ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Just another item affected by inflation — home owner’s insurance.
You might want to consider checking this as we head closer to the holidays.
Michael Barry with Insurance Information Institute, said premiums have been going up throughout the nation.
“It mostly has to do with inflation, the cost of building materials, labor going up, because that’s what the homeowner insurer is looking at,” said Barry.
Basically, what it’s going to cost to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss. In our region, this could be due to wind or snow storms.
“The risks in Western New York are much different than downstate, but the risk is spread statewide – and that’s the key thing people should keep in mind,” said Barry.
Not only are many viewers telling us about higher rates – we’re also hearing stories of some getting a letter in the mail, telling them their escrow account is too low.
Experts say residents may be getting these letters this time of year.
Leslie Curry, CRA loan officer with Citizen’s Bank describes escrow as a separate account attached to your mortgage.
“A portion of your mortgage payment is made up of one twelfth of your annual property taxes and one twelfth of annual homeowners insurance. Flood insurance, if you’re required to obtain flood insurance,” said Curry.
She says three or four times a year, the bank will draw money out of that account to pay for those. And Once a year – you’ll get an analysis of what’s left.
Curry says if you’re getting notifications that your escrow is short, contact your bank ASAP.
“Maybe your property tax insurance increased, maybe we estimated that your property tax and insurance would increase because we didn’t have a bill at the time the escrow analysis is done,” said Curry.
If you’re escrow is low – she says you can either pay the difference, or choose to have that shortage spread out over a 12-month period or more, if you are having some financial hardship.
Curry says you want to call your bank, and make sure they’re using the correct figures for property tax and insurance – in case they need to do a reevaluation.
When it comes to insurance, she said don’t be afraid to shop around if yours has gone up. You may be able to find better coverage at a reduced premium.
As for those thinking about becoming a homeowner in the new year – consider your timeline; your career path, and how long you want to be in your first house.
Make sure your credit report and savings are in a good state – and make sure you have a steady employment.