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Filing A Claim On Your Homeowner’s Insurance Will Not Increase Your Premium

By Erik Folgate

When I am doing inspections for property damage to residential property, I get this question about 75% of the time:

Will filing this claim cause my premium to go up?

I like to be as candid and honest with customers as possible. Some adjusters would just say, “That’s not my area of expertise.” I like to give people an answer that will actually answer their question. The answer is that filing a claim will NOT cause your homeowner’s premium to increase. Contrary to what many people believe, they associate having one claim filed with their rates going up. The fact is that claims don’t dictate the premium with regards to homeowner’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance does not act like auto insurance. Auto insurance has dozens, sometimes hundreds of tiers for premium rates. Your claim history, citation record, points on your license, and various other things contribute to the tier that you are placed in and the premium you pay.

Homeowner’s insurance focuses more on the region that you live in. The number of catastrophes your area has suffered in the past few years, the potential risk in your area, the type of residential home, and the amount of coverage you buy, and other factors dictate the bulk of your premium. Filing one claim will not spike your premium. Now, your premium may go up in the subsequent year, but do not put two and two together. Insurance companies are more concerned with the amount of claims you have filed in a given period. If you make three claims in one year, they will most likely drop your policy altogether, not raise your individual premium. The premiums are usually raised in bulk for a given region, not individually, and insurance companies can only submit rate increases once per year.

So, if you have a loss with significant damage, the right thing to do is file the claim. After all, you’re paying a premium every year, why not use your insurance for what it’s designed to do?

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Mary Carroll

    Hello: I have a walk-in shower that leaks and it has caused part of my livingroom ceiling to fall out which also resulted in having to remove my carpet; I also need apointing done on my property and I need a back door

    I want to know if this is covered by my homeowner insurance and is it better to use an adjuster or find a contractor myself.

    If these things are covered by homeowners insurance, can’t I file without an adjuster?

  • author

    Hello Mary, great questions.

    Let me try to answer them one at a time.

    1. First of all, I cannot tell you if you have coverage in your homeowner’s policy for a certain scenario without reading your policy. Every company has polcies which differ in policy language including exclusions, conditions, and coverages. But generally speaking, if you had a walk-in shower that was leaking behind the walls (meaning you were unaware it was leaking until it causing your ceiling to cave through) then there should be coverage for the resulting water damages, which would be replacement of the ceiling. However, the policy would not pay to fix the leaking shower.

    2. Okay, here’s how filing a homeowner’s claim works: An adjuster will be assigned to your claim. You cannot request that an adjuster NOT be assigned to your claim. They are the only people that handle insurance claims, because they are licensed by your state to adjust insurance claims. An adjuster will schedule an appt with you and they will inspect your damages. Once they determine coverage, they will prepare an estimate for what they think the damages will cost. Then, they issue you a check and you use whatever contractor you want to get the work done. Some companies may offer some names of contractors to do the work and some companies will even guarantee that contractor’s work if you use them. However, they can never force you to use a certain contractor. Insurance companies are in the business of paying claims, not rebuilding houses.

    I hope that answers your questions. If you have more questions, email me from the moneycrashers contact form. I’d love to help you out further.

    • Ryan

      Actually, I am pretty sure insurance companies are in the business of DENYING claims, not paying them. And contrary to what you state in your posting, they do in fact raise rates based upon your claim history.

      • Erik Folgate

        I am really not trying to defend them, but we never hear about the thousands of claims they pay every day. We only hear about that one instance when they DO deny a claim. They can definitely be stingy, but insurance companies pay most of the claims they receive or else they’d never stay in business.

      • Judy

        I agree with Erik. I recently had a claim on my homeowners for a water leak that flooded 3 rooms of my home. My rates went up the next month and the insurance company didn’t even pay for all the cost of the repairs that they were suppose to. I had a plumber bill of $1400 and had replacement coverage for the furniture I lost, which was estimated at $1200 to replace and they claim that I was responsible for paying the plumber, even though all of the repairs where covered except the actual repair of the pipe, which was $180 and that they only pay the depreciated cost of my furniture until I replace it and then they will give me the difference. They are claiming now that the plumber cost and the furniture where figured in as part of my deductible, which was $1000. I think that the $1400 plumber fee more than covered that and that they should have had to pay him at least $400 and my understanding of replacement cost means they pay to the total cost of replacing something.
        Then to top it all off they raise my rates.
        I also have my auto insurance through this same company and for 3 months after this claim on my house they canceled my auto policy each month and sent back my payment. When it happened the third time and I called once again to my agent’s office he didn’t even want to look into why this was happening. I decided it was time to find a different company to deal with so I have just this week changed companies for both my auto and my homeowners insurance.
        By the way did I mention that this was State Farm that did this to me.
        When changing my insurance for my home I found that I was under insured on my policy and paying $100 more a year for the coverage that wasn’t even enough to replace my home if I would need to.

    • Jemma

      Interesting how you completely disregarded the many statements and questions on the legitimacy of who you are and the many many many responses of how wrong you are. Unfortunately for you, any readers of this article are also reading how stupid you are- and since you failed to address any of the really valid questions people had such as – What are you? An adjuster? A guy who likes to write like he’s an expert when he’s clearly putting out inaccurate info? That’s what people are going to have as the takeaway here.

  • dony

    my adjuster mentioned that his final numbers would be increased by some extra percentage? What is he talking about?

    Please advise -

    Thank you -

    Dony

    • Erik Folgate

      Dony, he is probably talking about overhead and profit. If there are more than 2 trades involved to do the repair work, they typically pay contractor’s overhead and profit which is probably between 10 and 25% more.

  • Steve S

    I returned from the holidays this year and when I stepped into my garage to store some things I stepped into about 1/2″ of warm water discovering my garage flooded. I turned off the water to the hot water heater and then called my insurance company to start a claim, that was Wed Dec 30th 2009. I squeegied the water out of the garage and was able to stop the leaking but it still isn’t fixed and I haven’t had hot water since.
    It is now Sun the 23rd of Jan 2010 I still haven’t heard from my insurance adjuster and mold is starting to form on my walls and the majority of my boxes I had in storage most of which is merchandise that is battery opperated for my home business. My ceiling caved in and several pieces of sheetrock have started coming loose from the ceiling causing the garage door to get stuck and not open. I think this was do to the humidity caused by the hot water pooling on the floor for days before I discovered it.
    I have several questions first; am I right in believing someone from the insurance company should have contacted me before now? I haven’t been able to use my hot water in almost a month I’ve been rotating through friends to take a shower at their house but it is inconvenient for both of us and I feel guilty so I have been compensating them so i don’t feel like a moocher. I am thinking about just staying at a motel so i can take showers with out the guilt and inconvenience. Wouldn’t the insurance company be responsible for those costs since its taken this long and still no word from them?
    Is merchandise for my home based internet business in my garage covered under my home owners or did I need a separate policy for it?
    Are my personal items covered I have several boxes that were ruined by standing water and several more that were soaked by the condensation from that water? Now I’m dealing with mold forming on these boxes and possibly on the contents with in.
    Help! water logged in Idaho.

