To File a Claim, or Not to File a Claim? That is the Question.
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Concerned About Filing a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim on Your Roof?
Homeowner’s insurance claims are different than your auto insurance policy claims. When it comes to a roofing claim, it is the based on the area you live in and not the accidental damage on your vehicle or other party claims.
Insurance companies consider the number of natural catastrophes in your area that have occurred in the past few years, potential risks, the type of residential home, and the amount of coverage you purchase.
The number one highest percentage of homeowner claims comes from wind and hail damage. This category is caused by any wind damage like thunderstorms, hurricanes or tornados, so it’s no wonder it comes in first for frequency. When major wind events roll into town, they often do a lot of damage, and produce enough damage that repairs are greater than an insurance deductible, so in this instance, you would want to use submit a claim.
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We advise you to use your insurance for the “big things” like wind and hail damage. In general, you should save your claims for those potentially catastrophic events that are beyond your control , like lightning storms, hurricanes or tornados. Say however, that you decide to chop down a tree by yourself and you don’t hire a licensed and insured tree service company, and it falls and hits and damages your home, your insurance will go up. However, if a tornado comes through and hits your home, and we hope that never happens, your claim will not raise your rates.
One of the smartest ways to avoid premium increased, it to take a higher deductible, even if it’s not a giant premium credit, because you shouldn’t be turning in claims less than $1,000, $2,000, $3,000.”
Filing one claim (that wasn’t your fault) will not spike your premium. Now, your premium may go up in the subsequent years, and not just because the one claim. Insurance companies are more concerned with the amount of claims you have filed in a given period. Say, if you make three claims in one year, they will most likely drop your policy altogether, not raise your individual premium.
Premiums are usually raised in bulk for a given region, not be any individual homeowner. And insurance companies can only raise rates but once per year. So, you have had significant damage to your roof, you should file a claim. In that case, don’t be afraid to use your insurance, that is what it is there for.
Here are Four Tips you can do now to Protect your Roof:
Have before and after pictures of your roof. Document the good shape it was in before any damage takes place and submit it to your insurance company.
If your roof is more than 10 years old, you may want to hire a roof inspector who can check for any damage and areas that need repair.
Replace any broken or worn shingles or tiles. A broken shingle might seem minor, but it’s not protecting your home and can result in damage.
Cut back any trees hanging over your house and remove any dead trees.
If your roof is damaged, contact your insurance company and ask them to send an inspector to review the damage.