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Many consumers find their insurance company very easy to deal with as long as they make every payment on time.  The agent, if your company uses one, is essentially in sales and understands the importance of keeping you happy so you keep sending in checks and don’t run off looking for cheaper insurance.  But let a loss occur and the whole demeanor of the company can change.  Consumers can find the company has a nasty but predictable habit of increasing their rates whenever they report a loss.  It doesn’t matter that you’ve been with the company for many years or that you insure your home, auto, and boat and vacation cabin with the same company.  Don’t expect any special treatment just because you’ve faithfully sent in premium checks on time.  As soon as you make a claim you can find yourself penalized with an increase in rates.  Some states have passed legislation prohibiting a company from increasing rates if the accident wasn’t your fault.  The state of Washington has legislation on the books prohibiting an auto insurance company from increasing rates, canceling or failing to renew the policy if you have an accident that wasn’t your fault.  Despite this law, many consumers find their companies increasing their rates anyway, claiming they must be accident prone and a higher risk to insure.  When this happens, a visit to a lawyer or a complaint to the state insurance commissioner should do the trick. 


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