The typical rate for an auto deductible nowadays is as much as $500 to $1,000.
In some areas of the United States, families might be expected to pay a 5 percent higher deductible rate of their home’s insured value for hail or wind damage. Even though that price is high right now, at $12,500 for a $250,000 home, that amount is probably only going to rise. While it is not uncommon for higher percentage-based deductibles to be required in disaster prone areas, like the earthquake-laden California or areas along the coast, it appears that these kinds of deductibles are migrating across the map.
The United States’ biggest home insurer, State Farm, believes that dollar deductibles of this kind are the norm in the Northeastern portion of the nation. Last year, however, the company changed its deductibles all over Texas from one percent to five percent of a home’s insured value which is a minimum of $1,000.
Director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America, Robert Hunter says that, “We’re going to see that around the country within a few years.”
And it is not just the rate of deductibles that are changing—coverage is evolving as well. Mr. Hunter found in a report earlier this year that insurers have been passing on a portion of their risk to their consumers by placing a limit on how much they will pay to replace a home, or they may even flat out refuse to pay extra to account for the rising costs of some, or all, of the materials required to do the job. Let alone the materials and tools necessary to meet various construction regulations.
Premiums are the highest for homeowners in Texas. According to Consumer advocate Texas Watch, new policies enacted in the last ten years provide insufficient coverage of plumbing leaks, backed-up drains, and damage to foundations.
Such changes are putting insurance policyholders on their guard. Here are some precautionary measures you can utilize to help you keep an eye on your policy:
Go over your policy every three years, ensuring that you have adequate coverage. Play the “what if” game with your agent so you get a good idea of what will happen if disaster strikes. Make sure that you ask these questions before you sign up for a policy, as some insurance companies will consider your inquiry about a potential risk as a claim, despite whether you actually filed a claim or not.
Don’t file claims willy-nilly. Insurers watch filed claims like a hawk, and will penalize you if you make too many, and remain unsympathetic to your problems. One big claim will be less of an impact on your insurance than a bunch of little claims.
In regards to your car, most acts of God will not result in higher insurance rates. Accidents, however, particularly those in which you are responsible, will make your insurance rise. But you may not want to file a claim if you were the only person affected—say for example, if you backed into a tree.
Insurers still suggest that you notify them when you are involved in an accident to prepare for the possibility of having another driver or passenger sue you later on.