    • Judy

      Let me guess you have State Farm? I had to clean up the water from a flood in my home myself, they wouldn’t even send out or pay for anyone to clean it up. They replaced the flooring in all but one of my rooms and said it didn’t need to be replaced just needed cleaned. I called a plumber myself after filing the claim to come and do the line repairs and then it took them two months to complete the repairs, which I didn’t think were going to get done at all.
      Good luck, if I were you I would keep hounding them to get it done or get someone out to do it that will bill your insurance company for the repairs.

      • Mike

        Dear Steve,

        Insurance companies do not always behave in an ethical manner. I have learned this the hard way and many of the companies are not worth having as your insurer regardless of how good of deal they offer. I would advise you to deal with this by writing a letter with the information that you have provided and demand they take action to settle the claim within the next 30 days. Additionally contact an attorney, the insurance company is acting in bad faith which allows you to receive punitive damages (big bucks) to punish the insurer for their actions. Also consider contacting a reputable public insurance adjuster. As far as business coverage, it is going to probably be limited to something like $5,000. Lastly, when you have a chance I would advise you to switch to a “real” insurer; CHUBB is the best. Good Luck and hang in there.

  • Maria Powelll

    My neighbor on my right says he’s getting water in his sub-basement from mine. He and I both had our plumbing checked. We think my neighbor on my left is the corprite. They are very negligent renters. How can we find out if it is coming from them and can we claim damages.

  • Maria Powelll

    How can I claim internet fraud losses to my homeowners insurance?

    • Josie

      Maria, did you make a claim for your internet fraud case? I just discovered that I was scammed and PayPal cannot do a thing about it. I was defrauded of a 5 carat diamond bracelet. Let me know what you experienced in regards to your claim as I am facing the same dilemma. Thank you.

  • PS

    I had two claims in 2009 with my home insurance company. Now they are forcing me to take a higher deductible on my policy – if not they will not renew my policy. They also say that no other insurance company will write a policy for me because I had 2 claims in one year – is this really true?

    • EF

      It depends on what state you live in. In Michigan, you can be cancelled if you have 3 claims within 3 years. All claims are reported to a database, which every insurance company has access to. Any other company can also deny coverage based on those 3 claims in 3 years. Every state is different. Michigan has a state controlled “high risk” insurance policy for the homeowners who can’t get insurance elsewhere. Very expensive with bottom of the barrel coverage.

  • TJ Lee

    Filing a claim on my homeowner’s insurance caused a 30% penalty increase on my premium for the next 5 years. So filing a claim caused the premium to increase, and my agent stated it clearly that I will be paying higher premium for the next 5 years because of the claim I and what the insurance paid out. It may not be right for them to do this but they did, and when I tried to shop for another insurance coverage they will hold the claim against when they quote my premium. I really don’t agree with this post at all

  • Rick

    I open a claim with my Home Owners insurance and I’m getting sued for a dog bite situation and my question is if they cover me will i bee drop for this or will my primium go up and if they decide not to cover my claim what can I do.

    • EF

      It depends on your insurance company and the policy language. Every state is different on the regulations/requirements of insurance companies.

      In Michigan, a State Farm homeowner’s policy covers dog bites under the liability section of the policy. There is no deductible applicable to liability insurance. Coverage would be limited to the liability limits you set when you started the policy. They wouldn’t drop a client after a dog bite claim, but they would require them to get rid of the dog. If the client refuses, then they are dropped. Premiums did not increase due to liabiltiy claims.

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    From the prior comments, it seems that many don’t know what is/not covered by homeowners insurance. Turns out, I may no either. I basically know how much I pay and how high my deductible is ($1000). I’ve never filed a claim, but was a victim of about $850 in items during a theft last summer. It would have been covered, but there was no point due to the high deductible.

    I couldn’t imagine things like a dog bite would be covered. Has nothing to do with the home. Also, nearby home owners causing water problems in the home? Interesting case. No idea about that one.

    Regardless, I’m surprised to hear that the premium wouldn’t go up after a claim. Always thought it was more similar to auto insurance myself.

    • EF

      Dog bites would be covered under the liability section of the homeowner’s policy.

    • OpenWallet_Nada

      You bring up a good point. When I read my policy, I was amazed at all the things that my company covers. I would think a person could file claims all the time. Many of the things I would think a person should just pay for, as they are the owners, and some things an owner should just take care of … slow water leaks that cause damage, or routine maintenance that would retain the integrity of the house, keeping your dog from biting visitors (or at least to the best of your ability), and providing a reasonable security system to deter burglaries. There are many things that a home owner can do, for everything else, the unexpected, the acts of God, the willful acts of a criminal who are not deterred by security, for that there’s insurance. So, to me, insurance companies have it all a little backward — I wish they would not look at total number of claims as taboo, but more the nature of the claims, whether the home owner has been negligent (simply not knowing can’t be an excuse of responsible citizens). Anyway, when my husband and I left jobs to travel for a spell, we both took out catastrophic policies to cover any major health issues, we didn’t take out fancy policies so we could drop in if we have a sore back or a chest cold, just for the big things that hit you up hard in the wallet. Perhaps an insurance company will come along with a straightforward policy like that? I just might be interested.

  • John

    I have a landlord policy with Allstate for a rental property in VA – our son is the tenant. This policy has been in force for about 3-4 months, when our son kicked a stone while weedwhacking and broke a sliding glass door. Our agent is telling us that it’s better to buy the door and install ourselves, not file a claim ($500 deductable; door + installation est. to be around $1800) because if we do, there’s a liklihood the Ins. Co. will drop us, since a claim has been filed within the 1st three months of a new policy. What’s your experience there?

  • Jude

    I live in NM. and this past weekend we had some fierce wind storms. I have a wood fence that surrounds the perimeter. One side is older than the rest and is shared with the next door neighbor. I moved in about 2 years ago and I think the previous owner never changed or did any upkeep to this portion of the fence. So being this portion was old and rotting the wind took it down. Should one of us or both (me or the neighbor) claim this on our insurance. And will the insurance allow us to replace it with something better than wood like composite or cinder block.

    • EF

      They would probably go buy the depreciated value of that section of fence. If it was old and rotting, probably wouldn’t even be covered by the deductible.

