Homeowners insurance is going up year after year. According to Insurance Information Institute, “The average homeowners insurance premiums rose by 6.0 percent in 2013, following a 5.6 percent increase in 2012, according to a February 2016 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In 2014, 5.3 percent of insured homes had a claim according to ISO.” The kicker here is the homeowner is paying a higher cost but are now getting less coverage.
So why is this happening and why are people so mad about the rise in cost?
Well, the cost of everything going up is the easy answer. When the cost of everything else is going up, insurance will too. I think everyone can understand that..right? Of course, they can. People may not be happy about it, but they accept it. What’s the difference between everything else and homeowners insurance? The discourse in the rise of price is due to the lack of use. Homeowners insurance is not tangible, you can’t use it every day, but you still have to pay for it every month. This is a hard pill to swallow, made even harder when you need your homeowners policy and it doesn’t cover the claim you filed?
There are two easy ways to resolve this dilemma. Since we live in the information age, get online. Find out what will be and what will not be covered on your policy. Find out why you are most likely to have a claim in your area, save up for your deductible, and save for anything likely to happen that isn’t going to be covered by your insurance. In other words, self-educate. You can save a ton of money if you self-educate and go with an online company. The way I just described is what I would suggest for the do-it-yourself, person. But beware, if you go the first route be ready to do it yourself for the remainder of your tenure with that company. Companies with lower prices have to save money somehow, and customer service is just the first way. When a dreaded claim comes around for the do-it-yourself-er, the company won’t become a customer first company. That company is still watching their bottom line when paying out on claims to their customers.
The second way is to get a good, trustworthy insurance agent and have them advise you on your insurance. As an insurance agent, I would never suggest going the first route, but that IS a route that works better for some people. I think the value of an insurance agent, making sure, your “insurance money” works for you is priceless, and a good agent will. There is still some self-educating that should go on here too, but much less. Ask your friends who they would recommend or go to Yelp and search for insurance agents. Also, take the time to meet with your insurance agent and let him get to know you and your specific situation. If you don’t take the time to do this, then the results will be similar to the first suggestion I made to get insurance. The difference here is now you have a professional handling your insurance that can be held accountable IN PERSON and not a guy in a green helmet around or a green lizard making jokes.
Either way, make sure to have a feasible amount of money stashed away for an unfortunate event.
Keep in mind nothing in life is free and you get what you pay for in life.
Money is a great tool but a horrible god.