A question many of us have asked ourselves. If you haven’t…your number may soon be up! If you have or have had insurance, chances are you have experienced a rate increase. Let’s dive into this topic that has many cringing at the first site of a letter marked with their insurance company’s logo! First thing to understand is that when you purchased your insurance policy, you probably signed up for a six or 12 month term. This means that the rate that was quoted is guaranteed or locked in for that term only. A lot of times policy holders assume this rate will be guaranteed as long as they don’t file any claims. However, when they receive their renewal packet they come to find out that’s not the case. Can you guess what happens next? Yes! You grab your phone and you call your agent or broker. Yes, that person that was your saving grace initially…but now, you seem to have spotted two horns growing out of their head! We assure you, there are no horns!
One of the most common reasons that your rate can increase is your claims history & driving record. Did you know that “At fault claims” stay on file for five years? Your insurance company may surcharge you for this type of claim. Depending on how long you have been insured with your Insurance carrier, you may qualify for “accident forgiveness”. However, your rate still may go up due to other factors that we will soon discuss.” Not at fault” claims stay on file for 3 years, and while your insurance company may not be surcharging you for these claims, you do lose the “claims free-discount”.
Speeding tickets & Violations also can affect your rate, because they predict your driving habits. It’s like a mug shot for drivers…your face is replaced with a sign that says “Drives 50mph in a 30mph zone!”
So, let’s take the heat off of you for a bit. Another reason would be that your Insurance Company has simply taken a “rate increase”. This is very common, and may happen especially after weather storms or catastrophes. We will explain further…Insurance is a shared risk, so when your Insurance company pays out so much in claims, they may need to adjust their rates to be able to pay for future claims. So, you know that saying “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yes! You should be! Help your neighbor be smart and crisis free…who knows, you very well may share the same insurance company!
On the other hand…the grass just may be greener on the other side. Rate DECREASES may also happen. You are seeing it correctly! Yes, decreases CAN and DO happen! Some companies offer “loyalty” discounts. Why not be rewarded for sticking with a company? Also, your rate may decrease when you have claims, tickets or violations that start dropping off your record.
So there you have it folks! It should be worth noting that there is a solution to managing rate increases. Wait for it…………Drop your agent & get with a Broker! An Insurance Broker, works for YOU, the client. Insurance Brokers write for many Insurance carriers, which means that we have options for you! Would you like Baskin Robbins if they had only 1 flavor?! Our society LOVES options…so why should it be any different with your insurance?! As a Broker, we can shop your insurance at any time to guarantee the best rate & best coverage. Let us do the shopping for you!