Thursday, July 19 2012
Home owners beware: “Your homeowner’s insurance now probably covers less while costing more,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Home owner deductibles have been rising the last few years, as home owners who may have once seen $250 to $500 a claim soar to $1,000 to $2,500 a claim in recent years.
There’s been a move by the industry to go to percentage-based deductibles, which have caused prices to rise. For example, home owners may have once had a $500 to $1,000 deductible but now have a form of a deductible of 2 percent of the insured value of a home for items like wind and hail damage. That could mean that insurance may only cover half the cost of a roof replacement.
What’s more, more insurance companies are issuing more limits on what all they will pay for in replacing a home.
Texas home owners pay the highest insurance premiums in the country, but a consumer group in the state found that newer policies are covering less, like limiting coverage on plumbing leaks or damage to foundations.
With insurance policies squeezing more home owners’ budgets, housing experts say home owners need to take an active role in reviewing their policy to find out what all is covered. Also, they say that home owners need to think twice before making several claims.
“One large claim will affect you less than multiple small ones,” The Wall Street Journal article notes. “Of course, you buy insurance to be covered, so you are always free to file a claim. But you should know that insurers keep close track of claims and will penalize you for making too many, even if you just happen to hit a string of bad luck.”
Source: “Insurance Deductibles Soar,” The Wall Street Journal (July 13, 2012)