Volatile weather causing homeowners insurance hike

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As Illinois faced a threat of severe weather Wednesday evening, the damage done is affecting homeowners across the Midwest and that damage is hiking some homeowners insurance as well.

A local insurance agent said rates are going up anywhere from 10 to 30 percent in one term. That means for the average homeowner who may pay around $900 per year, he could be seeing a rate increase of $100 to $300 in just one year. Insurance agents said the weather is directly impacting those values.

The combination of hail and wind can be the most damaging conditions insurers have seen over the past couple of years, so in response to the unpredictable weather, some insurance companies have raised premiums, deductibles or are changing their position on how to cover claims like roof damage, for example. Bill Ryan owner of Stoutenborough Insurance based in Maroa said in his 30 years on the job, he's never seen anything like this before.  The last two years, he said out of all the insurance he covers, his agency paid out in the neighborhood of $4 million, much more than usual. And this year may not be the end to increased claims.

"It's starting out to look like this year may be, as far as the claims that we have, they may be greater than what they used to be in the past," Ryan said.

A State Farm agent who primarily deals with Decatur residents said he hasn't noticed an unordinary spike in rates but he said the severity of claims has gone up. He explained that the number of claims isn't rising but he's getting claims that are costing more.

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