While common folks often covet the grandiose homes of celebrities – or at least daydream a bit over living in a sprawling beachfront mansion – they rarely consider the cost of operating such a palace. Besides the monthly energy and water expenses, not to mention the cost of furnishing 40 or 50 rooms, you have to pay the landscaper, the pool guy/gal, the maids, the chauffeur and, yes, the dreaded homeowners’ insurance premium.
Most homeowner’s insurance covers not only the physical residence and grounds but also protects against guests suing for injuries sustained on the property, which is often a major consideration for celebrities, even the ones who don’t party hearty 24/7. Factor in that many of the most impressive homes are in areas with major threats of fires, earthquakes and mudslides like Southern California, or hurricane or tornado prone coastal regions on the East Coast, and the annual premiums skyrocket.
Since many celebrities change residences more often than regular people, their homeowner insurance rates are constantly changing but the value of their homes generally lingers in the millions. The rates they’re charged will make you appreciate – at least for a minute – what you pay for insurance as an ordinary person.
For a woman with decades of success to her credit, Abdul‘s home in Sherman Oaks, California where she lived at the height of her stint as an American Idol judge, was relatively modest with 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and breathtaking views of surrounding canyons. Abdul has since sold the home – rumors abounded the abode was haunted – and despite the alleged ghost dwellers, she paid only about $15,000 a year for homeowner’s insurance.
Beyonce and Jay-Z
This couple tends to favor East Coast living and what better place than New York for the pair that keeps on giving us some of the juiciest stories pop culture has ever told. Not surprisingly, their homes have always been massive and overflowing with every imaginable amenity and insuring lavish compounds is not cheap. In the ritzy areas where they typically live, the annual rate is $150K – and that doesn’t include flood insurance, a moderate risk on that shore of the country.
Bieber’s home for the last couple of months has been an entire floor of a luxury condo in Beverly Hills, much to the consternation of his neighbors who have repeatedly called the cops to stop the loud and rowdy party noise. He’s only renting the condo, so his insurance rates are probably fairly modest, but he paid his insurance dues big time when he lived in a Southern California mansion when his career took off. He paid a minimum of $500K a year, largely due to the high fire risk in that region.
With homes all over the country, some in very high risk areas, Damon may have the dubious honor of paying the most in homeowner’s insurance. Considering the hurricane threats in Florida and New York and the annual menace of fire in Southern California, it could cost close to $1 million dollar to insure all of Damon’s homes and furnishings. But since each home is valued in double digit millions, that’s not a bad price for peace of mind coast to coast.
Since DeGeneres changes residences so frequently, she would be best off financially to find an insurance company that could give her sliding scale rates that could be prorated every time she gets a hankering to pull up stakes and move on. The 9,200 square foot she and DeRossi shared in 2007 and part of 2008 cost around $750K a year to insure…although, technically, they didn’t live there for a full year. Actually, not a bad deal to protect a $29 million spread from fire and earthquake damage.
There are other factors besides the natural threats of where a home is located that command exorbitant homeowner’s insurance premiums. As DiCaprio found out when he purchased a gorgeous home with breathtaking vistas from every room, an excessive number of windows in earthquake country costs you more. Just a 6-second quake could break every pane, which is why his annual premium was $475K. Replacing glazed glass and custom made frames has a commanding price tag attached.
Like DiCaprio, O’Neill is a window aficionado. The difference is the former Married With Children star and current star of the smash comedy Modern Family prefers one gigantic window in the top of the house along with many traditionally sized ones in every room. A 21-foot long skylight, along with conventional windows all around the house that gave it the feel of living in the middle of a lush forest, ended up costing O’Neill around $40K a year in homeowner’s insurance fees.
Known for her eclectic style in a variety of areas, Rihanna was true to form when she chose an unconventional home that was formerly an office building. Although the house was located in a high fire risk area in the California hills, it was constructed mostly of fireproof materials. So why the annual insurance premium of $300K? The $10 million renovated home was filled to the gills with super expensive furnishings and clothing.
Rogen’s clever enough to realize California’s a really big state, so you can enjoy the spectacular weather and natural beauty without living in the midst of a tinderbox forest or in a home that clings to life on side of a mountain every time it rains. He chose a home in a safe neighborhood off the beaten path favored by many celebrities. Added bonus: he only pays $25K a year for homeowner’s insurance. Rogen‘s apparently a smart man as well as a smart aleck.
Not only does Tyler have an apparently inextinguishable source of physical energy, he admittedly spends money almost as fast as his record royalties roll into his bank account. His New Hampshire home, where he reportedly spends most of his time when he’s not on the road, costs about $1 million annually to insure, mainly due to its close proximity to a lake that poses flood risk. In 2012, he bought another home in Maui, hopefully far enough from any volcanoes that may flare up. No word on what volcano insurance coverage costs – or if it’s even available.