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Think carefully before filing a claim

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Think carefully before filing a claim

Homeowners often become disillusioned with the idea of insurance when disaster strikes and their provider is not as benevolent as they believed.

Find an insurance company you can trust to protect your home, but after that, view the company as a stingy rich uncle: Ask for help only when you really need it. In home insurance terms, this means don’t file a claim for every little thing.

Company policies vary, but some will raise premiums if you make two or three claims within a year. Others may decide to drop your coverage when your policy comes up for renewal.

Follow these steps when your home suffers damage:

1. Consult your agent, who will gladly advise you regarding whether your policy covers the damage, what temporary measures you should take to protect your home (like tarps on a hail-damaged roof), and getting an estimate before you decide to file.

2. After you get an estimate, decide if the repair is worth the claim. For example, if the estimate is for $1,100 and your deductible is $1,000, you would be better off not filing.

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