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Cost Of Homeowners Insurance On The Rise

July 1, 2002

Insurance Premiums Rise 8%, Report Points To 'Extraordinary Number Of Catastrophes'

Inman News Features

An extraordinary number of catastrophes, the high cost of home repairs and excessive jury awards due to the emergence of mold claims are pushing the cost of homeowners insurance upward an average of 8 percent nationwide this year and a projected 9 percent next year, according to a report by the Insurance Information Institute.

Over the past 12 years, insurers paid out more than $100 billion in catastrophe-related losses -- about $700 million per month -- many times more than in previous decades, according to the report. Homeowners insurance rates in many parts of the country continue to rise because of the extraordinary costs associated with paying these claims, according to the report.

The the report said that virtually every part of the country is now at risk for billion dollar disasters.

Homeowners' insurers over the past decade paid out $1.18 in losses and expenses for every $1 they earned in premiums. And last year, insurers paid out $8.9 billion more in losses and expenses than they received in premiums, the second worst year on record, according to the report. Hurricane Andrew produced losses of $11.5 billion in 1992, the worst year on record to date. Losses in homeowners insurance over the past three years are estimated at $19 billion, rivaling the $20.3 billion in insured property losses from the Sept. 11th terrorist attack.

In order to keep insurance premiums to a minimum, the insurance institute suggested that homeowners purchase their home and auto policies from the same insurer; make their home more disaster-resistant; improve home security; comparison shop before purchasing a car; reduce coverage on older cars; raise deductibles; and maintain good credit

Copyright: Inman News Service

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