Home insurance is there to help you make repairs or replace materials due to unexpected events that could impact your property’s value. While dealing with a major water leak or storm damage is already bad enough, you might be worried about what will happen if you file a claim. Knowing how long a claim can affect your home insurance and what the penalties might be helps you make informed decisions when you’re dealing with a home-related emergency. The experienced agents from Altra Insurance Services, a leading provider of homeowners insurance San Diego residents rely on for high-quality service and affordable coverage, explore this topic further below.
Know the Average Time a Claim Stays in the History
In most cases, a home insurance claim will stay on the history report for anywhere from five to seven years. Insurance companies use reporting systems that allow various companies to see the same information. While everyone can see the same history report, it might help to know different companies view claims with varying levels of scrutiny.
Be Aware that a Previous Owner’s Claim Could Show Up
At times, homeowners are shocked to discover a claim from the previous owner affects their insurance rates. While this might not seem fair, it has nothing to do with you. Instead, an insurance company might take a look at the history of the house to see if factors such as its age or location could impact the possibility of similar future claims occurring.
Understand How Claims Are Classified
The type of damage you report in your claim will make a difference in how long it stays in the history report along with what the potential penalties are. For instance, water damage and theft are considered high-penalty claims because they’re often preventable. Meanwhile, damage from a lightning strike would be considered a low-penalty claim, since it was caused by a natural event you have no control over.
Consider Whether or Not to File a Claim
You should be able to rely on your insurance to cover the damages specified in your policy. However, some homeowners choose not to file a claim when the cost for repairs is lower than what they might have to pay for increased insurance rates. You might need to crunch some numbers, but it can sometimes be beneficial to avoid having a claim go on the history report. Keep in mind that it’s never worth the potential savings on your premiums to allow issues such as a broken window or roof damage to go unaddressed.
Find Out How to Minimize Penalties from Previous Claims
If you’re concerned about your insurance rates going up, you might have a few ways to mitigate the cost. For example, some insurance companies provide discounts for things such as adding a security system to your home or arranging for frequent inspections. Talking to your insurance company about what you’ve done to avoid having a similar problem happen in the future can give you more control over the potential for a claim to influence your insurance rates.
For reliable, affordable homeowners insurance, San Diego homeowners know they can trust Altra Insurance Services. We also provide renters, commercial, motorcycle, Auto & car insurance Chula Vista. Request a free quote by calling one of our friendly agents today at (800) 719-9972.