March 14, 2014
State Farm will hike homeowner's insurance rates more than 20-percent in Virginia, Maryland and D.C.
The changes take effect Monday on new policies, and in September for renewals.
Virginia homeowners will see the largest increase at 26.8 percent.
Homeowners in the state still pay below the national average of $487 a year for insurance.
A local economist says more insurance companies will likely follow suit, but whether the higher rates stick depends on two things.
"The two big things that could happen to provide some relief on that would be if we had a moderation in home repair expenditures and if we had an improvement in the stock market," says JMU Economist Bill Wood.
The nation's largest home insurer says rising claims nationwide and the falling stock market have forced the rate hike.