Two home insurance claims in 6 months
If a tree falls near your house but doesn't reach a building and just
one part of your walkway upends, can you file an insurance claim?
Do the math and think carefully about the answer. If you are going to make
an insurance claim, be sure to get the most out of it. You have the right
to hire an experienced home insurance attorney to maximize your property
According to an insuranceQuotes.com report, in some states filing a single
homeowner insurance claim will increase a policyholder's premiums
by hundreds of dollars each year. The average rate hike for the first
assertion nationally is 9%, but it's much worse in Wyoming (32% on
average), Connecticut (21%), Arizona (20%), New Mexico (19%), and California
(18%). In Texas, your premiums can't be raised because you make one
insurance claim. However, insurance companies may choose not to renew
you, which could be an act of bad faith.
If you pay for home insurance, you better use it. Don't be fooled by
fake news insurance propaganda. They will try to scare you into thinking
that your rate will go up because you made a claim. The truth is that
your rates are going up regardless. Still, the best thing you can do whenever
making a property damage claim is to enlist an experienced professional
to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck.
"Insurance is the one thing we purchase that we hope we never have
to use," says an insurance advocate, "The rise of 30 percent
is for one claim. If you have a second claim, get unlucky, and have a
problem in the next 12 months, it's only going to skyrocket."
And not a little. According to the survey, the average national premium
rise for a second claim is 20 percent, with Michigan insurers socking
policyholders with a whopping 71 percent increase if they file more than
one request within a short period.
"This is the typical fake-news lies spread by the insurance industry."
Says home insurance lawyer Eric Dick, responding to the insurance advocate.
If your insurance company raises your rates, the best thing to do is contact
an independent insurance agent and get a different policy. You'll
probably save money and get a better insurance policy. Never have loyalty
to your insurance company because they don't commit to you. in fact,
they'll try to get out of paying perfectly valid insurance claims.
"The home insurer looks at the past performance chart, and they're
trying to price the policy according to the risk they're taking on
the behalf," says an insurance carrier underwriter. "If you
file two claims in a short time, I think insurers will take notice."
So what does a homeowner do when evaluating claims? Experts recommend balancing
insurance costs against the deductible. They also recommend hiring experts
to get the most out of your request.
"Homeowners insurance plans are meant to cover the damages that you,
as a homeowner, can not cover out of pocket," An insurance advocate
says. "It's still an appeal for the decision because it's
focused mostly on your deductible amount. For example, if I have a $1,000
deductible because my loss is $1,500, it probably doesn't make much
economic sense to claim unless you get an expert to help you."
With that in mind, experts suggest that policyholders reduce their deductibles
if they can.
You probably want to have a deductible no less than $1000. "Beyond
that number, you're probably going to want to file the claim,"
an expert says. "When you've got that much damage to your house,
financially speaking, you're probably going to make a claim ahead."
Any steps that minimize the number of homeowners' insurance claims
are advantageous. The Insurance Information Institute states that an average
homeowner files a claim every 8-10 years. However, experts warn that insurance
firms use the Extensive Loss Underwriting Exchange database to track requests
added to a policyholder's insurance history.
"If I make a claim and it ends up raising my premium by 30%, what
does it mean to me in extra payments?" An insurance advocate asks.
"These extra payments will last for many years because the Hint report
holds the data for five years."
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, homeowner
insurance costs an average of $978 a year (about $81.50 every month) nationwide.
A single liability premium adds an average of $137 to the bill, which
corresponds to $685 over the five years of a CLUE survey. That's around
eight-and-a-half additional payments or more than two-thirds of a year's
costs over the original value.
"If you come from this from the consumer's perspective, I'd
say any contact with the home insurer is closely monitored," an expert
says. "They keep track of who's calling when they're calling
and when they're calling."
If such calls are regular enough or if harm is directly inferred, it may
be sufficient to increase premiums. Insurance companies recommend customers
who want to question their insurers about future claims do so as loosely
as possible ("if I have this amount of damage to my house, how does
it increase my premium?").
As customers can also request a copy of their CLUE report, they can also
add a note to every contested entry, particularly those involving insurer
calls that did not result in a claim. Finally, experts recommend shopping
around because your current insurer increased your premium after a request
does not mean that every insurer would treat that claim with equal severity.