Contact 2: The rising cost of home insurance

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - From coast to coast, Mother Nature has proven she’s more powerful than ever the last several years. History-making storms and wildfires taking an emotional and financial toll on victims. Just like Mother Nature, coast to coast, few insurance customers have been spared from rising rates.

"Home insurance prices have been rising at very close to the same rate as health insurance prices, which is about two and a half times the rate of the median family income," said Dan Karr, founder and CEO of ValChoice.

Karr’s company bills itself as an independent and unbiased insurance rating system. ValChoice collects its insurance company data from each state’s Department of Insurance.

“Missouri has been having a pretty high rate of increase recently, higher than the national average. Largely because of the susceptibility to wind and hail storms,” he said.

And Karr said home insurance costs in Illinois are rising even faster. You see, even if your home wasn’t impacted by a natural disaster, that doesn’t mean you won’t still feel the pinch. Reinsurance is to blame and the costs are spread.

“If the loss becomes too large, there’s another insurance company behind them that the consumers probably never heard of that’s actually reinsuring or providing backup insurance against those losses,” Karr said.

More severe storms happening more frequently means more damage. More damage means more repairs, which lead to higher costs.

“First piece of advice I’d give is don’t pay any attention to advertisements,” Karr said.

Doing your research is the only way to save money on your home insurance.

“It’s important to not only look at the price, but also that protection element, which isn’t always written in the policy. It’s really their behavior. How well they perform when it comes to paying a claim,” Karr said.