Homeowners could pay higher insurance rates in coming years - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Homeowners could pay higher insurance rates in coming years

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With recent wind and water damage, many homeowners could see their homeowners insurance rates go up whether they made a claim or not.

And while those who had coverage might fair okay, all that money has to come from somewhere.

Insurance Agent Tracy Kiefer says oftentimes, those rates in storm-damaged areas could go up to recoup the costs.

"Homeowners insurance can jump if they experience a lot of claims, especially in places like Oklahoma who've seen a lot of tornados and our area with wind and hail," Kiefer said. "We experience those, normally not immediately, but you do experience them within a year or two."

Kiefer says the rates may not show up for a couple years.

But she says areas with the most claims are going to see more of an increase than areas with fewer ones.

Quincy homeowner Sheri Hills says it doesn't sound very fair.

"Our insurance may be going up because of all the other claims? Very irritating," said Hills. "I didn't benefit from a claim."

When her basement flooded recently, Hills was stuck paying out-of-pocket for the repairs since she didn't carry additional flood insurance. She says she lives on a hill and her home doesn't normally take on water.

So she says she hopes insurance rates don't go up because of other damage claims in the area.

But Kiefer says there are some things you can do to lessen the blow.

"Handrails. I mean it doesn't have anything to do with storms, but handrails on steps going in and out of the home," said Kiefer. "Making sure that their yard, their home is clutter-free. Roofs; Updating your roofs, updating your plumbing, updating your electric, updating your heating and air conditioning."

Kiefer says those are the things that the claims are usually on, so the insurance companies like it if those things are updated or upgraded.

And Kiefer says you can't go buy insurance in another area and expect to get a lower rate.

She says it's still going to all be based on the zip code where you live.

Kiefer says there are home and auto discounts for bundling and life insurance, but something else she says you can do is raise your deductible.

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