Claims That Raise Your Premiums

Posted October 4th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

These days it seems like everyone is stretched to the financial limit, with so many unemployed and even more struggling to make ends meet. The last thing you need is an increase in your homeowners insurance premium, but that’s just what’s in store for many who file claims.

There are three types of claims you can make against homeowners insurance that are most likely to trigger a rate increase the next time you renew.

  • Dog Bites. Both the number and the costs of dog bite claims have been rising over the past few years, prompting many insurers to take action against dog owners. Whether they refuse to renew a policy or simply exclude dog bites from your coverage, you may find that filing a claim because your dog bit someone could result in loss of coverage. Even when it doesn’t cause you to lose your policy, your insurer may raise your rates the next time you’re up for renewal.
  • Water Damage. Even if you don’t live in a flood plain, filing a claim for water damage could trigger automatic increases in your policy’s premium. This is true not only because of concerns over future flooding, but also because of the high risk of mold and the exorbitant cost of having it removed. In many cases, homes with mold are considered a health risk, and removing all of it can take a lot of time and money.
  • Slip-and-Fall Claims. This is a general term used for any injury that happens when someone trips, slips, or falls down in your home.

Before you fill out a claim on your homeowner’s policy, think about other ways of covering the costs.

  • If the injured person is a member of your family, it may be best to have your medical insurance company foot the bill rather than filing a slip-and-fall claim.
  • If the cost of water damage or a dog bite is manageable without filing a claim, think about taking care of it yourself.
  • Even if the cost is a bit more than you can handle out-of-pocket, you might want to consider borrowing the money at a low interest rate rather than filing a claim that could hike your rates. It might just save you some money.

When costs are unknown or ongoing, such as a serious dog bite or slip-and-fall injury that requires surgery or hospitalization, filing a claim with your insurance company may be the only way to protect your assets from a lawsuit. Carefully consider your options before filing any claim, though, and take steps to keep your home safe.

Categories: Insurance Tips

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