Homeowners insurance is one of those things that you absolutely need to have but sometimes should choose not to use. Yes, it seems a bit strange. Typically, you’d think that the whole purpose of having insurance is to use it. However, homeowner’s insurance is a bit different. Deciding whether to file a homeowner’s insurance claim should be something that you think through carefully beforehand.
Purpose of Homeowner’s Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance is really intended for major disasters. The price of a home is so high that most people couldn’t possibly cover the cost in case of major disasters, like a fire. Massachusetts homeowner’s insurance policies do cover other, less costly, claims including theft and damages to other people’s properties. However, it may not make sense to file claims for every little thing. Here are a few reasons why.
Factors in Deciding Whether to File a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
All Massachusetts homeowner’s insurance policies have a deductible. They are commonly $500 to $1,000 or even $2,500; the amount depends on your specific policy. If your claim will be for less than the deductible, then you shouldn’t file a claim. It’s that simple. It would be senseless to do so given that insurance wouldn’t cover any of it anyway. Plus, filing a claim, even if it doesn’t result in any payout, will be added to your account history.
Amount Covered by Insurance
If the amount of damage is just slightly above your deductible amount, it may not make sense to file a claim in that case either. Why? The negative impact of that claim may far exceed the amount of money you receive. For example, if your damages are $1,200 and your deductible is $1,000, you would only receive $200 from your homeowner’s insurance. Is it possible that your insurance premiums will increase as a result and cost you more than $200 in the short or long-term?
Number of Previous Claims
Another important factor in calculating insurance premiums is your claims history. The more claims you file, the higher your homeowner’s insurance rate will be in the future. In fact, some companies may even refuse to issue you a policy because you’ve filed too many previous claims! This must be considered when deciding whether to file a homeowner’s insurance claim for a specific incident.
Ultimately, you should only file homeowner’s insurance claims for major damages. If the claim far exceeds your deductible and creates a hardship for you financially, then you should file a claim. Otherwise, think carefully about whether you can simply cover the repairs yourself. Doing so could save you a lot more money than filing small or frequent claims.