Now that your house is damaged, should you file an insurance claim? Home coverage gives homeowners peace of mind should disaster strike, offering compensation for damage repairs or replacements. Insurance providers rely on the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange or CLUE reports to gauge your cover-ability and home’s risk levels.
When Should You or Shouldn’t You File an Insurance Claim?
Your home can receive damage from a variety of natural disasters like hurricanes or flooding. Having proper homeowner’s coverage helps minimize the impact of these risks and protects your investment.
Depending on the stipulations of your policy, you can’t claim all incidents that cause damage to your home. You need separate insurance policies for natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes or damage caused by rioting.
It’s not always in your best interest to file a claim, even if your home’s damage will cause temporary financial instability. Objectively assess the advantages and disadvantages of filing, including helping you pay for repairs or replace damaged items. You can work with a public adjustment agent to determine the benefits and risks of failing a claim.
Consider using the following factors to determine if your damage warrants making a claim:
Will Repairs or Replacement Amount to Less Than Your Deductible?
Avoid filing a claim if your deductible, the amount paid before coverage kicks in, is less than the cover settlement. It’s usually a percentage of the total coverage on your policy documents.
Deductibles are higher than normal for wind and your claim should exceed this amount. If your provider covers 80% or 90% of the total cost, file a claim. But resist the urge when it’s less than 60% or 50%, as claiming will offset your payout from higher homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover the Event?
There are some exclusions that your insurance policy won’t cover. The insurance provider may not reimburse you for these damages. An exclusion can include but isn’t limited to floods, earthquakes, liability issues arising from poor maintenance, loss of personal property like jewelry, and identity theft.
Other exclusions include intentional damage, liability, losses from power surges or outages, and damage due to war. Your insurance provider may not cover injury caused by aggressive animals or issues related to a home-based business.
How Significant Is the Property Damage or Loss, and What Caused It?
A public insurance adjuster will help you determine if your damage is extensive enough to merit a claim. This will save you from paying hundreds or thousands of dollars from your pocket. The public adjuster will communicate with your insurance during the process and provide documentation of the damage. If your claim is denied, a public insurance adjuster can help you refile. There may be public funds available for widespread national disasters that are not covered by your insurance.
Have You Filed a Successful Claim in the Last Five Years?
Approved claims on your homeowner’s coverage remain on your CLUE record for . The insurance provider checks this database to see if you have claimed for the past five years and determine your insurability.
A second approved claim can increase your insurance premiums. You’ll also notice a slight increase after filing a weather-related claim. Your public insurance adjuster can help you determine how to manage multiple claims and the benefits or risks of filing again after an approved claim.
Seek Professional Insurance Claim Guidance
You can save money on homeowner’s coverage by maintaining the premium amounts you pay if you don’t file an insurance claim. Reimbursement is warranted when your house or property suffers damage by events covered on your policy. Before filing, take stock of the situation as it’s worth considering the long-term effects. Work with a public insurance adjuster to get damage analysis and full representation with your insurance agency.
If you are unsure about the best way to fill an insurance claim, you should reach out to a public adjuster agency.