insurance

Homeowners Insurance Rates Are Headed Higher

Storm damage will hike premiums, but homeowners can get a break.

In a year that’s been rife with tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, premiums for homeowners insurance are on the rise. And forecasts are calling for a hurricane season that will be more active than usual. Insurers may try to boost rates by as much as 20% in areas where storms hit hardest.

Don’t look for a break because the value of your home has fallen. Premiums are tied to the cost of rebuilding a home -- not its current market value -- so skimping on coverage because your home’s value has shrunk could leave you underinsured. It doesn’t help that rebuilding costs have been increasing: As of late spring, the overall producer price index for construction materials was up 7.5% for the previous 12 months.

Some key moves could help you save on home insurance, says Michael Barry, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute. One is to raise your deductible, provided you can pay more out of pocket if disaster strikes. You can save up to 25% by hiking a deductible from $500 to $1,000.

If your auto insurance and homeowners policy are with different companies, see how much you could save by having a single insurer. Get several quotes, but don’t buy based on price alone -- look for a solid reputation and a below-average complaint ratio (find complaint info at https://eapps.naic.org/cis).

Don’t be shy about asking for discounts. You may be able to save at least 5% if you have installed smoke detectors and security devices in your home, or you have recently updated your plumbing or electrical systems. Retirees may also be eligible for discounts.

Most Popular

Is the Stock Market a House of Cards?
investing

Is the Stock Market a House of Cards?

The stock market volatility we’ve been experiencing and the apparent disconnect with the broader economy have some investors wondering just that. But …
October 12, 2020
Stock Market Holidays in 2020
Markets

Stock Market Holidays in 2020

Is the stock market open today? Take a look at which days the NYSE, Nasdaq and bond markets take off in 2020.
October 12, 2020
7 Small-Cap Tech Stocks That Pack a Punch
tech stocks

7 Small-Cap Tech Stocks That Pack a Punch

Small-cap technology stocks might be a rollercoaster ride to hold, but their oversized upside potential makes them worth exploring.
October 16, 2020

Recommended

Kiplinger’s Best Firms for Customer Service: Banks, Credit Cards and More
banking

Kiplinger’s Best Firms for Customer Service: Banks, Credit Cards and More

We crunched a lot of numbers (and ran a survey) to crown top firms for their service on banking, credit cards, mortgages, and home and auto insurance.…
October 22, 2020
How Much Insurance Should You Get? A Lawyer’s Advice
insurance

How Much Insurance Should You Get? A Lawyer’s Advice

The advice to “Only pay for what you need” sounds good. But when it comes to home, auto and business insurance coverage, four guidelines could help de…
October 12, 2020
7 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover
Healthy Living on a Budget

7 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover

Medicare Part A and Part B leave some pretty significant gaps in your health-care coverage. Here's a closer look at what isn't covered by Medicare.
October 1, 2020
Your Guide to Open Enrollment
health insurance

Your Guide to Open Enrollment

Your options may look a little different this fall. Meanwhile, the cost of coverage continues to climb.
October 1, 2020