A. where diamonds are mined, though finding a rock for an engagement ring in The Land of Opportunity is almost as tough as finding favorable home insurance quotes in Arkansas. While anyone with a few bucks, a rock pick, and a map to Crater of Diamond’s State Park outside Murfreesboro is more than welcome to take a shot at striking it rich, don’t hedge your bets on finding the Hope Diamond anytime soon. Arkansas diamonds are few, far between, and semi-precious at best (i.e. not very valuable). Finding a true gem is easier said than done. In that respect, it’s not that unlike finding good Arkansas home insurance quotes. With average homeowner’s insurance rates of $800 annually according to a study done by the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners), the cost of home insurance in Arkansas ranks in the top ten nationally, compared to a national average of just $696.
Natural Disasters: Why Arkansas Home Insurance Quotes are so Costly
Why the top ten ranking for home insurance, when Arkansans pay less for auto insurance than all but 14 other states in the Union? The truth of the matter is that natural disasters mean costly paydays for home insurance providers, and Arkansas ranks right up there with the best of them in more than a few categories. Put simply, in order to compensate for bigger payouts, home insurance providers charge costlier premiums in areas where natural disasters are commonplace.
Arkansas Natural Disaster Statistics
How frequent are natural disasters in the state of Arkansas? Try these facts on for size:
- Tornadoes — According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln High Plains Regional Climate Center, Arkansas ranked as one of the top three states for tornado frequency in three separate years between 1995 and 2005, including staggering single day totals of 30 tornadoes on January 21st, 1999, and 24 twisters on November 27th, 2005.
- Hurricanes — The Natural State gets a regular dose of Gulf Coast Hurricane leftovers. Case in point: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, two of the most destructive Gulf Coast Hurricanes in recent memory.
- Earthquakes — Arkansas sits on the southern end of one of the biggest seismic faults in the United States, the New Madrid seismic zone. According to the USGS (United States Geological Survey), Lake Saint Francis, measuring 40 miles long and half a mile wide, was created by the New Madrid’s last major series of quakes in 1811-1812.
- Flooding — Arkansas ranks 4th in the nation when it comes to flood risk according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association), behind only Florida, Texas, and Louisiana.
Soak in these statistics, and it’s plain to see why Arkansas home insurance quotes rank right up there with some of the highest in the nation.
Obtaining Reasonable Arkansas Home Insurance Quotes
With Mother Nature standing in the way, what’s the best way to get a good rate on Arkansas home insurance? In two words: shop around. In three words: shop around often. By reaching out to a number of insurance providers for quotes when you’re in the market for home insurance, you’ll be able to compare costs, coverages, and weed out suspiciously low quotes (which are usually indicative of low quality coverage), and spot highball offers looking to take advantage of uneducated consumers. As for shopping around often, it’s important to realize that insurance rates are always fluctuating. For example, the $800 annual average for home insurance in Arkansas cited from the NAIC above was calculated in September of 2009. According to Homeinsurance.com, that average rose to $847 in December, an increase of almost 6% in the period of just 3 months. Those fluctuations go both ways, however, and vary provider to provider, meaning that it’s possible to secure lower than average rates just as easily if you’re on point when it comes to getting quality Arkansas home insurance quotes.
A Final Thought on Homeowners Insurance in Arkansas
Keep in mind that no matter how much you shop around, your homeowners insurance rates in Arkansas will ultimately be determined by the coverages and amounts you settle on. And since Arkansas has no laws in place requiring home insurance, the coverages, amounts, and deductibles you select are entirely up to you. Property Damage and Personal Liability coverages are pretty standard fare, though most homeowners choose to add some form of Additional Living Expenses and Medical Payments to their policy as well. Add to that other options that could raise your rates, such as opting for replacement cost versus actual cash value, covering additional outbuildings, and adding extra coverage to protect your personal belongings, and it’s easy to see how navigating the maze of Arkansas home insurance can get costly if you don’t know the lay of the land. Whether you choose to seek out Arkansas insurance quotes on your own, or take the easy way out and let a quote finding service like NetQuote .com do your homework for you, finding a good insurance provider who offers the best rates is always your best bet for getting the home insurance coverage you need in the Land of Opportunity.