Stop Paying So Much for Mold

Insurers are dropping homeowners and raising rates. Here's how to get covered and stay that way

If you've received your home-insurance bill this year, you're probably surprised at how much it has gone up. Why? Don't blame Osama bin Laden. The reasons for the increase range from household mold to the sagging stock market. During the first half of the '90s, average annual premiums held steady at about $420, then crept up at about the rate of inflation. That all changed last year, when rates shot up 6%. This year industry analysts expect a rise of 7%--three times the increase in overall consumer prices. Increases will range up to 10% in Washington State and 30% along the...

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