Insurance Claims – To File or Not to File?

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Whether to file an insurance claim or not will depend on the situation.  There are many factors that go into determining the premium to charge for a policy – and claims experience is one of them.  This is where having a trusted insurance broker is handy.  Here is some information you may find helpful – if you have further questions, call your Founders broker to talk more.

 

Will a small claim affect my insurance premium?

Even small claims can have an effect on insurance.  A claim is a claim, no matter how small.  If you’ve never had a claim before in your life, then you may not see an impact; however, you could hit a string of bad luck, and the next thing you know, through no fault of your own, that one small claim turns into 3 small claims – and now your claim frequency is up, causing your rate to go up.  So it’s best to reserve your insurance policy for when you really need it.

Deductibles are what you pay on an insurance claim

There may be times when you don’t want to put a claim in to your insurance policy.  Insurance is really meant for worst-case scenario and is not meant for regular occurrences, matters of warranty or life expectancy of a product, or small claims.  When you have loss and damage to property – check on:

  • whether it is covered or not
  • whether you want to put a claim in or not

Also, check your deductible for such loss:

  • If your deductible is $1,000. and the loss is $500. then you can’t put in a claim.
  • If your deductible is $250 and the claim is $500; if you cannot afford to pay the additional $250 and you need to fix or replace now, then you may need to make a claim.
  • However, if you can pay all $500 out of pocket, then you may opt to do so to preserve your loss history.

Bodily Injury claims should be reported immediately! When it comes to helping someone after an accident causing injury, we want to make sure that person is looked after as soon as possible to ensure they get the help they need.  There is some coverage available on all policies, even if the injury is not your fault.  We advise people to call in their claims to their Broker or Insurer as soon as possible after an occurrence – even if the other party gets up and says they are okay.  There have been many situations where an ‘okay’ person finds out many days later that they are not okay after all.  So call in the potential claim as soon as possible.

Know your options

Some insurance companies will allow you to pay them back on a claim so the claim will no longer affect your insurance policy.  This option is not always available AND there may be a time limit to this, as well.  Know your options before you decide – again, talk to your insurance broker for help with this.

 

Get it in writing

To avoid a he said/she said scenario down the road, ask your Broker to send you an email or confirmation letter to confirm your conversation.  If there are any further questions, call your Broker again – it’s important that you understand your policy now and for the future.  It’s not always straightforward and sometimes there are changes that can occur to your policy over your lifetime and what was there yesterday, may not be there today.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for confirmation in writing.

Visit our YouTube page for additional information.  Here’s a link to Darnise’s video explaining how claims can impact auto rating.

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