When should you file a property damage claim on your homeowners insurance? This is actually a simple process, the public just doesn’t know the three biggest factors.
1. Get an estimate for the damage. 2. Find out your deductible. 3. Know that every claim affects your premium and your status with an insurance company.
Once you take these 3 steps into consideration then you can decide whether to file the claim. If you have a $500 deductible make sure the claim is going to be at least double this amount. Claims do affect you by losing a claim free discount. This can raise your insurance up to $100 a yr. Also if you have 2 claims in 2 years the company can actually cancel your insurance.
Pay the claim out of pocket if it is going to be less than a thousand dollars for the damage. I know it may be hard at the time to come up with the extra $500 but it will save you money on your insurance. Don’t call the company to file a claim unless you know it will be worth it. Even if you do not use the insurance but called and filed a claim it will go on a claim record.
The biggest step is the first get an estimate for the damage before you even call to file a claim. The last thing you want is a zero paid claim on your claim history. If you have to call to check if a claim is covered under insurance, make it clear you are just calling for advice. Maintainance is not covered under your home policy. If your roof is 30 yrs old and leaking this is not a valid reason to call your company. So ask yourself if the claim was preventable or not. The top 4 covered perils are fire, theft, vandalism and wind damage. Keep this in mind when filing a claim.
Working for the largest insurance company has given me this insight. Make sure you keep this in mind before you are quick to file a claim.
Once you file a claim make sure you communicate with your claims adjuster directly. The office you filed the claim with is not who you deal with. Good luck in your future claim decisions.
Remember to file the claim when it is double the deductible. Keep your claim history clean if it is possible. Anyone would file a claim if their house burned down but take a very close look at the little claims.
This article should give you the knowledge of when to file your next homeowners claim!