Just because damage or a loss is covered by insurance doesn’t mean you should make a claim.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — To make the best use of your insurance coverage, when should you make a claim? It’s a decision a lot of folks wrestle with because you don’t want to make a claim that might cause your premium to go up unless it’s worth it, but you also don’t want to get stuck paying for a loss that you have covered under insurance.
“As a good rule of thumb, I would say double your deductible. So if you’re carrying a $500 deductible and you have a $900 loss, I would pay the whole claim. If it’s a $1,100 loss even though it’s close, it’s more than double, I would file that one,” said Christopher Cook of Alliance Insurance Services.
Sometimes, we think our insurance should cover something, and it’s excluded. For example, not all water damage is covered.
Cook says if water comes in because of rising groundwater that is excluded, so your typical basement damage is going to be excluded in your homeowner’s insurance policy. But if the wind blows your shingles off. and water comes into your house, Cook says that is covered.
A TREE HITS YOUR HOME. WHO PAYS?
When it comes to tree damage, if the tree damages your property, it’s your insurance claim. It doesn’t matter where the tree came from. The damage is covered.
A TREE FALLS ON YOUR PROPERTY AND HINDERS YOUR ABILITY TO GET IN OR OUT OF YOUR HOME
If a tree falls and hinders you from getting in or out of your house, insurance will pay for the removal of the tree, typically up to $1,500. The rest is on you.
A TREE OR TREES FALL AND MAKE A MESS OF YOUR YARD
If the tree falls and doesn’t damage property but leaves a mess, insurance doesn’t cover that at all.
Power Outages & Food Loss.
Many homeowner’s policies cover a couple of hundred dollars for loss of food, but should you make that claim?
“If you had a catastrophe and a tree fell on your house and you’re replacing your roof, you lost power and oh, by the way, everything in the fridge is spoiled, yes I would add that to the claim. But if your power went out and you lost $250 in food, that sucks and that’s a lot of money, but I wouldn’t report a claim over that,” said Cook.
You need to have renters insurance. For about $15 a month, you can insure your belongings, and will cover you if you need to rent a new place. Your landlord only covers damages to his place–not your stuff.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.