To file or not to file a claim? That is the home insurance question

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on July 21, 2017

Disaster strikes – it could be a fire, a falling tree, or another unforeseen accident.

Now what?

These situations are the reason you have homeowner’s insurance, but experts will tell you, making a claim is not always the right decision.

In fact, Penny Gusner, an analyst with recommends only filing a claim with your insurer if you can’t afford to pay for the repairs yourself. Too many claims, she said, can lead to premium increases or cancellation of your policy come renewal time.

“You’ll look like a risk,” she told “Depending on how large the claim is and how many you’ve had, your insurer may ‘nonrenew’ you for the next period.”

But, she added, if you’re careful about how often you claim, you shouldn’t see drastic changes in your policy.

So, when it is time to file a claim, what should you do? If you have all your paperwork and documentation in order, you can make the claims process go a little quicker. This includes:

* Photos and documentation of the damage

* An accurate proof of loss, which is a sworn statement detailing the damage and loss to you

* Estimates from contractors for the repairs

* Receipts for work you’ve had done

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