How Much Does Your Premium Increase if You File a Homeowner Insurance Claim?

PHOTO: Increases in homeowners insurance premiums vary by state, so it pays to be judicious when filing a claim.
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Will submitting a homeowner's insurance claim lead to an increase in your premium? According to a new study, making a single homeowner's insurance claim leads to a 9 percent premium increase on average across the U.S.

But the increases vary significantly by state, according to this analysis by InsuranceQuotes.com, a company owned by Bankrate. This is the first time that InsuranceQuotes.com has analyzed the economic effects of making a claim.

In Minnesota and Connecticut, premiums can increase a whopping 21 percent after a homeowner's first insurance claim. In contrast, Texans don't pay more at all for their homeowner's insurance premiums after their first claim, according to this analysis.

Insurance premiums are affected by a number of things, but claims history can be a larger factor than many people realize, said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com.

If you submit numerous claims that are high-dollar amounts, you are considered a risky insurance customer, which is taken into account for one's base rate. Other things that affect a premium include the size and age of a home, and characteristics, such as whether you have an alarm system.

"The most interesting finding from this study is how widely the increase for home insurance can vary depending on where you live," Adams said.

One reason why average insurance premium increases varied so widely is that insurance policies are regulated state by state.

"The laws in each state vary pretty dramatically," she said. "For instance, in Texas, they've had a history of many different types of claims such as natural disasters in that state. That's why the base rate for insurance is pretty high in that state."

To get the best rate and policy, Adams suggests homeowners shop around and talk to your agent before submitting a claim to see if it's worth doing so.

Here is a list of the states with the highest and lowest average premium increases after a first homeowner's insurance claim is made, according to InsuranceQuotes.com, plus the state's average annual premium, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Highest increases after a claim:

Average premium: $981

Minnesota

21 percent

Average premium: $1,052

Connecticut

21 percent

Average premium: $784

Maryland

19 percent

Average premium: $939

California

18 percent

Average premium: $535

Oregon

17 percent

Lowest increases after a claim:

Average premium: $1,560

Texas

0 percent

Average premium: $1,044

New York

1 percent

Average premium: $1,544

Florida

2 percent

Average premium: $730

Vermont

2 percent

Average premium: $1,050

Massachusetts

2 percent

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