As we enter the busy home-buying season, you may be wondering which states have the highest homeowners insurance rates. Many factors impact home insurance premiums including real estate values, building and construction costs, vulnerability to catastrophes, as well as levels of economic growth and urbanization. 

According to a January 2015 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average homeowners insurance premium across the United States in 2012 (the most recent complete annual data available) was $1,034. That was up 5.7% from 2011, when the increase nationwide was 7.6%. 

[Related: Insurance basics for new homeowners]

Not surprisingly, Florida had the highest average homeowners insurance premium in 2012 ($2,084). Idaho had the lowest ($538). 

In general, real estate values and construction costs tend to be higher in areas with higher populations. Because the amount of home insurance needed is based on the value of the home, premiums are often higher in more heavily populated places. Vacation and retirement areas, as well as areas experiencing rapid economic growth, also tend to have relatively higher real estate values.

Exposure to catastrophe impacts homeowner insurance rates

The degree of exposure to catastrophe also affects the cost of insurance to homeowners. Brush and forest fires, tornadoes, high winds, hail, freezing rain, snow storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, riots and even terrorist attacks are all types of catastrophes that can occur in the U.S. Since the late 1980s, catastrophes have been occurring with greater frequency and severity, and, in the last decade, have become an even greater consideration in the pricing of home insurance, according to the NAIC report.

Take a look at the 10 states with the highest average annual homeowners’ insurance premiums on the following pages.

wooden houses in the industrial suburb of Buffalo, NY

Wooden houses in an industrial suburb of Buffalo, New York. (Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com)

10. New York

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,158

Classic Connecticut home

A classic New England-style home in Connecticut. (Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com)

9. Connecticut

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,160

Rural white house in Kansas

A home in rural Kansas. (Lisa Eastman / Shutterstock.com)

8. Kansas

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,213

ocean estate in Newport, Rhode Island

A majestic ocean estate in Newport, Rhode Island. (Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com)

7. Rhode Island

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,233

Alabama home after being struck by a tornado

A tornado-damaged home in northern Alabama. (Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com)

6. Alabama

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,248

White house for rent in Biloxi, Mississippi

House for rent in Biloxi, Miss. (Shutterstock.com)

5. Mississippi

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,314

 Moore, Oklahoma tornado damage

Devastation from the 2013 EF-5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The tornado left a trail of damage 9 miles wide. (jessicakirsh / Shutterstock.com) 

4. Oklahoma

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,501

Vintage homes in the historic district of Galveston, Texas

Homes located in a historic district of Galveston, Texas. (Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com)

3. Texas

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,551

Homes on Royal Street in New Orleans

Homes on Royal Street east of the French Quarter in New Orleans, La. (IrinaK / Shutterstock.com)

2. Louisiana

Average homeowners annual premium: $1,742

Florida house

A typical Southwest Florida concrete block and stucco home with palm trees, tropical plants and flowers, and a bahiagrass lawn. (Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com)

1. Florida

Average homeowners annual premium: $2,084

 

[Related: The 7 types of homes that are hard to insure]