  • Christine

    I am in the process of purchasing a new home. I was in my last home for approximately 15 years. We filed a claim in 2006 for hail damage. I relocate to another state and am about to close on my home. I was just told my “Liberty Mutual” insurance that my insurance rate is higher because I had a claim within the last 5 years. Out of the 15 years that we lived in the home, we filed 1 claim. If there were any damage to the home previous to this, we took the hit and paid for it ourselves. 1 claim within the 15 years and it has impacted my rate because it was within the last 5 years. What is the point of having homeowners’ insurance if they punish you for using it!!! I would understand- somewhat- if we had a history of filing claims. We do not. This sucks big time!!! I feel like I am being ripped off. The insurance company stated that if I stayed with my same insurance agent, it may not have made a difference, but since I must go to a new agent with a new house, the claim makes a difference. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

  • Joey

    I live in TN and have Traveler’s Insurance. We had a pretty bad hail storm last week, and my roof and gutter sustained damage. Instead of letting the circling roofers check it out first, I called my insurance and asked them to do it. The adjust came out and said we need replacment and get some quotes.

    I’ve only got one quote so far at $9200. My adjust said they are cutting me a check for $7600 and I will have to have the contractor call their “dispute” department to get the rest covered. He said I’d have to pay the difference out of pocket and then the insurance co. would cut me another check for the difference….up to $9600. Does this sound right? I’ve never filed a claim and want to make sure I’m protected.

    Thanks.

  • Janet

    I live in Georgia in a subdivision. About 3 weeks ago, my husband and I were startled by what sounded like a gunshot hitting metal. We went outside to find someone on a riding lawnmower cutting my next door neighbor’s yard. The person was cutting in a very rocky, debris filled area within a few feet of our driveway and cars, and rocks and other debris were flying everywhere and hitting our 2 cars and our closed garage door. When I finally got the mower’s attention and told him to stop he notified my neighbor who said she knew rocks would be flying everywhere so she went inside. One of the rocks was fairly large and put a sizable dent in our garage door, so I called the Sheriff’s office to have a complaint on record and told my neighbor she might want to notify her insurance company, which is USAA, but whatever the method, I wanted an assessment and if possible a repair made to the garage door by the original installer. Well, today when I asked her for the status, she informed me that her insurance agent told her that her insurance policy would not pay, as what happened was an act of God, like a tree from her property falling on my property and causing damage. I told her that if her agent did in fact state that, that I disagreed with his assessment. God doesn’t mow lawns. If He did, He’d have used better judgment; I believe she was more than a little negligent in knowing that she had created a hazard with the shower of rocks in all directions. Am I right in assuming she is liable and should pay to repair damages?

    • Mary

      This would not be considered an “act of God” — call USAA directly and file a claim; you do not need her permission or her agent’s permission to file a claim.

  • Jim

    I am an insurance agent and can assure you this article is absolutely incorrect. Our company will raise your rates with every claim, whether it is on the property the policy insures or another policy. Very incorrect story.

    • Mary

      Agreed. I have been working in the insurance business for many years. It is very common for an insurance company to add a surcharge to your policy for claims on your homeowners policy.

      • http://www.moneycrashers.com Ruth

        I just filed my first claim in 24 years. Small fire in the kitchen but flooring, counter tops and cooktop has to be replaced. $4800 in damages. AAA just sent me my premium statement and they raised my homeowner insurance $260 per year. Unbelievable. It’s not like I’ve filed claims left and right. Just 1 after 24 years.

        • Phoenix05

          I just got through talking to my insurance agent about placing a claim for roof repair on my home due to act of God. He told me that my homeowner’s insurance won’t go up however if I filed another claim in the same or following year then it may go up because they’ll consider the first one as an incident. Using my own better judgment after going up to the roof with the roofers, I decided to file a claim only after a fire.

        • Chris

          I had the same thing happen after 20 years and my first claim a 35% surcharge increase it is a sin!!! and now I can not get insurance with anyone else

  • Susan in New Orleans

    I live in New Orleans. Maybe that says it all. In 2005 I did flood in Hurr. Katrina, but that is the one claim I have ever filed and homeowners (Fidelity) paid “everything above the flood line” – the roof was fine, and there was no structural damage. My home value was: $149 K, I received $149 K from the flood ins. co. and $5,000 from the homeowners policy (Fidelity).
    When my policy came due for 2006, premium shot up to $3700.00. So, luckily AIG was writing in the area and I got an online policy for $2750.00 with a $5 K deductable for wind/hail. Then AIG went belly up, and 21st Century became my homeowner’s with Homesite as the underwriter.

    I figured I’d take the chance on the wind and hail since I’d not had a claim in 20 years.

    Skip to 2007. I lost a small backyard shed (value: $2000) to Hurr. Gustav. I called Homesite to see if this would be covered on my policy and to ask if my premiums would be raised. They said it was covered up to $5000 K and my premiums would not be affected.

    Everything was fine in 2008 & 2009. Now in 2010 all of a sudden I get a renewal policy that used these three things to hike my rate:

    1. A so called credit report (my credit is 750)….;

    2. A statement that a claim was filed in 2007;

    3. And a notice from Homesite saying I was not charged for 2008 & 2009 for the Louisiana Fair Plan (Citizens Ins.) and that was being tacked on to my bill.

    I was enraged.

    BOTTOM LINE: A COMPANY WILL GO UP ON YOUR RATES, EVEN IF YOU JUST MAKE A PHONE CALL TO SEE IF YOU “MIGHT” HAVE A CLAIM TO FILE. (THIS IS COUNTED TO THEM AS A CLAIM, NOT AN INQUIRY).

    I luckily got insurance from another company, but I expect because of the image New Orleans has now, our rates will continue to go up and we will be subjected to more hikings in the future because of where we are located.

    It seems unfair.

    Susan H. BArre

    • Judy

      I know what you mean. I had called my insurance company in 2009 after a wind storm that ripped off some of the shingles on my roof and I told them that I had gotten an estimate for $4200 for the repairs and they sent decided to send out one of their adjusters to check it out and he told me that there was not $4200 worth of damage that it was only about $200 and that I could get a handy man to replace the shingles. Part of the decking is even buckled from this storm. There was never any official claim filed or anything paid in repairs for this but it still showed up when I switched to a new insurance company.

  • kathy

    We just bought a home. It turned out there were birds in the atic. The person who removed the bird did so by placing MOTH BALLS in the attic. Now they don’t have the correct insurance for me to sue them for the damage to my home they inflicted. My home is now over run with a toxic odor, and I have to remove all of the insulation in the attic and replace it. Is this an insurance claim issue or not? It is going to be very expensive.

