Cost of homeowner's insurance in Utah up by double digits each year since 2022


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SALT LAKE CITY — The cost of homeowner's insurance in Utah is climbing noticeably and it's impacting those who own homes — and those who want to.

Utah lawmakers were briefed Wednesday on the increasingly unaffordable cost of insurance. Homeowner's premiums rose by 7% in 2021, then by double digits for the next three years — 12% in 2022, 17% in 2023, and 19% in 2024, according to the Utah Insurance Department.

"It's not that there isn't access to insurance, but it is certainly becoming more of an affordability question, especially for those who might be in riskier to insure areas," said Jon Pike, Utah insurance commissioner.

Pike told lawmakers on the Business and Labor Interim Committee on Wednesday that a big concern is the number of homes in Utah in the past decade that were built in areas at high risk of wildfires.

"That's concerning," Pike said, "especially because it's second only to California."

Other reasons for rising insurance premiums include increased building and labor costs, and a traditionally underpriced market in Utah that is simply catching up, Pike said.

The rising cost of homeowner's insurance doesn't just affect homeowners. Brittney Buskirk and her family, who live in Lehi, currently rent but would love to buy.

The cost keeps going up — not just the mortgage and interest payments, but also the monthly cost of insurance.

"You add that on top, and it puts you out of the price range for what you need," Buskirk said.

Rising insurance costs are not unique to Utah, but the Beehive state has traditionally had cheaper homeowner's insurance rates than other nearby states, Pike said.

According to Utah Insurance Commissioner Jon Pike, the affordability of homeowner’s insurance is concerning due to the number of homes that were built in areas considered high-risk for wildfire.
According to Utah Insurance Commissioner Jon Pike, the affordability of homeowner’s insurance is concerning due to the number of homes that were built in areas considered high-risk for wildfire. (Photo: Winston Armani, KSL-TV)

But that's changing.

"With an 18%, 19% increase in rates on average last year," he said, "we're catching up quickly."

There are solutions, Pike told lawmakers, including changing local policies on land development and requiring fire-safe landscaping and construction for new homes.

He also said consumers need to understand their responsibilities and take steps to keep their premiums lower.

Meanwhile, Buskirk is discouraged by the rising cost of everything, but she and her family of six still hope one day they'll be able to buy a house of their own.

"People who work hard should be able to afford a home," she said.

Brittney Buskirk and her family currently rent in Lehi. She said that given the cost of homeowner’s insurance currently, it pushes many homes out of their price range.
Brittney Buskirk and her family currently rent in Lehi. She said that given the cost of homeowner’s insurance currently, it pushes many homes out of their price range. (Photo: Winston Armani, KSL-TV)

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Daniel Woodruff
Daniel Woodruff is a reporter/anchor with deep experience covering Utah news. He is a native of Provo and a graduate of Brigham Young University. Daniel has also worked as a journalist in Indiana and Wisconsin.

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