Harry Gross: Insurer gave a discount, then raised his rates

Posted: September 11, 2012

DEAR HARRY: I have not filed a claim with my insurance company for more than eight years. Three years ago, I changed companies hoping for a discount because it now had both my car and my home insurance. Yesterday, we got a bill for our homeowner's policy that was $400 more than last year. We live in a working-class neighborhood with all rowhouses (not "townhouses"). We have always paid our premiums on time, and we have a very good credit score. Do they have the right to do this?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: They do. However, you always have the option of going to a different company. I suggest that you first contact your agent to find out why the premium was increased. There are any number of reasons the company might do this, including a higher value for the house, frequent vandalism in your area or special hazards in your home. It is possible that your present company will reduce the premium if the problem is corrected. If you're not satisfied with the answers you get, go to two other companies for quotes on both your car and your home. Competition for new business is pretty fierce among insurance companies, especially for these two areas of coverage. Don't delay on this because you could lose coverage if your renewal date passes.


Email Harry Gross at harrygross@phillynews.com or write to him at Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, Box 8263, Philadelphia, PA 19101.

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