    Sincerely,

    Kathy

  • Alan

    I found mold in my basement, furniture and carpet damaged. The cause was from perimeter tiles. I have mold coverage. The adjuster originally told me that I wasn’t covered because the damage didn’t come from my sewer line. After several conversations and not getting a satisfactory answer to the reasoning. I mean what does it matter which drain caused the problem. He finally told me that if I had the drains dug up and if there were roots that caused the problem with the drain, it would be covered, up to $1,000 for the digging work (less my $500 deductible, and $5,000 coverage for damages.
    My problem is that I don’t have $1,000 to pay someone, or at minimum $500, just to find out that roots didn’t cause the problem?
    What if the perimeter tile isn’t located outside but instead runs under the basement slab? Is this covered? And what if I do the work myself? Will this affect coverage?
    I am a licensed (journeyman plumber), what is the best way to handle this and come out ok?

  • William

    I filed a Claim on my HomeOwners Policy as I recently incurred a Theft. This was “Theft Off Premises” which is supposedly covered by my HomeOwners Ins. I had rented a Uhaul Trailer and during an overnight stay at a hotel someone Un-hitched the trailer and made off with it as well as All my personal property. I Contacted U-hual after making the Police report as I had purchased the Optional Insurance. I then learned that they only cover the Equipment.
    I Contacted my HomeOwners Ins. and filed a Claim. The Adjuster and I went back and forth over the items stolen and he passed on his report to the Insurance Co.
    This has been about Three Months now, and they refuse to return my calls.
    My Ins. Agent indicates they are looking at it as possible fraud and are refusing to pay.
    This I believe is a POOR way of getting around my Claim and not having to pay.
    What can I do at this point ?
    I don’t want to have to pay it all to an Attorney if he/she takes the case and I end up with NOTHING !
    How wrong this is !!!

    • Erik Folgate

      Hey William, were you in the process of moving from one house to another house? Was the original policy still in effect when you were in the process of moving? If it was, then it should definitely be a covered claim. If you filed a police report, and you provided somewhat reasonable documentation to justify the personal property that you are claiming and its replacement value, then they MUST pay out. If they haven’t sent you a denial letter, then they WILL pay it, but they are dragging their feet, because they want to investigate the claim further. My guess is that they handed it over to their special investigations unit (every ins. company has one of these units) and they do more research into the matter just to cover their bases to make sure that it’s a legit claim. To help your case, you MUST try to come up with the any documentation you can to justify the stuff you’re claiming that was stolen. It doesn’t have to be receipt. It can be old photos with the items in the background, bank/credit card statements showing the purchases, or anything like that. If it’s something purchased recently, you can sometimes go back to the place you bought it and reprint a receipt. I hope this helps! You don’t need an attorney at this point, just be persistent, stick to the facts, don’t get overly emotional about it, and bug the hell out of them on a daily basis. If the adjuster won’t call you back, call customer service and get an inside adjusting manager on the phone.

      • William

        Thanks Eric, I have been on top of this since day One, It is going on 4 months now. I provided a copy of a Police report, Uhaul Contract, statement of events leading to the theft, etc. I gave the adjuster a “Recorded Statement” which he requested and uploaded and sent to it the Ins. Co.
        Now they want me to meet with another Ins. Representative as they want a “face to face” and another recorded statement. I am told the problem is that the Ins. policy is in my Fathers name however I am submitting the claim for him as I have a Power of Attorney ” to act on his behalf, He is 88 yrs.old and doesn’t want to be bothered. They question this. Also the Insured property is in one city in Texas and we live in another city.
        So, can you help me come up with a proper Demand letter ?
        This is wearing on me and I shouldn’t have to write off as total loss, agree ?
        Also Finally they are asking for an itemized list and Dollar amount for the items.
        Can you help out, please advise, Truly Appreciate it, Regards William

  • Condo Owner

    I own a condo in Chicago, IL and have a condo home owner’s plan with State Farm. Every year on my bill it says that I get a discount for not filing any claims. That is to me the same as telling me I’d be paying more if I’d filed any claims. Thus I think your article is incorrect.

    On the national news a while back they had a story about people whose home owner’s insurance was raised simply because they’d called to inquire about something. I think this was in California. If merely asking a question raises your rates, don’t you think that filing a claim would, also?

    • Judy

      I guarantee if you file a claim with state farm you rates will raise within a month of filing. I had state farm until just this week because they wouldn’t even pay for the full amount of the claim that was suppose to be paid. They do not pay what your coverage is for. I had replacement coverage for my personal belongings and only got $400 of a replacement cost of $1200 and they didn’t cover all the repairs that they were suppose to saying it was all apart of my $1000 deductible even though just the plumber cost was $1400. Beware of them, my niece also had problems with a claim, she ended up only getting part of her’s too.

      • Erik Folgate

        One thing that’s important to remember is that “replacement” cost doesn’t necessarily mean the cost you paid for the item. It means, they’ll pay you the amount it costs to replace a similar item of like kind and quality. A good example of this is a computer. If you paid $1,500 for a computer in 2005, the insurance company can replace that computer that is 10 times better than the one you bought in 2005 for $750 today. Just because you paid $1,500 for something, doesn’t mean they’re going to give you $1,500 unless it still costs the same amount to replace that item today.

        • GoingThruItNow

          Actually, they don’t PAY you replacement cost at all. They pay the current depreciated value, then once you replace the items they will give you the rest. In cases of house damages and other big expenses, they can cut interim checks once you show a contract showing what is estimate of the replacement. Still they will fight, but that the world of insurance.

        • Johhn Yee

          Bad example Erik. Contractors & supplies never depreciate. Therefore, the price of replacing or repairing any part of home is going up.

        • Johhn Yee

          Bad example Erik. Contractors & supplies never depreciate. Therefore, the price of replacing or repairing any part of home is going up.

        • Ckelly2516

          in oct or nov 10 we filed a claim because a pipe went under my bathroom sink adn we didnt even notice or have any problems until water started coming out of the lights over the breakfast bar in my kitchen, wegot a adjuster and got quite a bit back. now i regret that. in feb. ’12 a pipe went under my house and my basement is flooding… what do i do?

      • Summertodd

        State Farm is a horrible insurance company. I can’t tell you how many awful stories I have heard about this company. Even the car insurance is bad. I had somone hit my car and they were at fault and god help me they had State Farm insurance. It took forever to get my car fixed and lots of calls, hassels etc…which is just wrong when it was a minor repair and the other drivers fault completely.

  • Nicole

    Hi, i was at a friends house and when i left his house it was 3am. He didnt have his deck light on when i left and i thought the stairs were to the left when in fact they went straight. i could not see anything because it was pitch black. he had no railings either. well i fell and dislocated my foot. i need surgery but i do not have insurance and cant afford to be out of work for 3 months. im a single mom and need an income to support my kids. i was drinking that night but i was not drunk.Do i have a case? the friend said its not his fault and he wont file a claim because his premium will go up. yes i was drinking and im naturally clumsy. but he didnt have a light on and no railings.what should i do?

