Storms both locally and around the nation are at the root of the anticipated increases

ROCHESTER — Even if you’ve never made a claim, your homeowners insurance premiums will be going up next year. Agents are bracing for big increases from all insurers following a record-breaking hurricane season and intense local storms.

The Rochester area, including Monroe and Wayne counties, got hit with a major windstorm back in March of 2017. Thousands were without power for days and hundreds of families had severe damage to their homes. Ontario County was spared the harshest winds and the worst ravages.

Since then, Mother Nature has been beating up on other parts of the country too. Thankfully, many of those with damage have been fully insured but now that pool of money is drying up so, everyone has to fill it back up.

"That's how insurance works, that's what they do. … They spread the risk upon everyone and everyone has to pay the price, unfortunately,” said Kristen Steinmiller of Steinmiller Associates in Webster.

Just how much of an increase can homeowners expect? That’s still to be determined, but insurance experts say to plan for at least a 10 percent hike. If you claimed damage during the March windstorm, there is a silver lining: “They shouldn't expect any larger of an increase because it's considered what's called a 'cat loss,' or a catastrophic loss so those kind of losses don't affect your rates as other kinds of losses do. So that means they (insurers) expect a lot of people to be putting in claims for that same incident and insurance companies look at those differently,” Steinmiller explained.

So, is there anything you can do?  Well, it doesn’t hurt to shop around but, “I would still keep it bundled with your auto, I would move both together, I wouldn't look at one and not the other because then you're automatically going to lose the 20 percent discount for having the two together,” Steinmiller said.

If you use an insurance agent, he or she can do the shopping for you as most have relationships with multiple insurers.  Keep in mind, insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration when setting rates such as: credit history, education, income and history of claims.