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Ridiculous insurance increase from Amica in Houston
Old 03-17-2018, 04:01 PM   #1
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Ridiculous insurance increase from Amica in Houston

Just got my homeowner's insurance renewal notice from Amica: +$900 (+30%) versus last year! They said it was due to Harvey of course, but...we've had no claims...our Houston neighborhood hasn't flooded houses since it was built +50 years ago...and homeowners policies don't even cover flood damage anyway!

I'll shop around but in the past I've never found any great deals worth the hassle of switching. Houston's reputation for a reasonable COL continues to erode...
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:50 PM   #2
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Does your homeowners' policy cover wind and hail? As I understand it, Harvey didn't cause much wind damage and mostly caused flooding. But maybe just the fact that a hurricane hit your area caused the insurance rates for wind and hail to go up all over town. I have no idea but that is my guess.

Either way, my sympathies!! Insurance here is expensive and hard to get, and I'd imagine that is also the case all along the Gulf coast. Having it go up that much is even worse.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:00 PM   #3
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Ours went up 20%. We changed companies last year. I think they do some baiting and switching.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:55 PM   #4
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My DD's house in Spring, Texas (north side of Houston) suffered wind damage and needed a new roof, rear fence and some water damage occurred due to blown off shingles. This was during Harvey. So it's not all flooding here in the Houston area.

There were many thousands of claims for damage other than flooding. She has Amica also and they were very generous with the coverage. However, her policy renews in November.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:59 PM   #5
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We bought a new old house in 2014 the insurance was $490, 2015 it went to $600, 2016 to $808. I called my old agent 130 miles south in the same state. We upped the deductible to $10,000 and go the premium cut in half. The premium renewal was the same amount as I told her not to include the inflation adjuster.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:06 PM   #6
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And Amica is the best insurance company there is. I guess they have to make up for lost time. Many states limit price increases to more like 5.5%.t

I went with Essurance when i moved and found them very low priced. They are very careful on underwriting and obsessed with the conditions of roofs.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:11 PM   #7
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Last time I had insurance in NYC was 20 years ago and I recall it was $1100.00 then. Texas rates do not seem to be that bad.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:14 PM   #8
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Texas homeowners insurance can be pretty wild. I'm in central Texas, too far inland for hurricane damage, and there's no danger of flood damage at my homesite. I've never had a claim. The major risk here is lightning, and not very high for much else. After one company jacked up my rate last year I changed to Allstate, who then increased my rate by 30% after 3 months to $2300. They said they decided they needed to increase the rate. So I dropped them and changed to UFG, at half of the Allstate rate. So far so good. You have to play their game and shop around when needed, and that seems to be every few years. I found UFG through a local broker.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:20 PM   #9
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Homeowners rates are based on loss ratios state by state. Our state has a gulf coastline and our rates 400 miles from the coast are relatively expensive because of a hurricane chance every 10 years.

Doesn't seem fair. Without grouping auto insurance in with homeowners, many companies won't even think about insuring us.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:47 PM   #10
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Texas homeowners insurance can be pretty wild. I'm in central Texas, too far inland for hurricane damage, and there's no danger of flood damage at my homesite. I've never had a claim. The major risk here is lightning, and not very high for much else. After one company jacked up my rate last year I changed to Allstate, who then increased my rate by 30% after 3 months to $2300. They said they decided they needed to increase the rate. So I dropped them and changed to UFG, at half of the Allstate rate. So far so good. You have to play their game and shop around when needed, and that seems to be every few years. I found UFG through a local broker.
Of course there is the tornado risk for most of inland texas. Or where I live the chance that a strong hail storm could result in a large number of roof replacements. Consider one time a big hail storm hit fort worth and about 1/2 or more of the buildings needed new roofs. (Of course you can fix with a metal roof but thats more at the begining) The have started charging more for shake roofs due to the expense of replacing them.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
Just got my homeowner's insurance renewal notice from Amica: +$900 (+30%) versus last year! They said it was due to Harvey of course, but...we've had no claims...our Houston neighborhood hasn't flooded houses since it was built +50 years ago...and homeowners policies don't even cover flood damage anyway!

I'll shop around but in the past I've never found any great deals worth the hassle of switching. Houston's reputation for a reasonable COL continues to erode...
Welcome to the club. My AAA homeowner policy increased from $1533 to $2490 after they re-assessed the replacement value of my home up about 28%. My earthquake insurance went up from $790 to $1190.

I increased my deductible from $500 to $2000. I have never made a claim ever. That took my premium down to $1546 plus the $1190 for earthquake insurance.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:02 PM   #12
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Of course there is the tornado risk for most of inland texas. Or where I live the chance that a strong hail storm could result in a large number of roof replacements.
Hail damage resulted in a roof replacement 3 years after we built our house, and again 11 years later. My insurance renews in October and I expect a substantial increase due to last year's hurricane.

Yep, first world problem...
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:22 PM   #13
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Hail damage resulted in a roof replacement 3 years after we built our house, and again 11 years later. My insurance renews in October and I expect a substantial increase due to last year's hurricane.

Yep, first world problem...
I did not see a large increase in the Hill Country after Ike however. As I recall for hurricanes Texas is zoned by county. or in some cases parts of counties. For example Harris county has the part near Galveston bay and the Ship Channel and the western parts of the county. It is much harder to get windstorm insurance near galveston bay. So large that the risk factors differ significantly from El Paso to Port Arthur. Thus the county zoning (or perhaps regional zoning for counties of less than 10k folks)
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:51 AM   #14
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I should have included the hail risk here. Because of the age of my roof, insurers would either not cover it for hail damage, or prorate coverage. And the rate for a prorated coverage is high enough that premiums would pay for a new roof, after deductible, after ~5-10 years of higher premiums. When I eventually replace the roof I'll adjust insurance coverage. But you are correct- hail is a risk here. So far we've been OK over the past 10 years (knock on wood). There also is a wildfire risk, and tornado risk, but my current insurer indicated these are not very high in this area.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:57 AM   #15
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A large increase in the annual premium may also be a way for the insurer to rebalance the portfolio and reduce the risk in a region without cancelling any policies or refusing to renew. Maybe they are counting on some policyholders choosing to insure elsewhere.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:27 AM   #16
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We live in the hail belt in Colorado and both our homeowners and auto have gone up every year for the last several. We shop it every year and rarely find anything better. At least our cell bills have gone down.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by nativenewenglander View Post
We bought a new old house in 2014 the insurance was $490, 2015 it went to $600, 2016 to $808. I called my old agent 130 miles south in the same state. We upped the deductible to $10,000 and go the premium cut in half. The premium renewal was the same amount as I told her not to include the inflation adjuster.
Wow a 10K deductible, I never thought of going that high.

I tend to price it, by thinking if I'm saving $400 premium by having a deductible, how many years will it take for me to "win".

Say my deductible is $4,000, when saving $400 I would have to claim free for 10 yrs to "win".

I try to keep within 10 years as a max winning time frame.
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Old 03-18-2018, 03:58 PM   #18
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Not looking forward to getting my HO policy renewal in August on my Houston area house. We didnít flood (although we had a few anxious days when we thought we might) and didnít have a Harvey-related claim. But, I know that doesnít mean much. I switched from USAA to Amica a few years ago and it dropped my premium from about $4000 to around $2400. But, itís been creeping back up since then. I guess I better prepare myself for a big jump and maybe be ready to shop around again.
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