Home damage: To claim or not to claim?

There are several factors to consider before turning in a homeowners insurance claim. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

First and foremost, is the damage covered? Your policy is the master source here but it’s easy to start with a couple of simple questions:

  • Was the damage sudden?
  • Did the damage happen to a covered structure or contents?
  • Is the cause (or peril) excluded or specifically a peril insured against? Yes, you might have to refer to your policy on this one…

Second, consider the severity of the damage: Consider the extent of the damage to your property. If it’s a minor issue that can be easily repaired, you may want to handle the repairs out of pocket rather than filing a claim. Filing a claim for minor damage can increase your premiums and may not be worth the hassle.

Third, your deductible: Determine your insurance deductible, which is the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. If the damage is less than your deductible, it may not make sense to file a claim.

Fourth, your claims history: Consider your claims history and how frequently you’ve made claims in the past. Making frequent claims can cause your insurance premiums to go up and could even make renewing or buying again difficult, so you may want to think twice before making a claim for a minor issue.

Finally, the cost of the repairs: Determine the cost of the repairs and weigh it against your deductible and potential premium increase. If the cost of the repairs is only slightly more than your deductible, it may not make sense to file a claim. Keep in mind, contractors are usually much less expensive when the homeowner is paying cash. One on hand they know they can pay full price with little pushback from carriers. On the other, they have more work to do dealing with an adjuster.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to file a homeowners insurance claim. Remember to weigh the costs and benefits of filing a claim and consider the impact it will have on your insurance premiums and future insurance needs. Remember, your agent can be a valuable partner here! Contact us today and we can walk you through this decision (and your company doesn’t ever have to find out!)

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