questionsdoes anyone have advice on homeowner's insurance…



Later that year, we purchased a new home. We opted to insure it with the same company as the prior. The insurance on our new home was high, but after calling around, I couldn’t find a better rate and stayed with our current provider.
A year later, at the time of policy renewal on our new house, our rate went up 15% (from $812 to $939). We had done nothing different. We weren’t insured for any more than we were previously. A few months later, our deductable changed from $500 to $1000. We continued to pay with a smile on our faces.
In January of this year, we suffered yet another storm. Our old home, now a rental home, survived without a scratch. Our new home, however, suffered roof damage. It was missing shingles and the surface of the asphalt shingles had been blasted away by hail.



We, like any normal people, filed a claim.
The insurance company informs me that they’ll come out and look. A week goes by, and no response. Another week goes by and I get a phone call. I was told that because of the height of my roof, our adjuster is not allowed to get on our roof and has to hire a third party assessor. Two weeks go by and someone finally shows up. He turns the report over to the insurance company.
Two weeks later, I finally get a phone call from the adjuster. He states that because the roof isn’t new, he has to pro-rate the materials and labor. A new roof was quoted at $8000, but they were only willing to pay $3000 after deductable. Once again, I bit my tongue and decided to save the difference, I would install the new roof myself.



Here we are again, in the midst of a new policy renewal. Our new policy is almost 20% more than last year’s, and 38% more than the original one. I called the insurance company and asked why it went up again. I was told that this was an adjustment year and all the rates across my region went up. I can understand the reasoning, but they had just raised my rates the previous year.
At this point, my blood was beginning to boil. I decided to call around and get some quotes again. I called a major competitor and he started getting information to draw up an estimate. After answering a few questions, he advised that they can’t insure me because I have two claims of the same type in 5 years. I know that companies have their reasons, but the claims were on two separate properties. I suggested that I’d just call around and he said that it’s a waste of time because no one will insure me and he was surprised that my current provider hadn’t dropped my policy.



So it looks like I’m stuck with my current provider (it’s not like I have an option not to carry insurance). I guess they can now charge me whatever they want and there is nothing I can do about it. I’ll probably call around on Monday for more quotes anyway, but it’s really frustrating to say the least.
Does anyone have any advice on my next move? Does anyone have an insurance provider that they can recommend as being reliable and ethical? Is there such a thing?


I'm not an insurance expert, and I'm not in Tennessee, but I have a friend who can't get homeowner's insurance due to owning several large dogs. In Massachusetts you can get coverage through the state - it is more expensive, but at least it's coverage.

Take a look at the resources available on the Tennessee state web site:

Good luck!


@durkzilla: Thanks for the link. I have a feeling that come Monday, I'll be spending most of the day on the phone getting quotes from the companies that will insure our home. I just wanted to be equipped with as much knowledge as possible before I took on that challenge.


One other thing - look for a mutual insurance company. I have all my coverage through Amica, and they have been awesome to deal with. I'm not sure they do business in your state, but if they do it is well worth the phone call.


Sadly, I have no advice, nor recommendations for you. Been there, had very similar problems. Hail damage to roof & a car. Long ago decided that home owners insurance was good for 1 thing - fire. Flooding (not talking about flooding of rivers, rising water, etc. - you must have extra coverage for that) ended up not being covered by my home insurance. For instance, if a pipe breaks, or your toilet overflows. Not covered.

Mold: not covered. Live in Florida - hurricane insurance is extra. And, has a VERY large deductible. Oh, and if a storm is named (hurricane or not), it is considered 'not covered', except under the hurricane rider. It may not be anywhere near your home...doesn't matter.

My insurance was w/State Farm. It went up every year. In giant leaps. I, too, increased my deductible. Hardly any difference in premiums. Could not keep up w/the constant rising 'costs.'

Sold my home. Am now a renter. For me, the best thing to do.

I wish you good luck...


Why not try an independent insurance agent? You'll be able to get quotes from multiple insurance companies all at one time.

My parents have had to make a couple of claims recently on their homeowners' insurance. I was concerned that the company would drop them, but the agent told my mom that one of the factors that goes into a decision like that is the length of time you've held the policy. My parents' policy is older than I am.


If you are a member of AAA, AARP, Costco, Sams, maybe you can get insurance with their group providers. My home is very old for my area, State Farm is the only major carrier that will ensure it. When I call for rates and they say my home is too old, I argue that the fact that it has stood for over 100 years should show them it's strong, but they won't even consider me. State Farm lost their license to sell homeowners insurance in Texas for a couple of years and I had to pay over twice as much to some fly-by-night company that would probably not have paid out while I waited for them to be able to insure me again. They said there would be a big increase in all their policies this year, which is annoying as the two claims I filed 15-20 years ago were burglaries and I haven't had any claim since. We've had two major floods in the past 10 years that destroyed homes, but my house is on the mountainside and suffered no damage. I guess the whole community is going to get hit for it.


