With its tropical climate, laid-back island culture, and palm tree-lined streets, Honolulu is arguably the closest thing to paradise for many people in the United States. The largest city and capital of Hawaii also boasts a bustling business district just a few minutes’ walk from the shore. While many know Honolulu for its most popular and well-known tourist attraction, Waikiki Beach, it is also Hawaii’s main point for government, transportation, and commerce. It is no wonder that Honolulu is regularly regarded as one of the country’s happiest cities, clocking in at around 345,000 residents.

If you’re looking to call the Aloha State home, be prepared for a bit of sticker shock. Living with the best of bold worlds—access to natural attractions mixed with urban appeal—comes at a high cost. Like most beachy areas in the United States, Honolulu can be on the pricier side, at 88 percent higher than the national average. While the average homeowners insurance policy is a bit cheaper than other areas in the country, the median cost of homes skyrockets beyond the norm. Renters should also expect to pay exorbitant rates if they plan on moving to Honolulu, even temporarily.

This should come as no surprise, considering the Hawaiian capital city is a Polynesian paradise complete with nature hikes studded with waterfalls, breathtaking panorama views at the top of Diamond Head volcanic crater, history at Pearl Harbor, and snorkel adventures through the gorgeous reef ecosystem at Hanauma Bay. Living expenses tend to run a bit higher, too, as transporting goods to the middle of the Pacific Ocean isn’t always the most accessible.

If you’re looking for your first homeowners policy or searching for savings, Insurify’s home insurance comparison tools make your home insurance search quick and easy. Compare Honolulu home insurance policies, insurance companies, and insurance quotes to find great coverage options that fit your needs.

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How to Find Cheap Home Insurance in Honolulu

Buying a home may be one of the largest financial investments of your lifetime. With investment, inevitably, comes risk. However, there are steps homeowners can take to minimize risk and protect their investment. The best way to safeguard your home, personal belongings, and personal liability from unexpected damage is to purchase the best homeowners and auto insurance policies, and potentially additional coverage depending on the local environment.

The most significant risks that homeowners face include theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. While Honolulu was ranked as one of the safest cities for tourists in the United States, permanent residence opens up opportunities to other dangers. Living on a volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific may mean that your home is subject to unique hazards that don’t occur as frequently, or at all, in the United States mainland. The Hawaiian coastal city is located on the southern shore of Oahu, which makes it prone to tsunamis, floods, and other natural disasters.

The first step in protecting your property is homeowners insurance. Though not required by law, home insurance provides financial liability for your property and belongings from natural disasters and theft. Different coverage levels are available for different property types, locations, and other factors.

Coverage levels exist for every corner (including the islands) of the United States, and the cost of homeowners insurance can differ depending on the type of home and the ZIP code. Bundling auto and home insurance together in one policy can be a productive first step to protecting your belongings and liabilities, especially since many homeowners insurance companies offer bundling on most of their insurance products at a discount. If you don’t see a bundling offer when you buy your policy, ask your local agent.

Keep reading for a full guide on Honolulu home insurance and what insurance options might be best for you.

MORE ON HAWAII HOME INSURANCE
For general information on Hawaii home insurance, check our state guide to best Hawaii homeowners insurance.

Cheapest Home Insurance in Honolulu by Company

Homeowners insurance rates aren’t always designed with savings in mind. That’s where Insurify comes in.

As of 2020, the average home insurance premium in Honolulu costs $1,066 annually, and the median home value is $839,000.

Home insurance rates in Honolulu are relatively affordable, considering the city’s appeal of living on the coast and in a tropical climate while still having a considerable business district. But home insurance policies in Hawaii include perils and risks, such as floods, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. Those looking to move to Honolulu may need to consider purchasing additional tsunami insurance or flood insurance to account for covered loss and property damage, in addition to basic homeowners coverage.

Average Home Cost in Honolulu Average Annual Insurance Premium in Honolulu
$839,000 $1,066

Cheapest ZIP Codes in Honolulu for Home Insurance

When searching for your Honolulu home, you may have noticed that housing costs can vary depending on which neighborhood you’re looking to live in. The same variance applies to home insurance rates.

Like property costs, home insurance varies in price from city to city. Pricing is determined by ZIP code–specific variables, such as the volume of claims filed nearby, crime rates, and property costs, and risk variables, such as natural disaster frequency. Even your specific neighborhood may determine if you pay more or less on your annual premiums. 

