Will Filing An Insurance Claim Raise Your Insurance Premiums?
You buy insurance to protect your home and car from damage, but when an accident happens, is it in your best interest to file a claim?
It seems like the answer should be a resounding “yes,” but a middling “maybe” is a far better response. Why the ambiguity? The decision to file a claim can have a major impact on your insurance premiums, even if the accident was minor or not even your fault.
Regardless of the scope of the accident or who was at fault, the number of insurance claims you file has a direct impact on your insurance premiums. If the claim is being filed based on damage that you caused, your premiums will almost surely rise.
Getting hit from behind when your car is parked, or if a fascia board is blown off during a storm and damages your car – these insidents are clearly not your fault and may not result in rate hikes, but it isn’t always the case. Mitigating circumstances, such as the number of previous claims you have filed, the frequency of natural disasters in your area and even a low credit rating can cause increased premiums – even if the latest claim was made for damage that you did not cause.
To File or Not to File?
Not all claims are created equal. Dog bites, slip-and-fall personal injury claims, water damage and mold are red flag items. Filing a claim often results in a rate hike.
Understanding your policy is important. The decision to claim or not, can then be made with advance knowledge. Talk to your agent about the insurance company’s policies long before you need to file a claim. Some agents are obligated to report you to the company if you discuss a potential claim and choose not to file.
Minimizing claims is the key to protecting your insurance premiums from being increased. You may be better off taking care of small repairs on your own.
The Bottom Line
Filing too many claims can have an adverse effect on your insurance premiums or even get your policy canceled. Do your homework long before need to file a claim.