There is without question that Insurance companies use behaviors as indicators for eligibility and premium offering when it comes to insuring a person, and their property. In 2023 insurance companies are cracking down on underwriting rules and increasing premiums for behaviors that indicate an expense to the company.
Many factors are used, including the behaviors of the individual, and the actual risk itself (Auto, Home, Boat, recreational vehicles), including the number of claims made in a FIVE year period, along with payment history, length of time with the prior carrier, and assumed credit score.
Right now, Insurance companies are losing $1.15 for every $1 dollar in premiums they bring in. On any given year, that number can be .94 (which is a profit) or as high as 1.04 (which is a small loss). Considering the massive loss in 2022, stacked with the fears of inflation over 10% and we have a cocktail that is leaving clients baffled at renewal. Add a small $1000 dollar claim two years ago on top of that, and clients are seeing premiums double what they are used to paying.
Think about it, some roofer knocks on your door, they sell you on making a claim. The insurance company comes out and 6 shingles are damaged. They will make the call for the roof to be repaired instead of the $20,000 payday the roofer was looking for. The roof disappears to the next door, and clients are left with having to find a new roofer to do a small repair completely out of pocket since it fell under the deductible, and in a few months, they might have a $500 increase in premium.
Naturally, the insured decides to shop at renewal but come to find out, insurance companies know about the claim and are either declining to even offer a quote or charging more than the current policy.
All of this heartbreak over a small claim that could have been avoided.
It is recommended that clients do their due diligence, which means even looping in their insurance agent to determine if they should file a claim, and what the future hold if they do file a claim.
Remember- Hazard Homeowners insurance policies are not maintenance policies. These catastrophic policies shine the brightest if a home burns down, a hail/windstorm strips the siding and roof, or a pipe explodes and destroys the entire upstairs and downstairs. There is no question as to whether should we file a claim.
“In fact, if you have to ask yourself, should I file a claim, you should call your agent and use their expertise to mitigate the risk of a having your premiums increased 4x over the payment made out!”
- Insurance companies are not a discovery tool. Filing a claim and using an insurance adjuster to find out what the “clanking noise” is on your car doesn’t make sense. People drive their vehicles to a trusted mechanic, discover the issue, and estimate the cost. We recommend doing the same for homeowners’ policies.
- Get a second opinion. If the situation isn’t dire- such as a few missing shingles vs your home being on fire, it might be wise to get a second opinion and estimate. The more knowledge you have the better you will be equipped to decide if filing a claim is worth your time.
- Once we know what the problem is, call your agent and discuss coverage, deductibles, and potential issues with premium increases in the future. Once you have a better understanding of your situation, you can confidently decide if involving your insurance company is the best financial move.
Look we get it, after all these years of paying for insurance policies combined with a tight budget, clients might be eager to hear a roofer promise a new roof, only to find out that a few shingles missing and the insurance company covered the repairs. A nightmare scenario for all parties involved except the roofer.
Insurance companies lose money staffing and handling small claims, the client gets nothing since the repairs came under their deductible and the renewal offer is $250-$500 higher.
While the allure of buying insurance online is tempting, not having an agent to understand the constantly changing product, options to move carriers when necessary, and having the option to speak with your agent about potential claims save our client’s thousands of dollars a year.