Sisterhood Sharing Sessions | Life Lessons Learned | Contractors & Service Professionals | Monitor Homeowners Insurance For Erroneous Charges
What I’ve Learned About Why You Must Monitor Homeowners Insurance For Erroneous Charges
If you are a Homeowner, take heed to this finding. For convenience, I have always used the escrow option for my mortgage taxes and insurance premiums through my financial institution. Not only is it convenient, but it ensures my most important debt payment will be processed on time, avoiding late payments and fees. When there was a noticeably sizable increase in my monthly mortgage payment, I decided to investigate and discovered Homeowners Insurance erroneous charges were the culprit. Typically, an increase in your overall monthly mortgage payment when you escrow can be attributed to county mortgage tax hikes, but not in this case.
When I first noticed the unusually large increase in my monthly mortgage payment in such a short window of time, I thought it odd as it was more than the average increase of a few dollars associated with tax increases due to standard inflation. Around this same time, there had been homeowner complaints regarding random increases in home evaluations in specific counties, allegedly to deliberately increase homeowners tax bill substantially. The challenge was, many of these increases were well over the standard appraised values for the areas, and many were found to be incorrectly appraised. Any adjustment request were required by the homeowners to remedy any errors.
After investigation, I confirmed my home value was not impacted by that process. The current value the county placed on my dwelling, which determines your mortgage tax rate, had not changed during this particular timeline. The only other explanation for the increase in payment would have been due to an addition on my home. I had no recent home additions. Following the process of deductive reasoning, I concluded mortgage tax was not the culprit. I knew of no other adjustments that should have accounted for such a large increase, which included periodic insurance rate increases. That said, the insurance payment was the only other avenue to review, as my mortgage interest rate was fixed.
In speaking with my insurance provider, it was confirmed that in fact the increase of more than $1000 a year was attached to my insurance premium. Of course my first question was, what changed?. The only work on my home that would have increased the value was two years prior, and was already factored into my insurance plan coverage. Long and short, we went through an itemization of my coverage at my insistence, and I was surprised to learn that not only had my land size increased since I implemented my policy, but apparently I was being charged for a pool I did not have. Somewhere along the way these changes were made without my knowledge, and of course was a completely inaccurate assessment of my property. The explanation, apparently there was some sort of cross-pollination of policies. It is unconscionable to know that something such as this can occur.
Naturally, I received no push-back from my Insurance Company regarding a reimbursement, which was just under $1000. In addition, they immediately changed my policy premium back to its original agreement, and apologized for the error and any inconvenience.
Monitor Your Mortgage Payment
The lesson learned, be sure to routinely monitor your mortgage payment, especially if you escrow taxes and insurance as it is not the banks responsibility to confirm tax rates. Understand the reason behind any increase in your monthly mortgage payments and ensure it makes sense. This dogged due diligence will hopefully safeguard you from overpaying due to some hidden Homeowners Insurance erroneous charges.
Sisterhood Sharing Sessions | Copyright Apr 2017