Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The rich do not live like us.

That seems like an obvious statement, but it’s not until you look into their bills that you realize just how different the lives of the rich actually are. And wouldn’t we all like to peruse their bank statements!

Even the fanciest home needs homeowner’s insurance: in fact, it’s a whole lot more complicated than your insurance. Why? Because the policy has to cover both the valuable antiques and other toys of the rich inside the house, and also has to calculate the rebuilding costs of getting the house back into shape.

We broke out the actuarial tables and figured out some homes that cost so much to insure that you kind of wonder why they don’t just build their own.

After you pick your jaw up from the floor why not enter your zip in above to see how much money you might be able to save on your insurance costs? Just enter your ZIP code for FREE insurance quotes!

5. Tranquility Estate, Lake Tahoe

Value: $100 million

Total estimated insurance costs: $500,000 per year

Amenities: cigar room, staircase that looks exactly like the Titanic, golf course and boathouse on the grounds.

You might think the insurance rate of $500,000 per year is a bit low for a house that costs more than most people and their extended family will make in a lifetime, but it’s largely for two reasons.

One, Tranquility Estate, built by one of the founders of Tommy Hilfiger, is a fairly modern home, which means that although rebuilding it would cost a fortune, it wouldn’t cost nearly as much as rebuilding some historical landmark or other major expense.

Secondly, the price includes not just the house itself (which is undeniably a very impressive place) but also a few hundred acres of prime real estate in Lake Tahoe and a superb golf course, which can run a pretty penny in of themselves. All in all, Tranquility Estate is something of a steal … well … provided you have the money.

Maybe somebody can get a mortgage?

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4. The Manor, Holmby Hills, CA

Value: $125 million

Estimated Insurance Costs: $1 million per year

Amenities: media room, gift wrapping room, and parking for over 100 cars.

Owned by the widow of Aaron Spelling (yes, this is the house that “Melrose Place” built), this is one of the most famous mansions in the world. Designed to resemble an English manor, what keeps the insurance rate so high (beyond the sheer 56,000 square feet of house) is the constant threat of California wildfires.

Of course, since it’s ringed with pools, we assume that fire isn’t too much of a problem. Or, maybe, fire would simply decide it can’t really eat that big of a meal, and go to pick on the McMansions of less-powerful lawyers and doctors.

3. The Kaiser Estate, Hawaii

Value: $80 million

Estimated Insurance Costs: $1.38 million per year

Amenities: marina, Olympic pool, tennis courts … and your own harbor.

Formerly owned by famed industrialist Henry Kaiser, this Hawaii property has a lot of things going for it, like the fact that it’s built in Hawaii. There are a few caveats, though, that drive up the yearly price of living in what amounts to a private island paradise.

First of all, there’s the historical aspect: this being a famous person’s house means there are certain historical obligations to meet. Secondly, there’s the fact that it’s in Hawaii, a state that consists entirely of islands made by volcanoes, meaning the house is at risk for scalding lava flows. Finally, there’s that harbor, which has its own problems, not the least of which is that harbors tend to be full of boats, which are insurance nightmares in of themselves.

In short, to live like a rich man, you’ve got to be a rich man. And also have a very good insurance company.

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2. Porcupine Creek, Rancho Mirage, CA

Value: $75 million

Estimated Insurance Costs: $2.07 million per year

Amenities: the usual … plus a nineteen-hole golf course so famous it was actually featured in “Golf Digest” magazine.

This is a unique house in a lot of ways: 1) It’s a fire sale, being sold for well below its actual value due to the owner going bankrupt. 2) It’s enormous. And it might not be a house for long.

The reason this house costs so much to insure is that there are people around it constantly. The nineteen-hole golf course isn’t just for one man; the highest-end duffers are strongly interested in it and are constantly trying to get a tee time. So, lots of rich people, with lots of lawyers, are regularly wandering around this private property.

That’s enough to give nightmares to even a hardened insurance man. Also, the course itself needs to be insured, and if it were destroyed by, say, an earthquake or a wildfire (both of which California has on a regular basis), it would have to be rebuilt.

The odds are pretty good that Porcupine Creek will become a country club, which is a good thing, since we’re pretty sure only an exorbitant greens fee could cover insurance of that magnitude.

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1. Julis Forstmann House, New York City

Value: $75 million

Estimated Insurance Costs: $2.47 million per year

Amenities: It’s 21,000 square feet in New York City. That alone makes us wonder if there’s something wrong with it for being so cheap.

The Julius Forstmann house is costly for reasons beyond the simple fact that it’s in New York City — one of the most costly cities on the planet. It’s also so expensive because everything about this 1922 house is original, right down to the hand-carved moldings and the marble staircase.

The fact that it’s in New York City makes this house expensive to insure for multiple reasons – on top of the fact that if it were to be destroyed, a lot of irreplaceable items would go down with it, First, they’d have to figure out how to rebuild in New York City, a city “acclaimed” for its labyrinthine permit process and slow-as-molasses bureaucratic system. Then there’s the fact that the land alone is valuable: insurance companies and the owner might be faced with a bid from developers to sell to them and let them build a high rise on the spot.

In short, if you own this house, you pray really hard that nothing bad happens to it. Ever.

See? Owning a big house isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. Especially the bills.

Speaking of bills – enter your ZIP code to see if you might be able to save some money on your insurance!