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The Real Deal: Homeowners Insurance Rates to Go Up

Updated: Thursday, April 10 2014, 01:49 PM EDT

EAST GREENBUSH - Hurricane Sandy largely spared the Capital Region from physical damage but she'll have lasting economic impacts.  Aside from taxes that'll be used to clean-up and rebuild downstate, you'll likely also see an increase in your homeowner insurance premiums. 


Insurers pool the risk and after a catastrophic event like Hurricane Sandy, there is a major ripple effect so all homeowners in New York will end up paying more.  The average increase will be 5-7%.  If your rates go up more than that, it's likely time to talk to your insurance agent. 


When it comes to how much you'll pay in homeowners premiums, insurers take a lot of things into consideration, starting with your house's claim history...even claims made before you moved in will affect your rates.  "They look to see, is there something inherently or structurally wrong with the home...they're going to do physical inspections, they're going to look for signs of any prior claims, look around see if there are watermarks, new construction, repaired construction, those type of things," says John Murray, the President and CEO of Rose & Kiernan, Inc in East Greenbush. 


Your credit history will also have an impact on your premiums. Insurers have done research that shows people with low credit scores are more likely to file claims than people with higher scores, "if people are responsible, they are responsible in managing their homes, paying their bills, they are going to be responsible in other things that they do too," says Murray.


You'll also get discounts if you've got a home security system, live within a few hundred yards of a fire hydrant or even if you're a senior citizen.  Retired folks, according to research, tend to be home more often and are less likely to be burglarized or may spot a fire sooner.  "I would sit down with an agent every three years, I wouldn't do it constantly, pick someone that you trust, someone that will take the time to go through--because your life changes," says Murray. 

The Real Deal: Homeowners Insurance Rates to Go Up

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