To File a Claim, or Not to File a Claim…That is the Question
Filing insurance is always such a touchy subject. Whether you were involved in a car accident, had a falling tree destroy your fence, or been unfortunate enough to find your home has been flooded by a pipe that burst, the cost of repairs can be inundating. Whatever the case may be, you need to make a decision on what your next step should be. Whether it’s auto, home or other property that you are filing on, all claims need to be looked at as a case-by-case situation, there are no “one size fits all” answers when it comes to how a claim will be handled.
Let’s break down a couple things: The rule of thumb generally is, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Why is that exactly? By choosing a higher deductible you are letting the insurance company know that you are willing to be held responsible for paying a higher amount out of pocket should a claim arise. Which means more than likely, you won’t be filing a claim for everything that occurs. Of course, if substantial damage occurs, a claim may be inevitable, but weighing your options between paying for the cost of remediation vs. filing a claim, paying the deductible, then seeing an increase in your premium in the years to come, is incredibly important. (This is where you would want to speak to your agent).
When it comes to auto claims, filing a police report and exchanging information with the other party is an important step. When it comes to damage, don’t let the exterior physical condition fool you. There could be much more damage under the hood, or to additional equipment (think back up cameras, for instance) that may exceed your deductible. Determining who is at fault will be determined by the adjusters handling the claim. It’s important to have a professional access the damage on these accidents and best to call your local agent for guidance.
Lastly, once you have found that damage has occurred, you want to do what you can to keep it from happening again. Regular maintenance and repair of small issues can help to keep claims at bay. Claims can be a scary thing, but they do happen, and that’s why you have insurance. You shouldn’t ever feel like you can’t call your local insurance agent for some wise words in this frustrating process.