Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homeowners insurance is not what it seems

Is it actually a surprise to find out that you can't really collect on a homeowner's insurance policy without some kind of punishment?  We are talking about BIG INSURANCE here, folks.  It's a cousin to BIG PHARMA.  Enough said.


MoneyWatch) You might think that after shelling out all that money for your home insurance premiums, you could actually take advantage of your policy whenever you needed it. But in the perverse calculus of actuaries, underwriters, and liabilities, it's actually not that simple.

"More than two claims in a three-year period is a red flag for the underwriters, and some insurance companies will drop you like a hot potato," says J. D. Howard, executive director of Insurance Consumer Advocate Network. "We always counsel people not to make a claim unless the cost of the repair is three times their deductible." So for example, if you have hail damage to your roof that can be repaired for $1,000, and the deductible on your policy is $500, it's probably better to pay for the repairs out of pocket. "The insurance company sees too many small claims as a homeowner using his insurance policy to pay for upkeep on his house," Howard says.



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