Irene, fall storm not expected to affect insurance, utility rates

FORDS - This year, New Jersey has been hit by spring flooding, Hurricane Irene and an October snowstorm. Kane in Your Corner examined if the storms will mean higher insurance and utility rates, and the results may be good news for New Jersey homeowners.

The official damage estimates are not in for the storms yet, so no one can say for sure what impact the storms will have on rates. However, many experts believe that insurance rates in New Jersey will remain stable despite the storms.

Hurricane Irene caused an estimated $765 million of damage in insurance claims. However, last year New Jersey kicked in $10 billion in premiums. Experts say insurance companies actually got off easier than could be expected.

New Jersey experienced a lot of flooding, yet floods are excluded from standard homeowner's policies. Most of the floods are on the books of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is run by FEMA.

As far as this past weekend's snowstorm, a spokesman for JCP&L/First Energy tells Kane in Your Corner that all trees and power lines knocked down by the recent storm will not drive up utility rates.

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