Rise in KY insurance rates tied to 2009 weather events - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Rise in KY insurance rates tied to 2009 weather events

Sharon Clark Sharon Clark
Douglas S. Gordon Douglas S. Gordon
Louisville, KY -

By Shayla Reaves - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you live in Kentucky, you could be paying more for homeowners insurance according to the Kentucky Department of Insurance. In 2009, seven major weather events hit the Bluegrass causing plenty of damage from flooding, hail, wind, tornadoes, ice, snow and freezing conditions.

Sharon Clark, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Insurance, said Kentucky's home insurance companies paid out more than $1 billion in 2009 and the dollars received from premium payments did not come close to covering the costs:

  • 299 companies actively writing business in KY
  • More than $1 billion in losses
  • $916,291 written premium

Even if you did not have damages yourself, enough people who did could impact how much you pay on homeowners insurance according to Clark.

"The insurance companies don't see the increase immediately. It is by the time they calculate the claims, it is usually about a year later, before those increases are noted," the commissioner said.

Douglas S. Gordon is an independent insurance agent in Louisville. He said his business continues to grow as customers shop around for better rates.

"This has been particularly busy with phone calls and requesting quotes," Gordon said." The weather-related claims that we've had in the city have caused more people to report claims to their agents and the insurance companies are increasing their premiums."

In some cases new and renewing customers are paying average rate increases of 2.4 percent to 19 percent in Kentucky according to the Kentucky Department of Insurance. Officials provided the following rate increase numbers for those companies representing the largest portion of Kentucky's homeowners market share in 2009:

STATE FARM FIRE AND CAS.

*serves 188,029 customers of 20.52% of KY homeowners market share

  • EFFECTIVE DATE: 12/01/09 (NEW) and 02/01/10 (RENEWAL)
  • OVERALL% RATE IMPACT(AVERAGE): 16.2%
  • # POLICY HOLDERS AFFECTED: 253,517 

KENTUCKY FARM BUREAU

*serves 177,720 customers of 19.40% of KY homeowners market share

  • EFFECTIVE DATE: 12/01/09 (NEW) and 12/01/09 (RENEWAL)
  • OVERALL % RATE IMPACT(AVERAGE): 9.8%
  • # POLICY HOLDERS AFFECTED: 225,985

and

  • EFFECTIVE DATE: 06/01/10 (NEW) and 06/01/10 (RENEWAL)
  • OVERALL % RATE IMPACT(AVERAGE): 2.6%
  • # POLICY HOLDERS AFFECTED: 237,443

STATE AUTO PROP. AND CAS. 

*serves 32,086 customers or 3.5 percent of KY homeowners market share

  • EFFECTIVE DATE: 09/13/10 (NEW) and 09/13/2010 (RENEWAL)
  • OVERALL % RATE IMPACT (AVERAGE): 15%
  • # POLICY HOLDERS AFFECTED: 33,307 

NATIONWIDE MUTUAL FIRE

*serves 28,861 customers or 3.15% of KY homeowners market share

  • EFFECTIVE DATE: 09/30/10 (NEW) and 09/30/10 (RENEWAL)
  • OVERALL % RATE IMPACT(AVERAGE): 4.8%
  • # POLICY HOLDERS AFFECTED: 36,910

LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE

 * serves 25,275 customers or 2.76% of KY homeowners market share

  • EFFECTIVE DATE: 02/23/09 (NEW) AND 03/30/09 (RENEWAL)
  • OVERALL % RATE IMPACT(AVERAGE): 2.4%
  • # POLICY HOLDERS AFFECTED: 26,622

ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY

*serves 23,766 customers or 2.59% of KY homeowners market share

  • EFFECTIVE DATE: 06/22/09 (NEW) and 09/05/09 (RENEWAL)
  • OVERALL % RATE IMPACT (AVERAGE): 19%
  • # POLICY HOLDERS AFFECTED: 80,031
  • According to the KY Department Of Insurance some 3,265 Allstate policy holders received an increase greater than or equal to + 50%.

If there is a rate increase in Kentucky, the law requires insurance companies give a 90 day notice to the policyholder according to Clark. She said the policyholder has 90 days to shop around and that "we're an anomaly because that is the longest period of any place in the country."

Anyone with questions about changes to their insurance can contact the Kentucky Department of Insurance at their toll free number 1-800-595-6053.

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