Homeowners Insurance Claim: To File or Not To File?
Accidents, disasters, weather damage—the dreaded words that every homeowner wants to avoid hearing. Life happens and knowing what to do after these mishaps is key to protecting your home and your wallet. Smart homeowners should be aware of these key points when it comes to Homeowners Claims.
Should I automatically file a claim?
This seems like an easy answer, but filing a claim with your homeowners insurance isn’t always the best course of action, especially if you’ve made other claims on your policy in recent years. Agents at North Carolina based and family-owned Carolina Insurance Professionals recommend you ask yourself these questions before contacting your insurance company:
- Have you had recent home insurance claims? If so, how long ago?
- What is your deductible?
- Do you have an estimate of the repair costs?
In general, insurance agents advise that you probably just pay for the repairs out of pocket instead of filing a claim if the damage is under $5,000. Claims on your insurance plans are tracked by underwriters to determine what rates you pay each year. One thing the underwriters consider is your prior claim history.
In some cases, claims can affect your future premiums, and in some cases, cause the cancellation of your policy. Having a trusted agent and reputable insurance company will be critical in navigating these situations.
If I don’t file home insurance claims, am I guaranteed that my rates won’t increase?
The simple answer to this is “No.” Even homeowners with a clean claims history can have increased rates due to a variety of factors. These factors include the age of the home, the location of the home, and recent weather events. Insurance fraud is another issue that results in rising insurance costs for all North Carolinians.
How Do I File a Claim?
If you decide to file a claim, you can ensure that the process will go smoothly if you follow these steps:
- Take care of any further potential damage (For example- you should find a tarp to cover a hole in your roof if damaged or board up a broken window.)
- If the incident involves theft or vandalism of your property, contact the local police.
- Call your Insurance company to start the claim process.
- Keep accurate records of repair cost.
- Document any damage with photos and videos—you can’t have too much information when preparing a claim.
- Review the coverage of your current plan.
- Meet with the insurance adjuster and keep detailed notes on what they advise for this claim.
It’s always a good idea to speak with a licensed insurance agent to clarify any questions you may have. The team at Carolina Insurance Professionals can provide homeowner insurance quotes. They are here to advise you every step of the way in order to find the best homeowners insurance for your situation.