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When Should I File An Insurance Claim?

It is always a good idea to consult with your independent insurance agent.
5/31/2012

To pay out of pocket  or file an insurance claim; the answer is not always clear.

 

You purchase insurance for life’s unexpected events and you trust your independent insurance agent  to help you find the right coverage for the best price.

 

By definition an insurance claim is a request to an insurance company to pay for a loss. This claim initiates an evaluation process to determine if the loss is the responsibility of the requested insurance company. However, keep in mind that the purpose of insurance for consumers is to protect them from financial disaster, not small expenses.

 

There are no set rules on when to file a claim although the guidelines below can help you evaluate your individual situation. It is always a good idea to consult with your agent. Remember – he/she is there to look out for your best interest and may have more information that may affect your decision.


DO file if …
It is a BIG claim. Experts agree it is not wise to make small claims, although they disagree on what small means. To some that is $500. Others say $1,000. It will depend on what you can afford to pay out of pocket.
  • You have not had recent claims. Filing a single claim might have no effect on your auto or homeowners premiums.
  • Injuries are involved. If there is a chance someone else in the incident could claim they were injured, file a claim to protect yourself from an injury lawsuit.
  • You have had the policy a while. Longtime customers who make few or no claims generally get more leniency than new customers who file claims.

DO NOT file if …
  • Your deductible is higher than the value of your claim. Your deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance kicks in. 
  • You have had other recent claims. Filing several claims in the same year might trigger an increase. 

 

“The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policies, nor does it provide any guarantees. You should read your specific policy for a complete description of coverage.”

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