Homeowners insurance policies pay cash when things go wrong in your house. It’s a trade-off, though.
Yes, you get a check from your insurer to cover the costs of repair, but you also face a potential increase in your future insurance premiums.
Here’s a quick guide for when to make a claim on your homeowners insurance policy.
1. Your home has sustained at least $2,000 worth of damage
When something goes wrong in your home, the cost of making repairs can get big. But, “big” is relative. There’s also the size of your deductible to consider.
A deductible is the money an insurance company withholds from a claim. Deductibles can be any size, and they’re selected by the homeowner.
If the cost to repair is only slightly above the size of your deductible, it doesn’t make sense to make a claim. If the cost to repair is high, however, file the claim as soon as you can.
2. Somebody Got Hurt In Your Home, Or On Your Property
Your Personal Umbrella insurance policy protects you from other people getting hurt in your home, or on your property; from a fall down the stairs, a bite from a dog, or anything else.
Claims of this nature can be expensive because they can involve doctor bills, hospital stays, and emergency services; and, costs like these can bankrupt you.
Lawsuits are often involved, too.
Always file claims when a person is injured on your property — even if you don’t believe you’re at fault. Your insurer will want to know if you’re at risk, and you risk losing your coverage if you wait too long to file.
3. Something goes wrong and it’s been more than five years since you’ve filed a claim
Insurance companies know you’ll make about two claims every 10 years. They expect it, and it’s figured into your homeowners insurance policy.
What they don’t expect is to get three claims in 18 months.
So, if it’s been about five years since you made an insurance claim, or if you’ve never filed a claim before, go ahead and file. It’s unlikely your claim will be turned down and your insurer will be happy to help.
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