    • IamAlways Watching

      You knew when you went in that there were no rails, etc., and if the lights were off, duh, turn them on before stepping out! Stop drinking, or think enough to use a flashlight. Don’t blame him for your thoughtlessness.

    • OpenWallet_Nada

      His rates would go up or they will drop his coverage. And you would have lost a friend, for good. Look for alternatives to surgery. You would be surprised how the body can heal if a person gives it rest. You can borrow a wheelchair. I know it doesn’t sound glamorous, but that might be what you need to do to heal. Anyway, check into the other options that aren’t as invasive as surgery. Take your health and your finances and your life into your own hands.

  • Huge Loss – Dropped

    We had our first homeowners claim ever and it was huge. There was a faulty transformer in our boiler in the basement and it failed and cause broken, frozen pipes and subsequent damage on 3 floors of a very custom house. When we filed our claim we were told we could not be dropped for filing. Now, after insurance has made the final payment, they have also informed us they are canceling our coverage.

    Is this legal? How can we get insurance in the future if we have had a claim? Will the bank call our loan? HELP!!! Any advice is appreciated – this is all new to us. We live in Colorado.

    • Info

      Can you sue the manucfactuer of the faulty transformer for causing you to become uninsurable or high risk, when the damages were caused by the faulty product and
      not by the innocent, unknowing, homeowner?

  • Curious

    Okay, here about 5-6 months ago, my husband and i got rdnters insurance on a home we were renting. Well aboit 4 months after the policy was open, our house got broken into!!!! And a lot of stuff was taken electronics, jewlery, home decore items etc. Well a police report was filed and an insurance claim was made. But now my insurance has turned my claim over to their special investigative unit (SIU) so what does this mean? Are they thinking its a fraudulant claim or what???? Please help, because this is worrying us! We have been looking on the internet & seen that some insurance agencys really drill you to death when it comes to theft claims……

    • GuestIam

      So many DO try to use insurance as a pocketbook, buying things that then get stolen, so have items plus the cash. I also know many landlords do not change the locks on doors and often the last tenant will come rob you, or they sell key to another renter near you who then robs you. CHANGE LOCKS when you move in!! Don’t move expensive things in for a few months in case a robbery occurs like this, get deadbolts, get a dog. You may even ask the landlord to let you install a steel door, if you are in a bad area. If you are, then never put your expensive things in that apartment, use a storage unit or bank deposit box. Insurance doesn’t like to pay for cluelessness either.

      • OpenWallet_Nada

        I’m going to get a Windscape motion camera, I think, to film any suspicious activity. We have a security system and our house is positioned on a high hill, so no one will likely rob us, but if a burglar comes, I want to nail him (or her).

  • Osborne Durango owner

    I bought a brand new house 10 months ago. Garage door fell off tracks from overhead while closing August 17th. Company could not get out to see it (1 year warranty) until next day. To secure my belongings, dogs, etc. my friend & I repaired the door enough to get it back on the tracks and nearly closed. Builder states “could only have happened if door was latched and you tried to open it” refuses to service under warranty, then suggested I get third party garage door company to inspect. I did- they found problems with installation. Builder still states homeowner responsibilty – refusing to repair. Now What?!

  • debb

    Just want to inform everyone that I had a claim on my homeowners insurance due to hail…an act of GOD and my rate went up on the very next billing. This was my first claim ever. When I called and inquired the insurance agent told me that anytime you file a claim your rate will go up. I live in Ohio. So there you have it. Straight from the horses mouth!

    • GuestIAm

      I hear ya, just finishing up a hail claim now, and expect same thing, or to be dropped. I’m going to prepare to get another insurance carrier if they want to fight giving the last pmt the contractor asked for, and thank them for their time and patience. I am a good homeowner who pays everything no matter what, and try to do things that prevent damage in the first place. The roof was just too much. I’m sure another carrier will appreciate me, though I would like to stay with mine. But waiting for the hammer to drop is not going to do a thing, so will begin looking before I am told to.

  • Michelle Gary

    My Grandmother owns the house that i live in. Well, we have extensive damage and mold due to a leak underneath the bathtub. I t went undetected for quite some time. Well, my grandmother is wanting to pay on the upwards of 10,000 + out of her own pocket because she is afraid we will get dropped by the insurance co. She was dropped somewhat recently by her own insurance co. for filing a claim. (is that legal?) I am pretty sure my house and her house are covered by the same insurance company and/or policy…Since it is in regard to two seperate properties, does she have to worry about this new Insurance carrier dropping her? And do the reasons why she was dropped from her old insurance carrier get taken into consideration by the new company in regard to a claim?

  • Rachael

    Hey, I have filed a claim and was told how much it was going to cost and they said they would cut me a check and mail it to me for what they would pay out of pocket so with that being said do I have to send them a receipt for the work that was completed? The check is already in the mail and I have not had the work completed yet and so I don’t know if I should call back or take the money and be done. I just want to know do I need to give them a receipt for the work that was done? Thanks

    • guest

      You need to send some proof the claim was fixed – receipts, photos, etc. If you don’t then they will treat that claim as not repaired, so if it happens again you will not get any money because you can’t prove after the fact it had been repaired. Receipts alone don’t prove much, it only proves you bought materials, unless it is a work order completed. Photos and reciepts are best sent off to them. KEEP COPIES of everything, including their correspondence.

  • Sue

    We recently noticed that the floor in an office addition was suddenly about 4 inches below the molding. When we pulled the floor up, we discovered water damage had rotted all the way through the floor joists. There’s no flooding and no water outlet in this room, so the most likely reason we can determine is long term condensation. The walls and floor of the room had no damage so we had no idea what was going on under the floor until it collapsed. Is this something homeowners would cover? And we’ve already started dong the repair work- can I still make a claim based on the contractor’s work receipts?

    • Erik Folgate

      Sue, it’s hard to say exactly what your policy covers without looking at it, but most standard HO policies will cover damage like this as long as the damage was hidden and unknown to you. If there was no conceivable way for you to know that the damage was going on, then they should cover it.

      If you’ve already started work, you can still file the claim, but be prepared for the adjuster to come up with his or her own estimate for how much the damages cost. If it’s not in line with the contractor’s price, there may be a discrepency. However, if it’s pretty standard work, the adjuster may just follow whatever the contractor charges you if he or she feels that the estimate was fair.

      • Ben S

        Erik Are you a Public Adjuster? what services do you provide

        • The Dr.

          I doubt he is a public adjuster…as far as services he provides I can say one of his services is giving out bad insurance advice on the internet.

    • The Dr.

      Sue…stop working on the problem and call your insurance company so they can see the nature of the problem. They will call in experts to determine the cause of the problem if necessary. Why would you have this fixed without determining what caused it? If it’s faulty workmanship on the addition (which seems plausible) your insurance company will subrogate against the contractors insurance to recoup it’s losses. The worst course of action is to have a contractor completely repair the addition and then get your insurance company involved, because their first question is going to be…what did the contractor you hired do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again? If there is condensation “long term” or not it needs to be addressed before repairs are made. Any good contractor would tell you that.

