IIABA Survey Reports Nearly 2.5 Million Households Lost Homeowners Coverage Past Two Years

May 13, 2003

A new independent consumer survey conducted for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) confirms that non-renewals and premium increases are becoming more common in the current homeowners insurance market.

The national survey determined that nearly 2.5 million households have lost their homeowners coverage in the last 24 months. More than half of the households that lost coverage (approximately 1.3 million) are located in the South. Approximately 73 percent of non-renewed households were able to find other coverage.

“When you consider that the number of households losing coverage during a two-year period is more than the combined resident populations of four states—Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming—you realize how many lives are being affected by the shrinking homeowners market,” said IIABA CEO Robert Rusbuldt.

IIABA’s survey also determined that approximately 51 million households (about 42 percent of all American households) experienced a homeowners insurance rate increase in the last 24 months. Of those households, the rate increases were as follows:

Up to 10 percent rate increase 56.7 percent
11-25 percent rate increase 23.2 percent
More than 25 percent rate increase 13.8 percent
(6.3 percent were undetermined)

“The tough homeowners insurance market understandably has many consumers scratching their heads and worrying about their wallets,” continued Rusbuldt. “Agents are seeing non-renewals and double-digit price increases in virtually every state in the country. But consumers should not feel helpless. They still can affordably protect themselves and their homes even in this difficult market.”

“Granted, there is no full-proof way for homeowners to avoid a rate increase or being non-renewed by their insurance company, but heeding these precautions can help you become a more valuable policyholder,” said Madelyn Flannagan, IIABA’s vice president of education & research. “Independent insurance agents are the ultimate advocate for homeowners because they provide important consumer benefits that can help individuals stay insured. They can shop your needs around to different companies and take you through the process step-by-step to find you the best value and protection. They also are on your side when a claim or other problem arises. Always consult your independent insurance agent before filing a claim.”

The national consumer telephone survey was conducted in April for IIABA by International Communications Research (ICR)—an independent survey firm based in Media, Pa.

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