Home insurance costs rise an average of 21% after a lawsuit, according to a new study by ValuePenguin. However, while home insurance rates increase on average after personal liability claims in every state, the amount premiums jump varies by location.
Just one liability claim can raise the cost of homeowners’ insurance by an average of $354 per year, the study found.
“After homeowners are sued – regardless of whether they win the case or not – their rates increase by an average of 21% across the 50 states and the District of Columbia,” ValuePenguin said.
Rate changes after a lawsuit were highest in North Carolina, the study found. In the Tarheel State, rates spike by an average of 38% following a liability claim.
Post-lawsuit rate hikes were lowest in California. In that state, rates rise by an average of just 5% following a liability claim.
The study also found that it's generally affordable for policyholders to increase their personal liability insurance to a much higher amount.
“Consumers can increase their personal liability coverage from $100,000 to $500,000 by paying rates just 2% higher, on average,” ValuePenguin said.
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Owning potentially risky property doesn’t generally raise rates significantly unless the policyholder has a history of litigation, the study found.
“Owning certain breeds of dogs increases the average cost of coverage by 1%, and so does owning a trampoline,” ValuePenguin said.
There are some notable exceptions, however. In Michigan, for instance, owning certain breeds of dog, like pit bulls of German shepherds, can raise rated by up to 25%. In Ohio, owning a trampoline can cause homeowners’ insurance rates to bounce by 10%.