  • http://google sam

    I was renting a garage to store my furniture and cats got in and had kittens and sprayed everything my furniture is ruined will that be covered under the the home owners that i was renting from homeowners insurance policy being this was no fault of my own

  • Heather

    I read your article about homeowners insurance premiums not going up because of a single claim. Mine did. When I called my insurance company to ask what the huge price increase was they told me it was from my claim and I will have to continue paying it for 5 years. They told me that you get a discounted price on your insurance until you file a claim. I have never heard of this before. We purchased our home 2 1/2 years ago and in Dec 09 our basement flooded so we filed a claim. The only claim we have ever filed. If I new we would have to pay all the money back, I wouldn’t have filed the claim and paid for it myself. I don’t think it is right!!

  • lazycritic

    The details on this depend on the company you’re using, but nearly all will dramatically increase your rates if you file a claim. The rating organization Insurance Services Office has a rate factor of 1.3 or so if for one claim in the past 3 years, if I recall correctly.

  • Memory

    I just tried to get homeowner’s insurance a few minutes ago and was denied because my husband made a fire claim on a house he owned and rented out before we met . There was a fire in the property and he made a claim as you’re supposed to as that is the reason for having insurance. Due to this claim, we’ve now been denied coverage on a house we jointly just bought 3 years after he made the claim on a different house. Isn’t the point of having insurance to help you if you run into trouble?

    • The Dr.

      My guess is the fire on the previous property was caused by negligence on your husbands behalf. Insurance does not exist to “help if you run into trouble.” The reason you are required to have insurance is because you have a loan on your house and your mortgage company would like to be paid if “you run into trouble” again. The reason no insurance company wants to insure you now is because your a bad risk and as you might be able to guess insurance companies don’t make any money off of bad risks!!

  • Joe Bacon

    My house has vinyl siding badly damaged by recent hail. We have an adjuster coming out to look and we’ve talked with a couple contractors already about the cost of damage. I just found out my siding is covered 100% under a warranty.

    Here’s my question, if I have the adjuster come out and he says (arbitrary figure) there’s 10k in damage, after my deductible and having the roof fixed do I get to pocket the rest of the cash because I purchased a warranty on the siding of my home? He still has to figure in the costs but do I benefit?

    Or is that illegal and he won’t give me the money for the siding because it’s of no cost to me despite paying insurance “just in case” ?

    • BenDirect1

      get a public adjuster you are entitled to the monies for the repair and should never incur out of pocket expense for a covered loss or peril

      • The Dr.

        Dead wrong Benny Boy…Have you ever heard of a deductible that would be out of pocket…in addition to that, If the damage exceeds the limit of the policy you can certainly incur out of pocket expense. I hope you only play an insurance expert on the internet and not in real life.

    • The Dr.

      I can’t believe you have a vinyl siding warranty that covers hail damage. It is illegal in all states for you to profit from an insurance claim an honest public adjuster will tell you that.

  • Allen

    I’m freaking out now, My insurance company replaced all my music gear, i love them for that. now 9 months later my gurage has been broken into again. All my items were stolen yet again. Do i file another claim?

    • Pgreeson

      You need to get a security system — it will more than pay for itself! Also, as soon as you have it installed you can submit your invoice to your insurance company and you are supposed to receive a discount — reduction in your premium — for having a security system. Most people don’t even know this and have security systems and have not informed their insurance companies —Good luck!

    • The Dr.

      If you file a claim for the exact same thing twice your insurance company will pay but you will be dropped on renewal or your premiums will be raised so ridiculously high you will be forced to leave. Insurance companies don’t like clients that don’t learn a lesson…like having your musical equipment stolen twice. You see the attitude of I have insurance so I don’t have to take measures to protect my property is not the best policy. See Pgreeson’s reply below.

    • Lisa

      Get a security alarm and a gun!! Its probably cheaper and safer

  • Lisarichbrandon

    You have NO IDEA what you’re talking about, dude!! My friend filed 4 claims in 5 years. She just got a bill for $5500.00 for a year of insurance. It went up from $1100.!! Allstate told her she was high risk because she filed so many claims. How can you babble nonsense like this and claim rates dont’ go up when you file claim?? You’re very dangerous with this ill advise!!

    • mruit

      thats because your friend had quite the history of claims. Im surprised they didnt drop the policy

    • The Dr.

      You are right in one respect Lisa baby…they will raise your rates because of claims. However I am not sure who is more “dangerous” the author who obviously has no expertise in this subject or your friend…the walking insurance claim!!!

  • Lisarichbrandon

    You have NO IDEA what you’re talking about, dude!! My friend filed 4 claims in 5 years. She just got a bill for $5500.00 for a year of insurance. It went up from $1100.!! Allstate told her she was high risk because she filed so many claims. How can you babble nonsense like this and claim rates dont’ go up when you file claim?? You’re very dangerous with this ill advise!!

  • Massaahhge

    Not true. Last year we filed our first homeowner’s claim ever and our rates went from 677 to 905. Liberty Mutual. The claim was a very small one under 3,000 for a tree that fell on our porch from our neighbors yard during a microburst.

  • Hilda

    I filed a claim with Aarp(The Hartford) for damage caused by the ice storms in Jan. 2011. Now my premium went increased more than $500.00. Iife insurance companies can’t increase premiums because who would they give the bill to. So why homeowners??

  • Dan Lander

    my insurance company dropped my coverage when I tried to make a claim and did not because it was manitenace. No claim was even filed and I was dropped, furthermore the next company i tried to get home owners ins. would not cover me because i had made 1 claim, ( that never even was filed or addressed). Sounds like freud and they are in on it.

    • The Dr.

      If you were an insurance company would you want to insure a property that wasn’t maintained? If you were the “next” insurance company, would you want to insure somebody who was dropped by their previous carrier because they didn’t maintain their home? Think about it Dano!! I know you can’t spell the word, but do you know the meaning of the word fraud?

  • William smith

    i had a house fire in 2003 everything they said they would fix is falling apart floors have been replaced with fiber board its a mess from start to finish.what?do i do?sincerly wm smith [email protected]

  • Xxnikkisixx3

    Thats bs because my insurance raise 300 after I had a roof claim

  • http://www.lsdgroofing.com Betsy Mitchell

    Great article. Many homeowners are very misinformed when it comes to their insurance and premiums. Your rates are going to increase depending on the area and many other factors not just because you made a claim! It is illegal for them to raise your premium for you making a claim.

    • OpenWallet_Nada

      But they do change the terms of the deductible, and they can drop you, as I learned from my agent. And my insurance company is a respected company!!

