If you are currently a homeowner, you may be in for some sticker shock with your homeowner’s insurance this year. Many insurance companies are seeing higher costs and are passing the costs along to their customers. There are a few different reasons for the changes, but we are unlikely to see these changes reverse themselves, so you need to be ready for higher carrying costs on your home which can make a difference in what home you can afford.
Climate change is one of the major reasons for hikes in rates. Insurance companies have had to pay out big settlements in places like Florida due to more and worse hurricanes. Homeowners there are paying up to 4 times higher premiums if they can get coverage at all. Wildfires are making premiums rise in California and Colorado as well with some of the major carriers like State Farm and Allstate not writing new policies in those areas.
Reinsurance rate hikes, the type of insurance used by insurance companies to limit their risks has risen by up to 40%. They have been losing money for the past five years so they have to raise rates to cover their losses. These costs have to be shared among the pool of customers causing rates to rise as well.
The increase in frequency and severity of natural disasters means that these costs are not just temporary. Rates are expected to stay high with no reprieve. If you have an escrow account set up as part of your mortgage, you will see your monthly payment go up if your insurance rates rise. If you pay your insurance separately, you should call your agent to make sure you aren’t going to be hit with a much higher bill that you aren’t ready for.
Luckily, the Charlotte region has not had many natural disasters lately. It is rare for a hurricane to hit this far inland, but it has happened before as in the case of Hurricane Hugo. This means that we should see much less significant rate hikes than if we were in a coastal area or wildfire prone area. It is still a good idea to check with your insurance agent to review your policy.
If you are curious about what your home is worth or if it’s a good time for you to buy, give us a call at 803-831-8588. We would love to share our perspective on Lake Wylie and the Charlotte area. You can view current listings and create custom searches on our website here.