Listed below are some reasons why homeowner's insurance costs have been rising in Michigan.

Historically, Michigan's homeowner's insurance premiums have been below the national average.  According to a 1999 report released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average homeowner's premium of $417 ranked 30th among all states.  The national average was $487.

Over the past 10 years, insurance companies have paid out more than $100 billion in catastrophic-related claims.  In Michigan, winter storms and ice damage have played a significant part in rising costs.

In 2001, Michigan experienced 32 tornadoes (the average number of tornadoes in Michigan each year is 18).  These tornadoes were responsible for more than $49 million in damages.

*  In 1999, several sever winter snow and ice storms resulted in claims exceeding $375 million.

Consumer Tips for Holding down The Cost of Homeowner's Insurance 

Competitive price shopping through an independent insurance agent: Since independent agents offer more choice with more companies, the chances increase that homeowners can save money with an independent agent over agents who represent only one company (direct writers).

Raising The Deductible:  some consumers can lower their premium by raising their deductible, the average homeowner could save approximately 10-20 percent on the yearly premium (about $90 on a $150,000 valued house).

Limiting Unneeded coverage: Consumers should look closely at the number of items covered on their policy to determine if insurance is needed, or if such items may already be covered elsewhere in their policy.