    • The Dr.

      You couldn’t be more wrong Betsy dear…they can indeed surcharge you for claims and they do it everyday!!!

  • Nricha3487

    The idea that home owners insurance does not increase because of a claim is rediculous. That it is against the law is false. I have researched the law in Maryland and there is nothing to prevent a company from tacking on a “surcharge” of a certain percentage of your total premium for three years after you file a claim. There is a system that contains all claim that you file that are available to any prospective insurance companies so that they, too consider the claim(s) when determining a premium for your property. Some companies look at any claims filed within the prior 5 year period. There should be laws that prevent these practices, but there aren’t.

  • Lyndiloo1

    In the recent high winds, ridge tiles blew off our home and caused substantial damage to our car parked below. Our home insurers say we have to make a claim on our car insurace policy…thus having to pay two lots of excess (home insurance paying for repairs to the roof only) and losing two years no clims bonuson ou car insurance! If however they had hit the vehicle belonging to a third party, they would pay up. This seems to me to be wrong. Any thoughts?
    Lyndiloo

    • Cip60468

      You are correct. If your car were parked in an attached garage and your house burnt down your homeowners insurance would pay for your burnt up car.

  • Lyndiloo1

    In the recent high winds, ridge tiles blew off our home and caused substantial damage to our car parked below. Our home insurers say we have to make a claim on our car insurace policy…thus having to pay two lots of excess (home insurance paying for repairs to the roof only) and losing two years no clims bonuson ou car insurance! If however they had hit the vehicle belonging to a third party, they would pay up. This seems to me to be wrong. Any thoughts?
    Lyndiloo

  • BillyBoy123

    This guy is not totally accurate with his comments. Most home owners carriers will raise your premium by about 20% of the dwelling portion after the 1st claim then if you have a second claim with a 3 year period from the 1st claim they will drop you. The severity of the claim is not really the issue as much as the number of claims. Water claims are the most common so the timing of the second claim is key.

  • Chris

    I am from PA and my homeowners insurance went up 35% — I have been with Allstate for 20 years and never had any claims… they told me that when ever you make a claim there is an surcharge I am pissed that they are allow to get away with such practices. I have paid premiums for years and the little money they paid on the claim is a slap in the face not to meantime how much of a fight it was to even receive a payment. Something needs to be done to stop such nonsense.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JL67FBAHUXAFL4VZHYCVBT62GU Juliette

    Erik, I would need your help.
    I had lots of damages with 2 storage units.
    My 3 fur coats have mildew and a fine art piece broke in the box due to the freezing temperature.
    My AAA insurance doesn’t accept to cover anything.
    What would you suggest me?
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Thanks,

  • Cag509

    my home insurance went from $735 to $1175 after I filed a claim.

  • Nuyurk22

    help.. nationwide gave me a check for flood damage I incurred during last years hurricane. the restoration company billed me for 4901 and my check form my damages were 5000. Now the restoration company is trying to sue me because nationwide gave me a two party check in my mortgage and my name. Can the restoration company come after me? they had a contract with nationwide not me. I never called them or had a contract with them to do the work nationwide did. I seem to be caught in the middle. what can i do?

    • Jennyjaro

      Anytime a loss is over a certain amount it must be a two party check issued if their is a mortgage on your home. If you signed a contract with a restoration company (which most companies require before they start work) they are certainly able to come back to you. Also, the limit on your policy was probably at $5,000 and it probably wasn’t flood damages but water back-up damages (which are different). You should contact the adjuster assigned to your account and maybe do a 3-way call with the restoration company to be sure that they are working together to solve the issue.

  • Misssnubby

    I have carried insurance from state farm on my home for about 15 years. I had a small claim of $1000.00 for a medical injury in 2003. Then in 2010 I had some major damage due to a faulty roof install and manufactured home sections being put together incorrectly. The claim when all was finished was about $14,000. State Farm is going after the installers insurance company for repayment. At first they notified me that they would be dropping me around Nov 2010 while the claim was being handled and damaged being fixed. I complained to my agent who spoke with claims and then was told they would allow me to keep my policy if I increased my policy deductable from $1000 to $2000. The change would happen in May of 2012 when my policy renewed. Surprise its Feb 14, 2012 I just pain my quarterly installment a week ago and today I get my cancellation letter telling me I am being dropped due to having the two claims I referred to above, effective May 2012. So what do I pay insurance for if I can not use it twice over a 8 year period and never used for the prior 7 years before that. It seems to me that insurance companies are advertising a service and peace of mind that they really don’t intend on delivering on and to penalize someone for using that service for which they pay for should be illegal as long as the claim in legitimate. The government regulates a lot of industries I would like to know why they don’t step up and protect the consumer from getting screwed by the insurance companies!

    • OpenWallet_Nada

      We have a similar situation, so I spoke with my agent (who has been in the business nearly 30 years). She was frustrated with the turn the entire industry has taken, and was very apologetic. There’s nothing she can do — in fact, I’m lucky they didn’t drop us altogether for two claims (totaling ~$4k), both from two separate lightning strikes. The now-double deductible will be in place for 3 years. We didn’t have any claims for the first three years, and now with a whole house surge protector (we wished we had one sooner), and with a new grounded well pump, we hope we don’t have any more claims. Anyway, my agent said she expects the industry will move to a percentage deductible, in the future, like 2-5%. So, I guess my policy is really for catastrophic events that would total a house, or financially devastating ones, like a neighbor’s kid who injures herself and then the parents was to sue you for everything you have — we have $500K personal liability. We had neighbors’ kids playing in our yard while we were away at work, when we first lived here, but now that they’re older, they don’t run around in other people’s yards like they used to. I guess we’ve been really lucky, now that I think about it!!

    • http://www.blagoplanet.com Thomas Bodetti

      yes, the truth is so often very different when you standing on this side of the insurers desk, the fact is that if you file a claim, you will be paying more for your insurance on the next term, is it right, no, will congress do anything about it, (not likely)

    • The Dr.

      Why on earth should your insurance company be responsible for “major damage due to a faulty roof install and manufactured home sections being put together incorrectly?” Why wouldn’t the party that did the crappy work be liable? Do you understand what insurance is? I am surprised that State Farm paid out at all. The insurance industry has more governmental oversight than most industries.

  • Debrafurtak

    Can you please tell me if this issue is an “Act of God” Our neighbors trampoline was not secure and it flew up and did damage to out home. When it first occurred the husband said they would take care of the repairs, but now he said his wife said it was an “Act of God”. I have read that some times it would be considered an “Act of God”, but if negligence such as the person not cutting down an old branch of a tree then they should take care of the property. Any help would be appreciated. I personally think that if something was on your property and it damages someone else property you should cover that expense.

