If you are thinking about filing a claim or wondering what the process is like if you ever need to in the future, you are not alone. At Lillie-Couch Insurance, we get a lot of questions from our customers about claims. As an independent agency, we consider it our job not only to find you competitive rates on the insurance you need but also to provide personalized help navigating your coverage in the future. Continue reading to learn more about claims and how they can affect your insurance.
My neighbor got a new roof. Should I file a claim to get mine replaced, too?
We get this type of question a lot. You saw how much your neighbor saved by having the insurance company pay for a new roof, so you figure it is in your best interest to do the same. The problem is that everyone’s insurance policy is different. What your neighbor’s policy covers might not be covered under yours, and vice versa. Instead of filing a claim, we recommend having a roofer come inspect your roof first. Then, we can help you determine whether your insurance will cover any damages.
My car glass was shattered, and my laptop was stolen from the front seat. Whom do I call to file a claim?
Before you call your insurance company, make sure you know which policies pay for your losses. Typically, vandalism is covered under the comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance. Items that were stolen from your vehicle, however, are generally covered under the personal belongings coverage on your home or renters insurance. That means you could end up paying two separate deductibles for the damages, and also have two new separate claims on your insurance record. It also means you could end up paying a lot more in future insurance premiums increases, but only recover a small portion – if any – of your original loss.
A neighbor’s child fell off my trampoline. Do I have to call my insurer?
It might be tempting to personally handle small incidents that cause only minor damages – especially if no one seems to have been badly hurt. After all, why bring the insurance company into the situation if you don’t have to? Not reporting a liability claim to your insurer, however, is taking a significant risk. What if the child’s parents decide to sue you several weeks later when an injury seems to appear? If you did not report the incident to your insurance company in a timely fashion, will you still be covered for the damages? Bodily injury and property damage liability claims can cause years of financial consequences. That’s a gamble you probably do not want to take.
I have a few dings from a recent hail storm. Should I file a claim for the damages?
If you hail damage is covered under your auto insurance, you have every right to file a claim. However, we recommend assessing how that claim might affect you in the future. Adding a claim to your record can cause your insurance rates to rise. Unfortunately, insurers might continue to penalize your rates after a claim for up to 3, 5, or even 7 years in some cases. It is up to you to decide whether the higher premiums are offset by the cost of your hail damage. If you already have recent claims on your record, you should also consider whether adding an additional claim could put you at risk of non-renewal or cancellation.
Don’t make important claims decisions alone. Working with an independent agent means having access to personalized service and claims assistance that is not available when you shop online. For more information about claims or to request your free quote, contact Lillie-Couch Insurance today. We look forward to serving you soon.