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Ask Kim

How Homeowners Insurance Claims Will Boost Your Rates

Just one claim can have a big impact.

In a recent column about high deductibles on homeowners insurance, you wrote that making homeowners claims can boost rates. How big a difference can it make? --A.T., via e-mail

See Also: 10 Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

In most states, making just one claim on homeowners insurance can have a surprisingly big impact. A study by InsuranceQuotes.com found that making one claim over a 12-month period led to a 9% premium increase, on average. The results vary by state, ranging from more than 20%, on average, in Minnesota and Connecticut to no increase at all in Texas, where insurers are not allowed to increase premiums in response to the first claim.

The practice of rate-hiking is one reason that it’s smart to raise your deductible. Boosting it from $500 to $1,000 can lower your premium by up to 20% and make you less likely to file small claims that could result in a rate hike. For each state’s average increases, see the “home” section of InsuranceQuotes.com.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.