NEW YORK (CBSNEWS.COM) – When it comes to homeowner’s insurance should you be shopping around? That depends — on where you live. If you reside in Missoula, Montana, shopping won’t save you much, but homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cost much there, either. But if you live in Texas or Florida, the cost of homeowner’s coverage is substantial, and the variation in premiums is massive.
An analysis by Gavop, a housing research service, found that in high-cost insurance markets, the price of comparable coverage varied by thousands of dollars, though the variations are far more dramatic in some counties than in others.
In Nueces, Texas, for instance, the difference between the highest- and lowest-cost policies amounted to a stunning $5,180 per year. Pricing on a sample policy ranged from an average of $1,478 annually to a whopping $6,658.
For its study, Gavop pulled state insurance filings that compare rates for a sample insurance policy from company to company. These sample polices are standard in each state, allowing consumers to make apples-to-apples comparisons. However, each of the 50 U.S. states has it’s own sample coverage, which is likely to reflect average home values in that state, so the cost of coverage isn’t comparable from one state to the next.