Most people wouldn’t dare to be without homeowner’s insurance. If you carry a mortgage, your lender will most likely require you to have it. In the event of an unexpected event, such as a fire or a burglary, it will take the burden out of costly repairs and replacement of your belongings. It may be confusing, however, to know when to file a claim. Too many claims can prompt your insurance carrier to kick you off your policy.
When Not to File a Claim
- If the cost of repairing the damage is less than your deductible, it makes sense to pay for the damage yourself, not only from a monetary standpoint, but filing a claim could increase your premium.
- Maintenance issues typically aren’t covered by insurance. For example, if you could have prevented water damage by replacing a broken sump pump, your insurance won’t pay the bill.
- If you have already filed a claim within the past three years or so, you run the risk of having your policy canceled.
When to File an Insurance Claim
- When the cost of repairing the damage is significantly greater than your deductible, it makes sense to file a claim.
- If your home becomes uninhabitable due to the damage, your insurance carrier will step in to help you recover your losses.
- Insurance companies will be more likely to accept a claim if you haven’t filed one for three years or more.
Reasons Why Claims Are Denied
It is important to look over your homeowner’s insurance policy so that you become familiar with your coverage. Floods, for example, aren’t covered by your typical policy. You would need to obtain separate flood insurance through FEMA. Also, if the damage was avoidable or was caused intentionally, your home will not be covered.
Don’t Wait Too Long
When you have decided that a claim is justified, don’t wait too long to file. Every insurance company and each state have different rules, so make sure you know the statute of limitations in your area. If you wait too long to file, your claim may be denied.
Once you’ve filed a claim, an insurance adjuster will visit your home. Adjusters go through a rigorous insurance adjuster course so that they can accurately assess the damage and determine how much the insurance company will pay for your losses. Some adjusters are employed by the insurance company and some work independently, but the insurance adjuster course can accommodate each type of adjuster.
It’s a smart idea to become familiar with your homeowner’s insurance policy so that you are prepared for any emergency.