As the struggling city’s Fire Department faces considerable problems, homeowners are forced to pay more.
The Detroit Fire Department has been facing some serious struggles over the last while and this ongoing trend has now developed into an expensive one for homeowners whose insurance rates are being hiked as a result.
When it comes to the homeowners rates being charged across Michigan, Detroit already has the highest.
That being said, homeowners insurance rates are going to be increased yet again when an analysis conducted by an organization that examines the fire protection level for various communities on behalf of insurers gave the city a downgrade. This represents the first time the Insurance Services Office has changed the fire protection rating in Detroit in at least a quarter of a century. Consumers are already starting to see the impact on the premiums they pay as insurers respond to the reduced fire protection level
The actual impact of the changes in insurance rates will depend on the home and the policy covering it.
Still, some homeowners are seeing an increase of 20 percent in their insurance premiums because of the fire protection downgrade. This, according to LeRoy Bostic, the Lewis & Thompson Agency Inc. president. Across the city, the average premium is estimated to be about $1,700 per year. In 2012, the statewide average recorded by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) was $802. That year is the most recent year for these records.
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Bostic described the situation by saying that “We’re seeing horror stories. Premiums are skyrocketing,” adding that “Unfortunately, it’s affecting those who can afford it the least.”
Many insurers are saying that their insurance rates have changed by between 5 percent and 10 percent following the downgrade. The Detroit City Council just recently confirmed Eric Jones as the new fire commissioner. Jones has stated that Mayor Mike Duggan is determined to take action in order to improve the fire rating and, as a result, reduce the amount that homeowners are paying for their insurance coverage. “Clearly, Detroit was hurt by the downgrading of the status… The mayor made it one of my highest priorities. … It’s huge,” said Jones.