I had no idea it’s been so long since I wrote anything. Generally, I write to make sense of what I’ve been thinking, and there’s really no sense to make of many of my recent thoughts. My homeowner’s insurance increased by more than 50%, which stunned me. For most of my life — until just a few years ago, actually — I never wanted to own a house because of all the unforeseen expenses. Obviously, the insurance was not an unforeseen expense — I’d budgeted for it, and even budgeted for what I thought was a whopping increase, but the increase turned out to be more than I ever imagined, more than I can afford in the long run, even without increases in the coming years. (I’m fine for now, but yikes!) For the first time, I wondered if I had done the right thing by buying the house, but I do not want to even think about that. I know I did the right thing. So I’ve been trying to find a different insurance company.
One of the big issues in my case is that I have no credit rating, and insurance companies base their rates on your credit rating, which makes no sense to me. If a person doesn’t pay the insurance bill, the insurance is cancelled. Very simple. So what does my lack of credit have to do with insurance? I have no idea. They explained that people with a poor credit rating file more claims, but again, I don’t see what the problem is. If the claim is justified, they need to pay it. If not justified, turn it down.
One agent tried to explain to me that people with no credit are a poor risk because they don’t pay their bills, and she refused to listen when I explained I have no credit because I do pay my bills. I pay them as soon as I get them. No debts. Hence no credit. She didn’t care, and I can understand because it’s the company’s policy, not hers.
The company I’ve been dealing with used to be one that didn’t exorbitantly penalize people who had no credit, but I have a hunch the reason my bill went up so high is that they rethought that position. If I had a good credit rating, my insurance bill would be $1000 less a year.
(I did finally manage to get a credit card, but it will take years to build up any credit since I don’t buy much.)
My other issue with the original company is that although I have full coverage for rebuilding the house if anything were to happen, they lowballed the construction costs to keep the policy competitive. They were willing, however, to offer additional coverage for up to 25% more than costs indicated in the policy. So that means that total replacement coverage isn’t total replacement coverage.
As you can see, my thoughts have not been worth writing about. Truly, they haven’t even been worth thinking about. With any luck, I’ll be able to put this matter to rest for another year. I found a different company with much better coverage, but alas, only a few dollars cheaper. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the new insurance people to come look at the place, take photos for their files, and tell me if there’s anything I need to do around the property. I do know they will say I need a railing on my back ramp, but that’s already been paid for; it’s just a matter of having the weather clear enough so that the workers can get it installed.
As for weather: just when the snow melted and I began to look for signs of spring, we got dumped on. It was pretty — huge flakes filling the air — but so very cold! Cold enough, in fact, to make thinking a sluggish business.
It’s a good thing, then, that I’ve finished thinking — finished thinking about insurance, anyway.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.