You should give careful consideration before even filing a Gulf Shores homeowners insurance claim. Filing just one claim — even a small one — can send your premiums soaring through the roof (no pun intended!)
Factors Affecting Gulf Shores Homeowners Insurance Rates
According to a new study from InsuranceQuotes.com, the average premium increase is 9 percent for the first claim. Even a denied claim can cause your premium to go up. Make sure to know your policy's specific guidelines and only file a claim when absolutely necessary. Winning a small claim could actually cost you money in the long run.
The type of Gulf Shores homeowners insurance claim also matters. Liability claims, such as from personal injuries, are the most expensive type of claim, with insurers raising premiums by an average of 14%.
Other claims that lead to big premium increases are theft and vandalism, which often indicate that the home is in a neighborhood that is unstable or possibly falling prey to various forms of contamination or corruption. In bad neighborhoods, these crimes can recur, and the high premiums reflect that.
Once your Gulf Shores homeowners insurance premiums are raised, it can be difficult to get them reduced.
Insurers keep a database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE, which tracks seven years' worth of your auto and property insurance claims, as well as any inquiries you may have made about a claim. The database then compiles a report based on your claims history that is then used to determine whether to cover you and how much to charge.
The information is available to all insurers so even if you switch providers, your rate with the new carrier may be just as high.
Ways to Try and Keep Gulf Shores Homeowners Insurance Costs Down
Raise your deductible. But not so high that you can't afford to pay out-of-pocket costs if damage occurs.
Don't make small claims. Getting a few hundred dollars back if a tree limb falls on your shed may feel good but you could be paying that back to your insurer over the next few years — and then some.
Don't use Gulf Shores homeowners insurance as a maintenance tool. Don't file a claim to pay for small repairs, such as when wind blows some old shingles off your roof. Use it for catastrophic repairs only.
Shop around often. Look for quotes once a year. There's lots of competition in the industry and you may be able to buy equal coverage and service for a lower price.
Get more Gulf Shores homeowners insurance information in our section on Gulf Shores Insurance to the right under Gulf Shores Real Estate Categories.
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