If you’ve had damage to your Missouri home, you may be wondering if you should file an insurance claim. The answer isn’t a clear-cut “yes” or “no.” Read on to learn more about when it’s best to file a claim and when it’s better to take care of the problem on your own.
When You Should Cover the Cost Yourself
It might surprise you to learn that there are times when you should not file an insurance claim, even when you have damages to your home or an incident of theft. There are two reasons for this.
First, every time you file a claim, you face the likelihood that your premium (the cost of your policy) will go up. Why is that? Your insurance carrier will see that you have a statistically higher probability of needing insurance funds in the future and increase your rates accordingly.
Second, you have a deductible to pay. This is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance policy takes up the expense of the claim. It’s usually around $1,000.
If your claim is small, less than the cost of your deductible, it doesn’t make sense to file it at all. You’re creating lots of headaches for yourself and your insurance company when you have to shoulder the cost yourself anyway, and you’re probably going to prompt an increase in your premium.
If you’re not sure, get an estimate first. For example, call a roofer to find out the cost of repair before calling your insurance company. If the roof issue isn’t causing further expenses, such as water damage, and if the estimate is low, consider covering the cost of repairs yourself.
When You Should File a Claim
Of course, your home insurance policy is there when you really need it. There are times when it’s perfectly acceptable to file a claim.
When you have large damages or losses that far exceed your deductible, you should definitely talk to your insurance company about reimbursement. The cost of repairs would be too much to pay out of your own pocket, and in this case, it’s worth any increase in your future rates.
Another instance when you should file a claim is when liability is involved. A slip and fall on your property could escalate quickly, causing you to lose everything to pay damages.
Your homeowner liability coverage was created for situations like this. You can even add more liability protection with a personal umbrella policy. We often recommend umbrella policies for high-net-worth individuals and dog owners.
If you need more advice about when to file a homeowner insurance claim, our independent agents here in Missouri are happy to help you out. Contact us online or call Lang Insurance at 636-229-7000 today.