The key to keeping your homeowners insurance is to use your head, even if you want a new flat screen. According to the IIBA:
- Try not to file small claims. Before filing a claim, ask your agent what he or she thinks. Like we said before, the insurance companies are watching, and they know what type of claims you have filed in the past.
- Don't file a claim if it exceeds your deductible by less than $200. Just pay the cost of repairs or replacement out of your own pocket. It will be much cheaper than the premium increase and a lot less stressful than buying new insurance.
- Keep doing business with the same company. They're more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when renewal time comes around.
- Bundle all your insurance policies with one company. Having a homeowners and auto insurance with the same company tells the firm you like them. In response, they might think twice before dropping you like a bad habit. After all, they don't want to lose all your business. If you want to make that bond stronger, buy a personal umbrella policy that also protects you from rare, but potentially catastrophic liability claims.
- Keep your house in good repair. Although expensive at the time, repairs could save you money in the long run.
- If you're a new homebuyer, research the claim history on the house before you close the deal. Insurance companies don't like it when a home has had major structural or water-damage claims.
Keep in mind there is no sure-fire way to prevent being cancelled or having your insurance rates increase. The only thing we can all do is use our noodles.