THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2013
I frequently get calls from people whose home insurance has increased. Last year in Minnesota virtually everyone had an increase in their home insurance- some as high as 25% or more. In 2013 I am still seeing increases, but not as extreme as last year.
Most clients are confused that although they did not have a claim they had a major increase. Your insurance rates are affected not only by your personal claim history but by the states or regions claim experience. Hurricane Sandy will not affect your premium but hail storms, straight line winds & tornado events in Minnesota will. With the increase in catastrophic weather events we have been having insurance rates have gone up. In 2011 insurance companies in Minnesota paid more out than they took in premiums.
If your insurance goes up you would be wise to get competitive quotes & evaluate the coverage you need.
Insurance companies have actuaries who determine what their "ideal client looks like". There are many factors they may consider such as your age, sex, marital status, where you live, credit score, etc. Each companies ideal will be unique to that company. The closer you come to that companies standard the better your individual rates will be. This is where a free competitive quote with an independent agent can really get you the best rate possible.
An independent agent can quote your insurance with several companies.
Most people in Minnesota are insured by Captive Companies whose agents are only able to quotes & sell insurance for them. Examples are Allstate, American Family, State Farm, Farmers, etc. Interestingly the captive companies are the ones that seem to advertise the most. If you don't happen to fit their ideal client you will not get the best rates.
When I quote insurance rates for home & auto, the annual cost can more than double from the lowest company to the highest. By getting a quote from an independent agent you are getting the best price & coverage from several companies.
One way to reduce your premium is consider raising your deductible. A typical home deductible is $1000. Frequently you can get a nice discount on your premium by increasing your deductible to $1500 or higher. Always consider what you would be able to pay yourself when increasing your deductible.
Check also that your deductible is the same for all perils. Some companies have added wind hail deductibles that are a percentage of your Coverage A or your home's replacement cost. As an example a home with a 2% deductible & a Coverage A of $350,000 would have a $7000 wind hail deductible even though the other perils (loss) deductible might be $1000. Many people are unaware they have a percentage wind hail deductible.