General Question

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Is it normal for homeowner's insurance to increase each year?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6737 points ) April 23rd, 2009

…or is my agent trying to pull one over on me? My homeowner’s insurance increased from $1400 to $1800 and the way I found out was from my mortgage company. I called and asked questions as to why this is and my agent “did me a favor” and dropped it to $1600/yr… still $200 more. He says the increase is because of increase in cost of lumber and other building materials, so he has to up the amount of insurance on my home so that if something were to happen they could rebuild it. Does anyone have any knowledge of whether or not this is legit? Or should I shop around for another insurance company? I am in Mississippi and my insurance company is Alfa, if that makes a difference.

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13 Answers

miasmom's avatar

Wow, you have expensive insurance! Our homeowner’s insurance usually does increase each year, but it’s only about $40. Of course we only pay around $600 total. I think it wouldn’t hurt to ask around and possibly get a better deal.

chyna's avatar

Mine is about 650 a year. I would call other companies and compare. Also, I think your agent should have gone over that with you and not just shocked you with a larger mortgage escrow.

cookieman's avatar

We also pay about $600.00/year (in Massachusetts).

I would certainly shop around. Whataya got to lose?

Darwin's avatar

Farmer’s tried to do that to me, so I switched to State Farm and haven’t had that problem. It does sometimes increase but by a much smaller amount.

YARNLADY's avatar

It sounds like you are talking about hazard insurance. Some areas have mandatory flood coverage, and some have earthquake or other hazard that are optional. You need to talk to your agent about exactly what is covered, what the deductable is, and how much is required by the mortgage company. A higher deductable will result in a lower payment, and doing away with optional coverage will also lower your payment.

janbb's avatar

It also sounds to me like you may have “replacement cost coverage” which is a very good thing to have. It means the company would pay for the actual cost of rebuilding your home, not just a set dollar amount of valuation. I wouldn’t assume you’re being ripped off but I would call the agent and talk to them. You might also want to shop for other quotes once you know what your actual coverage is.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

It is normal for companies to have rate increases. It is definitely worth talking to other companies. Remember, more and more companies not only look at your loss history but also your financial stability (may be called an insurance score). Also, do you have your auto with the same company? Can you put it there? You would receive a multi policy discount by doing so. Look at your deductible. If it’s under $500 consider increasing it (if it’s cost effective). This will lower your premium. The replacement value of your home is going to go up each year due to inflation. But try some of these other ideas. If you need more info drop me a note. I’m an insurance agent in ND/MN so I know what I speak.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Raggedy_Ann Thanks! That makes sense. Yes it is replacement cost and I think my agent said it went up because the cost of building materials go up or something. I called two other companies and they quoted me $4k a year! I will stay where I am :)

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Glad to hear you got some answers. I would still check and see (if you haven’t already) if your homeowners company will write your auto. You don’t mention that you did so am assuming you haven’t. This will save you approximately 10–15% on your premium. Glad I could help!

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Randolph's avatar

99% of insurance agents don’t give a damn about their customers…! In it just for the money they can make. You might start there finding a different agent. Finding a good insurance agent is like winning the lottery…

janbb's avatar

99% seems like a pretty high percentage. Can you back that up with any data?

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, there are minor increases, but they are based on the replacement cost of the dwelling. If you have made any changes in the amount of coverage, such as upgrading to full replacement of contents, or earthquake coverage, it will go sky high.

Edit to add: If you have had a claim, you will lose your discount, and the “regular” price will be much higher.

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