The Answer: yes, no, maybe, it's complicated...The fact is that while one (or a few) small claims may not be the direct cause for homeowner's insurance premiums to spike, insurance companies may still raise premiums because of other, more global factors, like weather patterns or local geography.
According to statements made to tbo.com, by AnnaMaria Andriotis, a senior writer specialized in insurance matters at SmartMoney.com, although the behavior of each policyholder is still looked at by underwriters when determining whether they should raise premiums or not, factors like those mentioned above play a larger role in this kind of insurance.
Research by the auto insurance industry show that the odds of a person with one crash getting involved in another accident are much higher than those of homeowner filing another claim under his or her homeowner's insurance policy.
Of course, Ms. Andriotis continues, sometimes a homeowner does not call in a small claim, but his neighbors do, causing the insurance company to reassess the whole region.
Tropical Storm Debby Leaves Florida Soaked
The recent passing of tropical Storm Debbie by the Florida panhandle has left an already soaked area flooded. With about 20 inches of rain falling over Wakulla County, many roads were under water in the area, forcing Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency last Monday and President Obama to call the governor from Air Force One on Tuesday, when he took the opportunity to offer his condolences for the loss of life and damage to property, while also stating that he wanted to make sure that the State had "no unmet needs".
Thankfully, Debbie's winds weakened to about 40 miles an hour (just over the threshold to remain a tropical storm) before hitting the West coast of Florida and further weakened as it moved inland. Yet, over 1,300 small homeowner's insurance claims have been already filed as a result of damages caused by the storm.
Other Important Homeowner's Insurance Coverage Facts
We would like to take this opportunity to inform our homeowner readers that Florida law prohibits insurance companies from canceling policies for so called "Acts of God" like weather, unless the insurer can prove that the homeowner "failed to take action reasonably necessary" to prevent the damage from reoccurring. For example, a homeowner that repeatedly claims wind damage, but fails to secure the windows of the house with adequate protection may see his policy cancelled.
The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help
You should always have an attorney help you review your policy and advise you on what coverage you should have and for how much. If you are about to renew your policy (with the same insurer or a new one), we can help you review it and make sure you are adequately covered and in a position to avoid costly expenses should disaster strike.
With more than 55 years of combined experience, the Miami Dade County Homeowners Insurance Claims Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have helped thousands of Homeowners all over Florida review their policies, present their claims and get the compensation owed them by their insurance carrier. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.