MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Wain Poole has lived in his East Memphis home for 55 years.
“The rates keep going up,” he said. “I’ve had similar insurance for years, but I keep paying more and more.”
As life grows more expensive, more homeowners are dropping insurance.
Poole is not one of them.
“Because I don’t have money in the bank to cover a large loss,” he said. “So that’s why I have to have insurance.”
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a whopping 12% of homeowners reported no coverage in 2023. That’s down from 5% in 2014.
“If you own the home outright, you want to have a financial safety net,” cautioned Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute. “You look at 2023 – all of the tornadoes we’ve seen in Rolling Fork, Mississippi and Little Rock, Arkansas. This has been an extraordinary year for tornadoes in the United States.”
Most mortgage loan servicers require home insurance. Those who don’t have coverage have likely paid off their homes.
“Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, you’re basically taking a big gamble that you will be fine and that you won’t be subject to a natural disaster where you could lose everything,” said Michael DeLong, a researcher for the Consumer Federation of America.
How to reduce your premiums
“Everybody’s always looking to save money, especially on insurance,” Barry said.
The first thing you can do is raise your deductible.
“You as the homeowner, are taking on more of the risk,” Barry cautioned. “But if some of your viewers had a $500 deductible and all of a sudden raised it to $1,000, I think they’d see some immediate, significant premium reductions.”
Homeowners can also research whether their insurance companies offers discounts for making weather-related improvements to your home.
“You want to talk to your insurance professional and see if making a financial investment in your roof or retrofitting your garage door is going to result in some insurance savings,” Barry said.
In Tennessee, you might qualify for this federal grant that helps pay for weatherization of homes.
Finally, DeLong recommends shopping around if you’re unsatisfied with your coverage.
“Try and get a bunch of different quotes from homeowners insurance companies,” DeLong said. “Try and play them off against each other and compare them and see which companies are willing to offer you better terms and lower premiums.”
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Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.