Jackie Costa was furious. She opened her latest notice from Allstate the other day and noticed that she would soon pay an extra 38% for her homeowner insurance, a hike of more than $500 a year.
There is nothing different about the coverage, according to Mrs. Costa, and that, along with no reason given for the increase, is why she is so upset. "That's just ridiculous," she told me at her Winfield, Missouri home. "I think we're just being taken advantage of on the things we have to have. I have to have homeowner's insurance."
Allstate insists it's not taking advantage of her, or any other policy holders. The company issued the following statement:
"In order to ensure Allstate can deliver on the promise we made to our customers, we are implementing an overall 27.2 percent average rate increase in Missouri for our homeowners customers. We are committed to making responsible business decisions, even during difficult economic times, so that we can meet our customers’ needs. In Missouri, Allstate has been paying out more in claims than it’s been taking in premiums. This is an excellent time for Allstate customers to make sure they have the right discounts and coverages in place to meet their insurance needs. Customers should call their agents to review their coverages and determine the best ways to structure their policies in order to keep rates as low as possible, while still meeting all of the customer’s insurance needs."
Travis Ford, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Insurance, says there's a dramatic difference between the rates charged by insurance companies selling homeowner's insurance in Missouri. He encourages homeowners to shop for the best rates.
Posted in related items is a complete list of the nearly 150 insurance programs that have filed notice for a change in rates with the Missouri Dept. of Insurance this year. We made a similar request with the Illinois Department of Insurance, but the records were not available when I posted this story.
You can use the Missouri list to shop for the best rates.