Should I File a Claim for Every Incident?

Your homeowners insurance serves a number of different purposes. For some people, your insurance is only there for emergency purposes while for others, it is there for any incident that happens around the house. How you choose to use your insurance and when you choose to file a claim will depend on your specific financial situation and the terms and conditions of your policy. In many cases you should not be filing a claim for every single incident around the house.

Many homeowners will only file a claim for serious damage that costs thousands of dollars. It might actually be cheaper, when you consider the deductible and the higher premiums to actually just pay for the repairs or the damage out of your own pocket. There are several things to factor in when deciding whether to put in a claim or not.

One of the things you need to think about when deciding whether to file a claim or not is the deductible you have chosen. If you have selected a fairly high deductible, such as over $1000, then you will have a harder time claiming for every minor thing. After all, it doesn't make sense to pay a $1000 deductible and experience higher insurance premiums the year after this when you can get the repairs done for around the same price. Make sure you consider the deductible when you are deciding whether to claim or not.

Another thing you need to think about is the insurance ratings and premiums. When you file a claim you can expect your insurance premiums go increase. It can take several years to get a lower rate again as one claim often suggests more needs to claim in the future. You might not want to worth having to pay a little more each month if you find that it is actually quite affordable to simply pay out of your own pocket.

Calculating Insurance Costs

Another thing to consider when you are claiming for stolen or damaged contents is how much your things are actually worth. Second hand and older items may actually only return a small amount. For example, if you have lost your living room set that was ten years old, you are probably only going to get a fraction of the initial cost back anyway as depreciation is factored into most policies and thus it might make more sense to just buy a new one and keep your insurance intact.

Take the time to get a number of quotes from repairman and home renovation companies when you are looking at the costs to replace a structure in your home, such as windows or your roof. Once you know how much it will cost you can get a better idea of whether putting a claim is worth your while or not. This is a good habit for all homeowners to get into rather than simply pulling out the insurance papers.

There are some times when filing a claim is the only option, especially if you have lost everything in a natural disaster. Coverage that protects you from flood, earthquake and fire is only there for when you are experiencing several thousands of dollars in damages. After all, a flood can impact the entire structure and contents of your home, from your carpeting to your contents. A fire will not just stop at one area but will destroy everything in sight and earthquakes can often bring entire buildings down, including homes. Keep these things in mind when thinking about whether you should file a claim for every incident.

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What People Are Saying

"We found your site and changed policies after paying a huge deductible when a storm layed a tree in our living room. Our new deductible is almost 30% less and our monthly payment also went down. Thanks!"

- Sharon and Lewis K, St Louis MO