Some people will tell you to always file an insurance claim because that’s why you have insurance, while other people try to avoid filing insurance claims at all costs. Like most things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Here’s what you should think about when considering to file an insurance claim.
How Much Was Your Loss?
Try to get an estimate of how much it would cost to recover from your loss before you file an insurance claim. Subtracting the amount of your deductible from the estimate will give you an idea of what to expect should you file a claim. If the net amount of your claim is relatively little, it might be a good idea to pay for the loss yourself. After all, the primary purpose of insurance is to protect you from large financial setbacks that would be hard, if not impossible, to recover from.
What Type of Claim is It?
You should also think about what type of claim you’re filing. If you had a fender-bender in the parking lot, you could get an estimate from a local auto body repair shop. From there, you can consider your deductible and decide to contact your agent and file a claim if you like.
However, if there is an accident where there are injuries, whether it be a car accident, or a slip and fall, you should contact your insurance agent. He or she can advise you on the steps to take to protect your physical and financial well being.
Will Your Insurance Rates Go Up?
Once you file an insurance claim, you might lose a discount for a claims-free history or having a preferred-status policy. This isn’t set in stone, however, and some insurance companies may forgive minor claims for animal-related claims such as hitting a deer, or minor glass claims.
However, if over time you have several smaller claims or a couple of large claims, you could see your premiums increase. Again, it depends on the insurance company and exactly what type of claim it was, and how much the claim was for.
How Long Do Insurance Companies Consider Claims History?
Insurance claims don’t count against you forever, but they can last a long time. Some insurance companies consider claims from the last seven years, although most only go back three to five years. Also, insurance companies share claims information with each other, so you don’t get to start over by merely changing insurance companies.
How Can Your Insurance Agent Save You Money?
Your insurance agent can help you estimate the amount of your claim. They can also advise you on whether or not it would be in your best interest to file a claim at all. To learn more about when to file a claim, or to get a quote, contact Strobel Insurance today.