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New home premium rates jump

By Jay MacDonald ·
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

While many existing homeowners insurance policies have yet to feel the financial impact of last year's violent weather, a new report shows that those who purchased new homeowners coverage in 2011 were hit with an average increase of 19 percent nationwide.

The latest quarterly RateReport data from found that the typical annual premium nationwide for a new policy jumped $128, from $682, to $810 in 2011.

The violent spring of 2011, including the tornado that destroyed Joplin, Mo. is expected to raise homeowners insurance rates by at least 10 percent.

Homeowners in some parts of the country were hit harder than others. New policies written in Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico, for example, rose 29 percent to 39 percent in 2011, according to the survey.

On the other end of the spectrum, new policy rates fell by 7 percent in Washington, D.C., and declined 1 percent to 3 percent in California, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

RateReport data are based on approximately 15,000 policies sold across the United States by various carriers, including Travelers, Safeco, The Hartford and ASI/Ark Royal.

Existing homeowners insurance policies should share the pain soon. In January, the nation's largest insurers, including Allstate, State Farm and Travelers, estimated that the $35 billion in insured losses from last year's violent weather could raise rates by 10 percent in 2012.

Although lacking a Hurricane Katrina-size event, 2011 was one of the costliest years on record, with a dozen weather-related disasters each totaling at least $1 billion in damages. Blizzards, heat waves, tornadoes, wildfires and widespread flooding from Hurricane Irene cost hundreds of lives and spread weather-related damages to areas of the country not normally considered high-risk areas.

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June 01, 2012 at 2:14 pm

We've especially felt the rise in homeowners premium in the South with the number of tornados striking Alabama and Georgia especially.

This year was predicted to be even worse, but thankfully hasn't been so far, hope hurricane season is a calm one.