Thanks for your help guys!

I called around today and got quotes from about 10 different providers. I didn't want to deal with an agent because it seems like a lot of them (based on reviews) suggest providers that aren't in your best interest because it pays more commission for them.

A few of the insurance companies wouldn't offer coverage because of the two previous claims, but it didn't seem to be an industry standard like the rep at Traveler's suggested. One said they wouldn't cover us, not because of previous claims, but because we owned a trampoline (probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard -- I suggested I would just get rid of it if it was an issue and they said I couldn't do that???).

Turns out that the lowest price also offered the best coverage -- Nationwide. They were priced around the same pricepoint as our current insurance was 2 years ago when we bought this house.

Does anyone here have anything negative (or positive) to say about them before I make the jump?


@capguncowboy: My brother works for Nationwide (helpdesk for agents). IDK if that's a good thing or a bad thing. ;) I almost suggested them to you earlier, but I don't have personal experience with them as far as insurance goes. (We've always had State Farm for everything.)


@msklzannie: State Farm was the first company I called. They told me upfront that they couldn't offer coverage until 2016 because of our two previous claims.

I am still waiting for a few callbacks on quotes, but unless they call in the next couple of hours, I'll probably just call Nationwide and open a policy this evening.


@capguncowboy: Have you tried calling your current provider with the quotes from Nationwide and seeing if they'll match or beat that price and coverage? They're always very inflexible until a competitor undercuts their "one and only rate" for your house.


@zuiquan: I have not. I'll give that a try first. Simplicity is always favorable.


Unfortunately, all insurance companies are about the same. The ONLY thing they're concerned with is profit. Calling around and getting quotes is all you can do. USAA seems to be ok, but

I own 2 houses. Initially, they were insured through Allstate. One day, while I was gone, they sent an adjuster to snoop around the newest one. They found a few cosmetic flaws (peeling paint on door and a cracked deck board) deemed the house rotten and canceled my policy. Since I have a mortgage, it put me in a bind to find insurance before the bank forced placed insurance. I ended up with Farm Bureau at a cheaper rate, no hassles. However, I know if I have a claim, they will be a pain.

My parents have Allstate and they received a letter a couple weeks ago that an adjuster will soon be out to inspect their house. If their experience is anything like mine, they will be switching also.


if you have any military affiliation you or a grandparent or parent served or spouses side you can get USAA and they are AWESOME AWESOME to deal with and cover all 50 states


@djbowman: Despite pretty much all of the men in my family serving military (until my generation), none of them were deemed an eligible sponsor by USAA. They were the first company I checked with after finding an article ranking them highest in customer satisfaction.

I called my current agent today to see if they could give me a lower premium. He insisted that the offers I got from other companies were given based on misinformation and offered no lower rates. Honestly, that's just the straw that broke the camel's back. Accusing your competitors of being incompetent is a really sleezy way of doing business. I double checked the coverages multiple times. They match up or excel line for line.

I'll likely be making the switch to Nationwide tomorrow morning.

Thanks for all your help guys


Another thing, I know it's been awhile since you posted this but you didn't address it, but make sure on your first house, that you have rental insurance on it. You only need to cover the major parts, and not contents. A rental policy will still cover lighting strikes frying the furance/ac, but not all of the other stuff that would normally be covered.

Also, another thing, when shingling, look at class 4 shingles, your premium is cheaper. The cost difference on installing them vs. normal asphalt shingles was paid back over two years in premium savings.


@spacemonkey6401: Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate your feedback. I had our rental property under rental coverage (and vacant when it was empty for more than 30 days) while we were renting it. We sold that property in May of this year though, so that's no longer a factor.

As far as shingles, I did an architectural 30 year asphalt shingle. I wanted to do the same thing as what my neighbors had so not to stand out.

I made the switch to Nationwide for both Home and Auto last week. I've already gotten the refunds from Farm Bureau and am looking forward to not dealing with them anymore.

A kinda' funny sidenote: When I went into Farm Bureau's office to cancel, I was warned by the rep that I should be careful of really low quotes, because once the company gets me in, they'll raise my rates the following years until I'm paying way more than originally agreed. I just smiled and said "Yeah, I've been through that already, thanks!"

She didn't seem amused.