When to File an Insurance Claim for Your Home or Business

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Whether it’s at home or at your business, theft, damage, and other property losses can all be covered by your insurance policy. But does it always make sense to let your insurer know about the issue?

People often worry that making a claim on their car insurance will raise their premiums, making it more expensive every month to stay insured. But is it the same with home insurance?

There are cases where residential and commercial losses should be claimed and others where it makes sense to pay for the loss yourself. However, there are also situations where the insurer should be informed, even if you’re going to wind up paying it all on your own anyway.

When Not to Make a Claim

Minor losses that you can fix or replace privately might not be worth the trouble of an insurance claim. Before you make a claim, you may want to check your policy’s deductible for the particular type of loss you’ve experienced.

Some homeowners save on their premiums by agreeing to a higher deductible. The deductible is how much you have to pay before your insurance will cover the costs. But if the full damages of the loss are under or barely above the deductible, you may find that it’s not worth involving the insurance company at all.

Why You Should Make a Claim Anyway

Sometimes even a minor loss can lead to further damage down the road, and you may want the insurance company to get involved to prevent taking the blame for it.

The insurance company can usually reject a claim if they find that the property was neglected and damage could have been avoided if it were properly maintained.

For example, if a windstorm causes mild damage to your roof and you carry a high deductible, you may be tempted to fix things yourself. But if the roof leaks later or mold forms and you need to replace the whole roof, the insurer may reject your claim. Inadequate repairs could also lead to a rejected claim down the road. That could leave you wholly responsible for much more expensive repairs.

Will Your Home Insurance Premiums Go Up?

Home insurance premiums rarely go up because you’ve made a claim. It’s not like auto insurance, where the insurer is evaluating you for risk. Fires, natural disasters, flooding, etc., don’t reflect behaviors that put your home at greater risk.

Premiums are going up across North America due to the longer and more devastating wildfire season. Insurance companies are facing higher costs and more claims in affected regions, and to compensate, they’re raising premiums across the board.

However, one thing to watch out for is your renewal date. Home insurers may drop your coverage if they find you make too many claims. There’s no saying how many claims are too many, but it’s cause to think twice before filing a minor claim that you could pay for yourself.

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