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When to file a claim and when not to file a claim….that is the question


Homeowners insurance is there to cover an owner when large loss occurs.  Insurance is not meant to cover an owner from small damage or normal wear and tear.  The real question is when should a homeowners claim be filed?  There are several factors that need to be looked at to see if filing a claim will harm or help the policy holder.

The first thing that should be looked is the amount of loss vs. the deductible.  If the repair is cheaper than the deductible a claim should not be filed.  I always tell clients to have someone come out and look at it before a claim is filed.  Once you have a claim on your record the premium will increase by about 30% for 3 years.  Also the more claims that are filed the worse the premium will be and generally companies will only take homeowners with 2 or less claims in the past 3 years.  If you file more than a couple of claims within 3 years you could be looking at a premium in the thousands.

The second thing to look at is the cause of loss.  Your homeowner’s policy has limits on what types of loss it will payout for.

 One thing that is never covered is flood.  Flood insurance is a program setup and ran by the FEMA
When a house has been vacant for more than 60 days and is not on a vacant policy nothing will be covered
Some policies do not cover sewer backup where as others do

An agent who is proactive will ask the right questions to make sure the policy meets the needs of their clients.  However if the needs of the client does change they should have regular contact with their agent.

Bottom line, when thinking about filing a claim you should contact your agent not the 1-800 number for customer service.  If you call customer service and say you want to file a claim there is no way to remove it even if they do not pay out and your rates will increase.   Your agent will help to consult you and make sure you made the right decision.

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When should I file a claim on my homeowners insurance?

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