I am so happy to welcome guest writer and friend Julie Sequeira. Julie is property and casualty insurance agent/expert with American Family Insurance. Because home and auto insurance is one of our largest household expenses, I wanted a little more insight into rates and how we can be better insurance consumers. Take it away, Julie!
Kristi: What can we expect for car and home insurance rates this year?
Julie: I think you can likely expect an increase on the low side of 10% and more realistically 20% base rate increase – that means that if you have had an accident, traffic ticket or claim your renewal rate increase will be higher than that. For the foreseeable future rates will continue to rise in Colorado. With rising rates you will see new offerings in deductibles and limited coverage for wind/hail claims.
KS: Why will my rates go up in Denver if the hail was in Lakewood?
JS: Rates are driven mostly by claims history in our geographic state and certainly the metro area is considered one area for things like hail because it is so pervasive in this area. An exception might be the western slope in Colorado where they don’t have hail storms. And insurance is collective risk – so yes, we all pay higher rates when more people file claims.
KS: What tips do you have to make sure clients are getting the most complete insurance coverage?
JS: Talking with your agent is usually the best way to get the most complete coverage because you give them information that you don’t realize is insurance related during conversations. For example, you might say, “we really love eating breakfast outside on our new larger deck.” A good agent will then ask you questions about the deck and potentially other home improvements that may require increasing some coverages.
Be honest with your agent because then you will understand your coverage limitations and be able to choose options for coverages that you need but if you don’t tell then it is hard to make sure you are covered correctly. Additionally, bundling really does help because then the agent looks at your account holistically so that you have few gaps in coverage.
KS: Thank you, Julie for your expertise! For more information or to contact Julie, see her bio below.
Julie Sequeira has been in the insurance industry since 1998 and has run her own agency since 2004. She works to provide the most comprehensive coverage with the best premium for her clients. She seeks to help people keep their assets and sanity during difficult times. For more information, visit https://agent.amfam.com/julie-sequeira/