Depending on where you live, filing one home insurance claim could result in a big increase in your annual premiums, according to a new study from insuranceQuotes.com.
Homeowners in Wyoming faced the highest rate increases–percentage-wise–when filing a claim in 2014, the researchers found. After one claim, premiums increased an average of 32 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 9 percent. Connecticut (+21%), Arizona (+20%), New Mexico (+19%) and California (+18%) rounded out the Top 5 states with the highest percentage premium increase after filing one homeowners insurance claim.
Texas homeowners, on the other hand, catch a break–state laws and regulations prevent insurers from raising premiums after a single claim.
How much premiums will go up after one claim depends on several factors, including the type of claim (liability claims are the most expensive), the supply/demand condition of the insurance market in the state, and the prevalence of natural disasters.
“Homeowners need to be really careful when filing claims,” said Laura Adams, a senior analyst for insuranceQuotes.com. “Even a denied claim can cause your premium to go up. Make sure to know your policy’s specific guidelines and only file a claim when absolutely necessary. Winning a small claim could actually cost you money in the long run.”
How the Type of Claim Can Affect Your Premium
insuranceQuotes.com provides this ranking of average premium increases you can expect from different types of claims:
1. Liability — 14 percent increase
2. Fire — 13 percent increase
3. Theft — 13 percent increase
4. Vandalism — 13 percent increase
5. Water — 12 percent increase
6. Hail — 6 percent increase
7. Wind — 6 percent increase
8. Medical — 2 percent increase
9. Weather — 2 percent increase
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