How will the recent floods impact home insurance rates? It's a concern on the minds of many people in our area.
5 On Your Side did some digging and found out Mother Nature could drive up some rates. But it's
not for the reasons you may think.
A local expert says floods shouldn't be the concern for most people. In fact, something completely unrelated to weather will likely cost us much more in the future.
Rolph Bolstad's neighborhood sits on a hill above the Meramec River in Fenton. Over the last ten years he's seen the river rise and fall.
“It's never gotten in the house. It comes about a third of the way up the back yard, which is remarkable. It's got to be a quarter of a mile to the river,” said Bolstad.
Although his home has never been damaged by flood waters, Bolstad’s insurance rates could still rise. But not because of the flooding.
“A flood typically doesn't increase the rates for most insurance companies across the board because most of those claims are either uninsured or the federal government is picking up a majority of the exposure,” said Mike Boone, Senior Vice President of Heffernan Insurance Brokers.
Boone says those homeowners with flood insurance may see an increase in the cost of that policy. But for most homeowners, Mother Nature's other forces may be to blame for higher insurance costs, even if you didn't have damage.
“There's been some pretty sizable national storms, hail damage, wind damage. All of those things are pretty big financial drivers for insurance companies,” said Boone.
“If my rates go up a little bit, I’d be ok with it. I wouldn't be excited about it but I think I would understand it,” said Bolstad.
Boone says the big jump in insurance many of us will see is due to an increase in vehicle crashes, which could hit your home and auto policies.
“Distracted driving has caused, according to State Farm, almost a seven-billion-dollar loss. And so, when a big company like that has a significant loss the whole market reacts to that,” said Boone.
The rate change in property and auto insurance will probably be seen in the next twelve months or so.
Boone says one way to make sure you're getting the best rates is to work with an insurance broker who has access to policies from multiple insurance companies.