HomeInsurance.com found that homeowners are paying, on average, 19 percent more per year for new homeowners insurance policies than they were at the beginning of the year. Twelve-month home insurance premiums for policies written in December 2011 were $810 nationwide, a $128 increase from January 2011 at $682. HomeInsurance.com's data represents approximately 15,000 policies sold across the United States with such top-rated carriers as Travelers, Safeco, The Hartford, and ASI/Ark Royal.
Some state premium increases were much higher than the national average. New policies in December 2011 were carrying roughly 29-39 percent higher premiums than those sold a year earlier in Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico.
With the overwhelming increases in 2011, there were some bright spots where policyholders saw lower rates towards the end of 2011 such as Washington D.C., where homeowners were paying about 7 percent less for new policies. Likewise, new policies sold in December 2011 in Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and California decreased in price as compared to earlier in the year when they were 1 to 3 percent higher.
"Rate fluctuations are normal and can be caused by a variety of factors," said Carlos Lagomarsino, founder of HomeInsurance.com. "The best thing homeowners can do is to comparison shop and ask their agents to qualify them for all eligible discounts, such as a home-auto package, which can provide substantial savings."
The HomeInsurance.com RateReport is released quarterly and shows average premiums paid by homeowners across the United States for home and auto insurance.