Rises in Homeowners' Insurance

AMARILLO -- Major disasters come in very short times, much shorter than it takes to figure out the total cost of the events. The May 28th hail storm of last year ended up costing more than half a billion dollars, but it's going to take more time to see how insurance rates on homes will rise.

If you are unhappy with your current rate, you have to blame events before last year.

James Brown, partner at Upshaw Insurance, tells us that today's rates are based on losses from 2011, all the way back to perhaps 2005. 

"We haven't finished the hail storm yet, we really don't know what the hail storm is going to total out to be. So we really won't feel the effect of the hail storm until probably next year or the next year," said Brown.

The damage from the wildfires three years ago is adding to the amount of money we pay to insure our homes, along with other natural disasters during that period. The fires around Austin that year also added to issue.

We talked to homeowner Mary Rose Cinelli, who was able to get her cost down after making a call to her insurance agent.

"I'd combined my home and  my car insurance and that seemed to make a difference, otherwise it probably would have increased even more," said Cinelli.

Insurance risk these days is spread around the country, to try to limit the hits to the devastated areas. Essentially, we're all sharing the cost.

Getting your rate lowered is going to require talking to your agent to see what can be done to change your policy, or to make sure they are shopping around for the best coverage with the lowest cost.

Those homeowners who had damage from the 2004 hail storm didn't see increases like the ones recently. 

We're told that's because the cost was coming down in that time after the black mold problem was over.

A few things you can do to your house to get your rate lower include installing a hail-resistant roof, and getting a burglar alarm.

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