Smaller damages can occur to your home often in the course of everyday living. Windows get broken by kids playing ball outside, homes get a little water damage when hurricanes hit, and hail causes roof shingles to fall off. As a homeowner, you may wonder what is serious enough to warrant a homeowner’s insurance claim, and which incidents you should just chalk up to the cost of being a homeowner. Here are some simple guidelines you can use to help figure out if you should place an insurance claim, or pay out of pocket for the repairs you need.
A major factor in your decision to report damages is whether or not secondary damage may come into play. Secondary damage is damage that would not exist if the first damage did not occur. For example, if your roof collapses and causes flooding in your home, the flooding is considered secondary damage. It could not exist if the roof didn’t collapse. As a homeowner, you are obligated to try and prevent secondary damage from occurring or getting worse, or the homeowner’s insurance company can deny your claim. Reporting any incidents that cause damage to your home to the insurer is prudent, because it creates documentation of the issue and your attempt to resolve it.
Many people fear to make too many claims on any insurance policy, lest the insurer use this as a reason to raise your premiums when the time comes to renew your policy. Whether or not this can actually happen is a question best posed to your insurer, as there are no industry standard rules about this. But experts think that filing two to three claims in a one year period will trigger a hike in the cost of your premiums. The type of claim can also make a difference. Claims for dog bites, water damage to your property and slip and fall accidents are all more likely to cause an insurer to increase the premiums on the policy.
The whole reason to have an insurance policy is to use it when the time comes, and you shouldn’t be afraid to use it. However, there is a fine line between using it as intended and too often. Routine maintenance and small damages that only cost a few hundred dollars to repair are not suitable for filing claims. Filing too many claims over the life of your policy can cause your insurer to pass on renewing your policy once it runs out.
If you have damage to your home and are unsure about filing a claim, Five Star Claims Adjusting can help. Our experts can evaluate your damages and advise you on on the best strategy to take action. homeowner’s insurance policy. Contact us today to get started.