If you’re living by Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, policyholders can expect to pay considerably lower premiums than homeowners in Paiko Lagoon, a hidden luxury residential coastal community of a little over 100 homes. Honolulu’s priciest neighborhood, it sits on the oceanside of Kalanianaole Highway and is the scenic location of the protected Paiko Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary and Kanewai Fishpond.

Home insurance rates are based on ZIP code, so if your neighborhood has higher crime rates or is at higher risk for earthquakes or floods, you’ll be left paying higher premiums. Even your neighborhood’s home values and the number of insurance claims filed nearby can affect the cost of your individual homeowners policy.

Rates in Honolulu can be a bit lower compared to the national average, but your specific home insurance rate depends on the exact location of your home. There is a wide range of options, homes, and prices for Hawaii homeowners. Your insurance agent can always help you find the best location and coverage that fits your budget. Here are the most and least expensive ZIP codes in Honolulu for home insurance.

Most Expensive Real Estate in Honolulu Cheapest Real Estate in Honolulu
Paiko Lagoon $3,327,500 Airport $88,456
Koko Kai $2,660,000 Mokapu $166,883
Portlock $2,650,000 Wahiawa $239,058
Home value data from zilliow.com

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Home Insurance Coverage Types in Honolulu

There are several types of home insurance. Specific terms of insurance policies may vary by city, but in general, the standard policy types are as follows:

HO-1

Basic

  • The simplest and least comprehensive type of homeowners insurance
  • Provides coverage for a handful of potential problems, including
    • Dwelling coverage for damages from some natural disasters (storms, fires, wind, lightning, volcanic eruption), 
    • explosions, 
    • theft, 
    • damage from vehicles, 
    • or civil commotion. 
HO-2

Broad Form

  • Broad form homeowners insurance policies include all basic form coverage, plus protection from:
    • falling objects, 
    • damage from the weight of ice, snow, or sleet, 
    • freezing of household systems including HVAC and pipes, 
    • sudden and accidental damage to pipes and other household systems from artificially generated electrical current, 
    • accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam,
    • sudden and accidental damage. 
  • HO-2 policies typically cover both dwelling protection and personal property.
  • In some cases, broad form coverage may also include liability coverage. However, it still only covers the specific damages listed in the policy.
HO-3

Special Form

  • The most common form of homeowners insurance is known as a “special form” policy.
  • While HO-1 and HO-2 policies are “named peril” policies (meaning they only cover dangers that are specifically listed in the policy), HO-3 policies are “open peril” policies meaning they’ll cover all dangers except those specifically excluded in the policy documents.
HO-4

Tenant’s Form

  • HO-4 policies, also known as renters insurance, are for people who lease rather than own their homes. 
  • Tenant’s form policies typically cover all the same dangers as HO-2 policies. 
  • These policies include personal property coverage and liability coverage but don’t cover the physical structure of the house. 
  • Some HO-4 policies may also include loss of use coverage for the tenants.
HO-5

Comprehensive

  • Comprehensive form policies are usually the broadest and provide the highest level of coverage; not surprisingly, they also tend to be the most expensive type of homeowners insurance policies.
  • The biggest difference between HO-3 and HO-5 policies is that most HO-3 policies are “actual cash value” policies, whereas typically HO-5 policies are “replacement cost value” policies.
  • An actual cash value policy will only reimburse you for the actual value of a damaged or destroyed item, while a replacement cost value policy will reimburse you for however much it would cost to completely replace or repair the damaged or destroyed item (up to the coverage limits on the policy). 
  • HO-5 policies also provide personal property coverage against a wider range of dangers than the typical HO-3 policy. Many HO-5 policies also have extra coverage for high-value personal property, such as jewelry and artwork.
HO-6

Condo Form

  • Not surprisingly, condo form insurance is for condominium owners. HO-6 policies generally protect against the same types of dangers as HO-3 policies. 
  • They provide dwelling protection coverage with a twist: HO-6 policies cover the walls, floors, and ceiling of the condo unit but not the rest of the building. 
  • These policies also include personal property and liability coverage and may include loss of use coverage.
HO-7

Mobile Home Form

  • If you own a mobile home or manufactured home, you likely have an HO-7 policy. 
  • Mobile home form policies are typically identical to HO-3 policies, except they’re designed specifically for mobile and manufactured homes.
  • Like HO-3 policies, they provide dwelling protection coverage, other structures coverage, personal property coverage, liability coverage, and possibly loss of use coverage as well. 
  • HO-7 policies generally only protect the home when it’s stationary; if you plan to move your mobile or manufactured home, you’ll need to get a special policy to cover it while it’s in transit.
HO-8

Older Home

  • Older homes have generally been built to less stringent code standards than recently built homes, and so insurers have designed a specialized type of homeowners insurance policy for them. 
  • HO-8 policies often only cover the basic perils listed in HO-1 policies and generally apply to homes that are registered landmarks or otherwise deemed historic homes. 
  • Owners of registered landmarks are typically forbidden from making the updates to HVAC, electrical, and other parts of the home that would enable them to qualify for a standard HO-3 policy, so an HO-8 policy is often the only option for them.

