Home insurance premiums could surge by 20% this year | finder.com

Home insurance premiums could surge by 20% this year

Helen Champion 21 February 2018 NEWS

Hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 may continue to wreak havoc for homeowners.

Record-breaking extreme weather events and wildfires could help push insurance premiums up by as much as 20% for millions of homeowners, according to this year’s USI Insurance Market Outlook.

It’s the bleakest assessment of conditions in the US home insurance industry issued since the unprecedented events of 2017.

The year’s natural disasters were some of the worst ever witnessed. The devastating flooding in Houston, Texas, caused by Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall was among some of the costliest ever. Hurricane Irma, which wreaked havoc along Florida’s west coast, is listed as the strongest storm to date in the Atlantic. And October’s wildfires in Northern California, which destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, were regarded as the most devastating in the state’s history.

Together, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria’s insurance bill estimates range from $75 billion to $100 billion.

After almost five years of relatively low insurance prices, USI forecasts that rate reductions will be harder to find. It notes that homeowners wishing to renew their home insurance are not only likely to face increased pricing for coverage but also potentially more restrictive terms and conditions.

The report also says losses from tornado and hail damage mean that future claims will be scrutinized much more closely.

With USI predicting that some property insurance premiums could increase by up to a fifth, many homeowners may find that it’s time to shop around.

But it’s not all bad news, as USI notes that the trend of increasing premiums may well be temporary due to the high level of competition in the home insurance market.

A house isn’t just a home, it’s an investment. It’s important to read your insurance policy carefully and understand your rights and responsibilities following damage or a loss.

If you’re about to renew your existing home insurance policy and want to find a better deal for less, check out our comprehensive guide to choosing the right insurance policy.

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