Figuring out when to file an insurance claim can be a stressful process. You have to weigh multiple factors, and assessing your finances is most important. Here is a guide to help you through the process.
Auto Insurance Claims
Perhaps you were involved in a minor accident. No one was injured, and there was no substantial property damage. This is a common situation where it may not be in your best interest to file. Consider that the other person may not have insurance. Unless you have uninsured motorist coverage, you are left unprotected in that situation. You also have to consider the possibility of paying a deductible before your insurance coverage takes over. If you file an insurance claim, your premiums may go up. Look over your policy carefully to learn about your payout settlement and check if it includes accident forgiveness.
If you are involved in an auto accident, and minimal damages occur, you may still be required to file a police report. If you are at fault for the collision, don’t try to handle things independently. Speak to your insurer. You may end up paying more money than necessary. Filing an auto claim without the proper information is not recommended. It’s encouraged that you file a police report and take photos of the damages. If an object damages your vehicle, you may opt to cover the damages yourself. This prevents you from filing multiple claims, which increases your premium. A rate increase may last for over five years.
Home Insurance Claims
All home insurance claims stay on your Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report for at least seven years. This helps companies figure out how likely it is that you will file another claim. Insurers can cancel your policy if they believe you are too much of a risk. Your premium may rise even if you file a claim due to an unexpected emergency.
There are several scenarios when filing an insurance claim may not be in your best interest. If your deductible is cheaper than the cost to repair any damage, then you are better off covering it out of pocket than risking an increase to your premium. You have to take care of your home. If the issue could have been avoided if you performed regular care on your home, then you won’t be covered through your home insurance. If years of negligence lead to a complete loss, your insurer will likely deny the claim. If you’ve filed a claim within the last three years, you should avoid filing another one unless your home is seriously damaged. Filing multiple claims in a short span of time could cause your insurer to void your policy. You may also have trouble finding coverage in the future.
Things to Consider
Pay attention to possible surcharges after filing a home insurance claim. Avoiding water damage is also important, as that may cause your insurer to predict possible mold damage in the future. Look over your auto insurance policy to see your deductible before filing a claim. Filing multiple claims is a sign to most insurance companies that you are a high-risk/irresponsible driver or customer.
There are a lot of variables to consider before filing an insurance claim. You have to think about your financial situation and how the claim may impact things in the future. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage, contact our insurance experts here at Pierce Insurance Group, and we will assist you.