With the long-term economic crisis this country is experiencing, many insurance companies are seeing a rise in claims.  The result of this rise in claims, combined with increasing cost of paying the insurance companies own bills, is a raise in the overall rates of insurance for everyone.

While as a consumer none of us can do anything about the increased cost of electricity for example, there is one area that we can all make an effort in to assure a fair and equitable risk assessment by the insurance company for your household.

Costs associated with claims filed as a result of undisclosed or uninsured household members has risen dramatically.  As households attempt to drive down the cost of their monthly premiums, they make decisions about who to include or not include on their insurance policy.  I may be an agent, but I too have young drivers (3 under the age of 21) living in my household and the premium literally "hurts" to pay.

I have had some customers complain that it isn't the insurance company's business who lives in their household, or that their fully licensed roommate or child doesn't drive their vehicles.  If this is true, there is no argument for signing a driver exclusion or providing proof of that person's insurance.  Personal experience has taught me that it is easier to tell the insurance company up front and get the proof of insurance from your roommate than it is to explain why your roommate that was driving your car and got into an accident wasn't disclosed on the application.  If this happens the insurance company may just return your premium and deny the claim altogether, using the fact that the risk was misrepresented on the application. It's even worse if it is your child.  Please remember to disclose all members of your household over the age of 14, even if they are not licensed yet.