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Does your homeowners insurance go up after a claim?

Bankrate logo Bankrate 10/29/2020 Elizabeth Rivelli
a man sitting at a table using a laptop: An older man sits down at his table with some papers and a calculator to review his finances after a home insurance claim. © Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images An older man sits down at his table with some papers and a calculator to review his finances after a home insurance claim.

Having a homeowners insurance policy offers peace of mind. If your house gets damaged or destroyed, your insurance company promises to reimburse you for the cost of repairs. But you might be wondering does your homeowners insurance cost go up after a claim. In this article, we will explain if your homeowners insurance premium increases after a claim, and if so, how long the rate hike lasts.

How much does your homeowners insurance increase after a claim?

Filing a homeowners insurance claim will most likely cause your premium to increase temporarily. There are certain exceptions, which we will discuss later on. However, the amount your premium will increase after a claim depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The type of claim
  • The extent of the damage
  • Where you live
  • Your personal claims history

It is also possible for your home insurance rate to increase based on the frequency of claims in your area. For example, after a major hurricane that causes extensive damage in your city, your insurance rate might increase more substantially than it would if you filed a single property damage claim.

Why do insurance premiums go up after filing a claim?

Homeowners insurance rates often increase after a claim because it leads your insurance company to believe that you are more likely to file another claim in the future. This is especially true for claims related to water damage, dog bites and theft. To compensate for another potential claim payout, the insurance company proactively raises your premium.

As mentioned, whether or not your insurance premium increases after a claim is situational. Certain types of claims affect insurance rates more than others. You should expect your rate to go up after a claim if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • You live in an area with severe weather
  • Your home is located in a high-crime area
  • You have filed liability claims in the past
  • You own a home with a history of claims
  • You file more than one claim over several years

Generally speaking, your insurance premium is more likely to increase if you file a liability claim rather than a property damage claim. With a liability claim, there is a chance that you could face a lawsuit. Legal fees and court settlements can cost a lot of money, which means there is added risk for you and your insurance company.

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How long does a claim affect home insurance rates?

If your homeowners insurance rate increases after a claim, know that it is not a permanent rate hike. Most claims stay on your record for roughly five years. However, this depends on the insurance company. A claim could remain on your record for as little as three years or as many as seven years. After that time, your premium will go back down, although it may not return to the original rate.

Are there times when companies are not allowed to increase rates after a claim?

There are many situations when insurance companies can raise your rate after a claim. But there are also certain situations when an insurance company is not allowed to increase your rate. Because insurance companies are regulated at the state level, consumer protection laws depend on where you live.

Some of the situations that prohibit insurance companies from raising premiums include:

  • When a homeowner inquires about filing a claim but does not submit one.
  • When a homeowner files a claim that does not result in a payout (denied claim).
  • When a homeowner files a single claim.
  • When a homeowner files a claim due to weather or natural disaster damage.

As a homeowner, it is important to understand the consumer protection laws in your state. You can contact your state's department of insurance to learn more about the restrictions where you live. You can also contact your insurance company to find out what situations are exempt from rate changes.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best home insurance company?

The best home insurance company is different for every homeowner. It depends on where you live, what type of policy you want, how much coverage you need and your budget. Before purchasing a policy, take the time to shop around and compare providers. Get a few quotes from several companies to see which one can offer the best price.

How much does homeowners insurance cost?

In the United States, the average cost of homeowners insurance is $1,211 per year. The price has steadily increased over the last decade. However, every homeowner pays a slightly different rate. Personal factors like your age, credit score and claim history impact your rate. Insurance companies also consider characteristics of your home – like the square footage, the year it was built and the overall condition – when they estimate your premium.

Is homeowners insurance required?

No, homeowners insurance is not legally required in any state. However, every homeowner should consider purchasing a policy. Without it, you are financially responsible for making any repairs and replacing damaged personal property. If your home is destroyed by a fire or extreme weather event, you would have to pay for the full rebuild out-of-pocket. Additionally, if you have a mortgage then your mortgage lender will likely require that you have a homeowners insurance policy.

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