Warrensburg homeowner shocked after insurance goes up 35 percent - KCTV5

Warrensburg homeowner shocked after insurance goes up 35 percent in 1 year

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“They said, due to the bad weather we've had in Missouri everybody's rates are going up and this is what we're doing,” Amy Lock said. (KCTV5) “They said, due to the bad weather we've had in Missouri everybody's rates are going up and this is what we're doing,” Amy Lock said. (KCTV5)
WARRENSBURG, MO (KCTV) -

Keeping up with the bills every month is enough to keep you up at night.

So, getting news that one bill is now about $1,000 more this year compared to last year is hard to hear. It stunned a single mother in Warrensburg, MO who didn’t understand why her homeowner's insurance premium went up about 35-percent in one year.

“They said, due to the bad weather we've had in Missouri everybody's rates are going up and this is what we're doing,” Amy Lock said.

On her renewal letter from Farmers Insurance, she noticed a couple lines at the bottom of the page that read:

“Severe weather patterns in the state of Missouri have contributed to an increase in homeowners insurance rates.  These changes in combination with any change to your policy’s risk characteristics are reflected in your renewal premium.”

Lock was shocked.

“Because the weather is bad in Missouri? Welcome to the Midwest,” Lock said.

Lock did file one claim last year to repair a storm-damaged roof, so she lost a small discount for no longer being “"claim-free." That discount accounted for not much more than $100 total. 

Lock’s local insurance agent would not comment, referring KCTV5 News to corporate. Farmers Insurance issued the following statement:

“Insurance rates are determined on the basis of several variables. With regard to this matter, an adjustment in rates was recently introduced for all customers in the state to reflect the increased frequency and severity losses being experienced by customers.  An additional adjustment was made to reflect a change in the risk characteristics of the policy.”

The Missouri Department of Insurance reports homeowners insurance rates went up statewide in both 2016 and 2017, on average 1.4-percent and 2-percent respectively.

Even after one of the state’s worst disasters, the Joplin tornado, the Missouri Department of Insurance reports homeowners insurance rates didn’t go up more than about 8-percent in 2012.

The Missouri Department of Insurance says:

“Missouri insurance laws do not give the department the authority to set premium rates.  An insurance company sets its own rates based on claims (including weather-related losses), operating expenses, investment income, profit, and other factors.

In an email, the Missouri Insurance Department recommended the following:

“Rates can vary greatly from carrier to carrier; therefore, a consumer may wish to shop around with other carriers in Missouri’s competitive market.”

If you suspect a rate hike and want to check out the average increase, find another insurance company, or find how many complaints have been filed with specific companies, you can go to the state’s insurance website here.

For more information on Kansas insurance rates, you can click here.

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