for the past 3 yrs my home insurance has gone up, considerately and I found out that they increased the sq footage of the policy without telling me

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Nov 15, 2010

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Insurance Question from Harrison Township, NJ

Asked on 11/15/2010

for the past 3 yrs my home insurance has gone up, considerately and I found out that they increased the sq footage of the policy without telling me how do I go about collecting the xtra payments i paid the home is in nj and the company is allstate. also dont they have the right to tell a homeowner why their policy has increased?

Answer given on November 18, 2010

Homeowner insurance usually increases each year since most insurance companies increase the insurance amount each year to allow for increased building costs.  

It is the responsibility of the insured (you) to review the insurance policy each year.  You should have contacted your insurance agent if you noticed an above normal increase of the insurance to see why the policy was increased.

Insurance companies try to determine the replacement cost of a home based on the square footage of the home and the local building costs.  You, the homeowner, can dispute the amount of insurance, but you usually need to provide a written evaluation by a contractor or professional appraiser providing a different amount of valuation. 

It is unlikely you will be able to go back beyond the current policy term, since you are, again, expected to review your policy each year.  However, if you can provide written proof that the home was overinsured, you may be able to convince the insurance company to reduce back to an earlier date.

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