My friend Heather Swank owner of Brookson Insurance Posted this on her blog…you really need to think about this!
Did you get a letter with your home renewal this year forcing you into a higher deductible or a % deductible for wind and hail damage? Be aware this is happening all over Indiana. This year make sure you review your renewal for any changes like this.
There are some basic facts surrounding these changes. I know rates have been enough, but these changing deductibles are an attempt to change the face of home insurance in Indiana. Indiana has seen consistent storm damage for fifteen plus years. Each hail event we have results in millions of dollars in damage not to even begin wind, lighting, and tornado damage. Hurricanes are no longer the big boys of catastrophe claims in the US hail has become the mass producing damage maker. It’s because it hits every single day through storm season somewhere and now even beyond. Late fall tornadoes, unexpected ice damage from harsh winters, and then right back into our storm season. This has forced insurance carriers to raise pricing just to literally keep their heads above water. On average in the US there are 12,000 hail events each year costing upwards of a billion dollars per year in damages. Let me ask how many people have actually paid themselves out of pocket to replace their own roof on their home? Yeah, it rarely if ever happens after so many years a storm blows in and poof a new roof. The fact is most roofs being replaced should have been replaced by the homeowner well before that storm came along because of age and that is maintenance which is not the intention of the insurance policy to cover. It has become an expectation of the homeowner that the roof will always be replaced and that is just not anything you will ever have to do. This cost, the cost of replacing worn out roofs that should have been replaced far before a stone of hail came along, that is why the cost of insurance is skyrocketing. Be prepared for changes, but also be aware not all carriers are making those changes. When shopping ask is there a higher wind hail deductible? Or is there a % deductible for wind hail. The % deductibles are often 2% sometimes higher. What that means is that whatever your home is insured for the “dwelling” your deductible would be 2% of that. So, if your dwelling is insured for 260,000 then your wind hail deductible would be $5,200. I know it seems as though the insurance world is a big evil machine when we pay our bills and never file claims, but it really is not. Hey, I am an insurance agent and I still hate paying my premiums but I do so because I know I’m sharing risk so that when my time comes my claim will be paid. These storm patterns we experience now are only getting worse so buckle up it will keep getting more expensive and it will keep changing. I’m a proud insurance agent who fully understands the product and grasps how beautiful it really is. We all pay in and when a family experiences a fire and loses everything they had in life you see the product in action. It’s amazing life begins to rebuild and without insurance that would never happen. A family could be financially devastated if they suffered a severe loss without it. I remember standing on a slab in Kansas City in 2001 after tornadoes blew through and more coming literally every night. I am a former claims adjuster I was dispatched there for claim work for 4 weeks. Standing on the slab of what had been a home 48 hours prior I saw an American flag stuck to the only remaining portion of a wall. In that moment I knew I was in the right field and kept on working claims until each family had been taken care of. Today I watch out for insured families. This change in home insurance pricing and deductibles is the most major change I have seen in my career. My lead carrier Erie Insurance has chosen NOT to create higher deductibles for wind or hail, nor are they applying % deductible. Your regular deductible is what it is. If you experience anyone stressed about the forced higher deductibles pass my agency name along. Buckle up storms are upon us. I’m here as always for any questions. Heather Swank Brookson Insurance 317-534-5202 Heather@brooksoninsurance.com