You might have heard that filing a home insurance claim will make your insurance rates go up. And maybe it doesn’t seem quite fair – the whole reason that you have insurance is to use it when you need it. And the thing is that while your Atlanta home insurance will protect you from financial loss, it’s important to understand the effect that certain claims could have on your Georgia home insurance rates. We’ll explain about how claims can affect your home insurance rates.
Will filing a claim make my home insurance rates go up?
The short answer is … it could, yes. A home insurance claim could raise premiums.
What kind of home insurance claims will make your rates go up?
Usually, claims that are related to liability could cause your rates to rise. For example, if your dog bites someone, that would be a liability-related claim. (Dog bite claims can be very expensive, which is why some insurers have a “dangerous dog list” of breeds that they won’t insure.) This kind of claim can cause your premiums to increase.
Burglary and vandalism.
Burglary and vandalism claims could also cause your premiums to go up because these things can happen again in the same area.
What’s a CLUE report and why does it matter to my rates?
But wait – how do insurance companies know what claims you’ve made and when?
Your CLUE report comes from the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is a database of home insurance-related information that insurance companies can access. A CLUE report is essentially a record of all the claims you’ve made – it gives your name, the address where the loss occurred, what the loss is, and the amount the insurance company paid out. Your CLUE report goes back about seven years, and if your insurance company looks at your report and decides you’ve had too many claims, that could be trouble.
There’s no hiding the fact that you’ve made claims. It’s right there in the CLUE.
How can you keep your home insurance rates from going up?
Here are some tips to protect your home insurance rates.
1. Try not to file minor claims.
Try to reserve your home insurance for major catastrophes that you can’t cover on your own. If there’s minor damage to your home from a storm or another loss, you might want to consider taking care of it on your own and paying out of pocket rather than filing a claim. Yes, your insurance is there to help you when you need it. But you might not want to use it for every minor thing – if you do, you risk making your rates go up.
2. Consider your deductible.
Your deductible is the amount of money that you agree to pay if you have a claim. You pay your deductible and your insurance covers the rest of the claim. You probably don’t want to file a claim that’s close in value to your deductible because you’ll still have to pay your deductible – insurance would only cover a small portion of the claim anyway, and then you’ve got that home insurance claim on your record.
Let’s say your deductible is $750. You have a home insurance claim for $1,100. Yes, you could file the claim and insurance would pay the $350 that’s left after you pay the deductible. But is it really worth filing that claim when you already have to pay $750 anyway? At that point, it might just be more prudent to take care of the entire claim on your own.
3. Check your CLUE report.
Your CLUE report, as we mentioned earlier, gives a history of your claims – and possibly even claims inquiries. If you’re concerned that your claims history isn’t looking too great, get a copy of your CLUE report and check for any mistakes that could be hurting your rates. If you find any, politely ask for them to be corrected.
4. Really think about filing that second claim.
You might want to give some real thought to filing that second claim if you’re worried that your coverage could be nonrenewed or your rates could go up. Remember, filing too many claims could lead to that outcome. So, take out your calculator and think about your finances and if it’s worth filing a claim based on your deductible.
If you face a loss and there’s damage to your home, you’ll have to decide whether or not to file a home insurance claim. So, it’s important to really consider when filing a home insurance claim. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t use your insurance when you need it – that’s what it’s there for, after all.
Do you want to save money on home insurance in Atlanta? We can help. Our agents are experts at helping homeowners shop for their rates and get the coverage that they need at a great price. All you have to do to get Atlanta insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.