Theft and Honolulu Insurance Coverage

While Honolulu is considered relatively safe in terms of violent crime, it is still Hawaii’s capital city. Attracting millions of tourists annually makes it a place prone to property theft. The metropolitan area and more suburban neighborhoods are at heightened risk, so it is worth considering a bundled insurance policy that covers material losses.

Especially in wealthier areas, like Diamond Head, or the bustling downtown area, residents experience car theft and break-ins at a higher frequency. It is advised that residents (and tourists) always lock their vehicles. It is important to note that it is not safe or recommended to store valuable items in cars throughout most of Honolulu and that thieves can dismantle locks or break glass windows to steal personal items.

Even though theft may be more common, insurance coverage can mitigate the impact of it. Homeowners might consider bundling home insurance with auto insurance to protect their personal belongings. With bundling, policyholders can combine coverage options and save money with multi-policy discounts and a single insurance provider. Bundling can also include life insurance, renters insurance, and other products. Talk to your insurance agent for more information and deals.

Protecting Your Home from Floods and Related Damage

Situated in the Central Pacific, Hawaii is a collection of 137 islands that have a higher risk of natural disasters common to coastal and tropical climates. Honolulu is on the southern shore of Oahu, Hawaii’s third-largest island, making it prone to coastal and water-induced damage. While tsunamis, landslides, and the like are prevalent, floods are the most common—and most costly—natural disaster. The issue is that floods can happen instantaneously and do not discriminate based on location. Honolulu’s location means it is never very far from a major body of water.

The state of Hawaii averages around 11 flash floods per year, which happen more frequently during October through April (also known as the wet season) but can occur at any time. Floods can be caused by rainstorms, tsunamis, and dam failures, all of which Honolulu is prone to. Floods alone have caused more than $225 million dollars of damage on the island of Oahu over the span of one hundred years.

Typically, flood damage is not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy, so it is recommended that residents find insurance coverage that includes protection against weather-specific risks. Flood insurance is a special policy that can be purchased for homes and businesses, regardless of whether the property is in a floodplain. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs highly recommends insuring your home against floods and subsequent damage. A standard flood policy will cover structural damage and debris cleanup, although an additional premium can protect personal belongings and other contents of your home.

Buying a home is stressful enough—don’t let insuring it get in the way of enjoying your new property.

Frequently Asked Questions - Honolulu Homeowners Insurance

Should I add tsunami insurance to my Honolulu home insurance policy?

The typical homeowners insurance policy will not provide coverage induced by tsunamis or subsequent flooding, so it is recommended that those looking to move to Honolulu consider additional coverage. The only way to purchase tsunami insurance is through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Talk to your insurance agent about protecting your losses and getting coverage for damage caused by flooding. Flood insurance may also cover damages from a tsunami, so review your current policy or ask your insurer.

Why is Honolulu home insurance so expensive?

Living in paradise will cost you. Home insurance policies can be expensive throughout Honolulu due to incredibly expensive real estate costs, higher rates of theft due to tourism, and a higher risk of natural disasters caused by the tropical climate. But searching for the cheapest policy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the best homeowners insurance. Compare coverage options and choose the perfect option for you and your lifestyle. 

Is USAA good for home insurance in Honolulu?

USAA is a leading home insurance company and has received the highest ratings available from A.M. Best. But you can only purchase insurance through USAA if you are military personnel, a veteran, or a family member of either. The Hawaiian Islands are home to a number of military and naval bases. Oahu alone has one of the largest military workforces in the United States. If you qualify, it may be worth buying or bundling your home insurance through USAA.

Conclusion: How to Find the Cheapest Home Insurance in Honolulu

While Honolulu real estate is some of the most expensive in not only Hawaii but the entire United States, its home insurance policies are relatively comparable to many of the costly coastal cities in the country. Be sure to compare home insurance policies before pressing “buy” on the first policy you’re offered, and you can say “aloha” to your new paradise home with the peace of mind that you’re covered.

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Updated February 3, 2021

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