Homeowners rates in Illinois are soaring. We are inundated with calls saying “my homeowners rates are way up, and I haven’t had any claims……or why are my rates so high, I haven’t had any claims?.....or what has happened to home insurance rates? Our team is fielding these calls daily, and it is a good question. I’d like to talk about 2 things. First, why are home rates exploding upward? And Second, what can you do to hold them down?
First, why are rates up so dramatically? Any observer of the news can see there have been a dramatic number of storm losses over the past few years. In the past year alone, we have had the dramatic hurricane on the east coast, tragic tornados in Oklahoma and throughout the Midwest, and water, hail and windstorm claims right here in Illinois. Further, homeowners insurance premiums in suburbs like Schaumburg and Park Ridge and surrounding, have been extremely competitive compared to the rest of the country for the past 30 plus years. Add to that the fact that the coverage in policies has improved and become more comprehensive over those years without increasing the rates. That began to change in 2011 and has continued at a greater rate since then. With all of those factors, the pressure on insurers to raise rates became so intense that they finally began that process in 2011. Unfortunately the numbers haven’t improved since 2011, in fact for most of the major insurers, they have gotten worse. The result is the pain most policy holders are feeling now.
What can be done to help stem the tide and keep the rates affordable? First, you should “bundle your policies”. That is, you should put your home policy with the same company that writes your Auto Insurance. This impacts both the Homeowners Insurance and Auto Insurance in a positive way. Second, have the home equipped with loss preventative things such as alarm system, smoke and fire detectors, extinguishers, neighborhood watch, etc. Our protection team can help you with this. Third, have as many updates in your home as possible. Updated roof, plumbing, electric, etc. makes for a better risk for the insurer thus lower rates. Forth, use deductibles wisely. A higher deductible means lower premiums. The use of deductibles can help offset the increases of the insurer.
Lastly, use an independent agency to handle your policies. They are able to give you choices of insurers and are not locked into one insurer. Our protection team at Frimark Keller is here to give you the advice you need for your Homeowners Insurance. We are here to protect your home in Illinois or surrounding states, and to talk with you on how to keep the cost in line. We represent the finest insurers and will put you with the right insurance company for your needs. Give us a call at 847-907-4520 or talk to us through our website at www.frimarkkellerinsurance.com.