  • JJ

    You may want to indicate this for a specific state. As an insurance agent in Michigan, I can indeed tell you that regardless of the amount of claim, there is up to a 30% surcharge for 3 years unless it is considered a catastrophic claim (in which there is no surcharge). This may be true for your state, but it also may confuse others who live in state that participate in claim surcharging processes.

  • Lilburch1966

    I recently turned in shingle damage to my insurance and the adjuster came out approved the claim.a contractor has given me a bid and that is what i turned in to them . the check will be made out to me and the contractor,after talking to a friend that works as a laborer who helps a guy build houses from ground up he says he would help me if i wanted to do this ourselves. is this legal and if so will i be able to cash the check to do the repair

  • http://www.blagoplanet.com Thomas Bodetti

    Well, That is just not entirely accurate, we called in to speak with a representative, who told us that in order to find out if the insurance would cover water damage in the basement that we would have to first file a claim to see if the insurance would cover the claim, so following that advice we did being curious we then read the policy, it was obvious that the claim would not in fact be covered, (in fact there were so many exclusions that one would be hard pressed to find a claim they would actually pay) After this confusing process, I called them back and said you know what we were not fully apprised of the process and that we did not in fact have to file a claim to find out if we had coverage for the damage, they said too bad, our premium went up because we filed a claim, they did not pay the claim, and the rate went up…

    I don’t know how to say that any differently, PPC licensed insurance agent.

  • Sdjohnsons

    I filed a claim with State Farm in 2010 and they canceled insurance after one claim. I had state farm for over 10 years.

  • Rap413730

    Eric Folgate may be speaking of what he is familiar with however the big picture is he is absolutely wrong! Depending on specific company guidelines and filings, you may very well be surcharged for your loss history or nonrenewal. Many people think their homeowner’s policy is a maintenance policy instead of a catastrophic policy. When their roof is worn out due to age, they think they should call their homeowners insurance and get a new one. When their toilet overflows and gets the carpet wet, they think they should have all their floors replaced instead of sopping up the water and letting it dry out. When the beans burn on the stove they need all of their clothes, furniture, and carpet fumigated and the entire house repainted instead getting out the Pine sol and opening the windows. Due to the huge increase in small maintenance type claims we will all see homeowners insurance premiums go through the roof and get more and more difficult to purchase. So hold on for the ride Eric Folgate.

    • Gop104

      I agree their are some people who take advantage of the situation to replace every area they believe is damaged, however on the other hand Insurance companies try to wear you down, hoping you will get discussed and forget the claim. I tell people to contact their local State Insurance license Board which doesn’t take kindly to Insurance companies trying to get out of paying justified claims.

  • Nancy Ballog

    I want to file a claim. How do I do that

  • Jo Boozer

    ERIK, PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME ! STATE FARM HAS STILL NOT PAID MY PERSONAL CONTENTS CLAIM FROM 2003. THEY HARRASSED ME AND GAVE ME MANY ADJUSTERS. EVEN GRILLED ME WITH THEIR LAWYER FOR ABOUT 8 HOURS. THE CONTINUING HARRASSMENT PUT ME IN A STATE OF SEVERE DEPRESSION. MY SISTERS ADDRESS WAS GIVEN AS A BASE ADDRESS AND THEY NEVER HAVE SENT OR REPLYED ANYTHING ON MY CLAIM. WHAT DO I DO. I AM STILL BATTLING MY DEPRESSION BUT MY CHILDREN (NOW GROWN) AND I LOST EVERYTHING, NOT TO MENTION THEY HAD TO GO LIVE WITH THEIR DAD AND GRANDMOTHER. I HAVE NEVER BEEN KNOCKED DOWN LIKE THIS, ALREADY UPSET BECAUSE MY CONTRACTOR RAN OFF WITH THE MONEY TO REPAIR THE STRUCTURE, AND THEIR CONTINUED HARRASSMENT. AFTER THEY GRILLED ME WITH THEIR LAWYER, THEY STILL HAVE NOT CONTACTED ME REGARDING THIS. WHO CAN HELP ME OR WHAT LAWYER WILL HELP ME.

    • Gop104

      File a claim with your State Insurance Board of the State you live in and explain the problem, They will investigate and they will contact the Insurance Comapny(State Farm Insurance Co) and require them to explain WHY they have been giving you the run around. Beleive me the Insurance Companies do not want to loose the license to sell insurance and will handle the situation quickly, also the Board will ask you after the Insurance company answers their complaint from you what the outcome was. Good luck, I had the same situation for a roof replacement and after three years and my complaining to the State License Board I got a new roof without questions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C7SWK4GGNC4KBVOF53Y23LXVLQ don

    My homeowners Insurance DOUBLED after one $1,300 water damage claim. Unfortunate, I didn’t find out until my Escrow went up $200 per month!

  • Aries16_63

    Sir, you need to get up to speed . I just received a renewal on my homeowners insurance through travelers and it says “Pennsylvania Policy Holders” How do losses afffect your policy… A loss surcharge will be applied to your policy according to … And then it has combined loss numbers 1-12

  • the numbers never lie

    Insurance, and the politicians bought and paid for by the industry, is one of the great crimes of our lifetime.

  • The Dr.

    If you read young Mr. Folgate’s resume beneath his article you might ask yourself…why the hell is this guy giving insurance advice?!?! And you would be right to ask yourself that question since almost everything in the article is entirely wrong!

    Know this…the rate you are paying for your insurance today is heavily weighted on your claim history up to this current time. So if you haven’t had a claim for ten years you are paying a premium that reflects that. If you have a claim your risk picture changes and you can expect to pay a different premium upon renewal. Now things like weather related claims aren’t held against you as much as claims of negligence, but no claim is a good thing in the eyes of those that we transfer our risk to. That’s how life works!!

    • Erus

      totally agree!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simeon-Namore/100002522294638 Simeon Namore

    Hahahaha–I made a homeowner’s claim on my Allstate policy for 3000 (I paid 1000). My premium increased from 857 to a whopping 1601. Who is this shill?

  • Jackie

    Will my homeowners insurance with Fred Loya cover hail damage to the aluminum siding on the home.

  • Paul

    Jackie, It all depends on what it says in you insurance policy, Look at the declarations page and see if it states hail/ wind damage. My suggestion is to contact a Public Adjuster in your area and if you get denied or low-balled on you claims I would strongley suggest to do so. The insurance company may try the old trick where they only want to replace one side- They call that line of sight. You are intilted to pre -loss conditons which mean in most cases all siding. Public Adjuster are not well know because the insurance industry want to keep it that way. PA’s as they are called work for the policyowers /not the insurance companies. If they don’t reach a larger settlement on you cliam they get nothing . I hope this helps and if you need to ask a question please feel free to e-mail me. Plese understand if you only let them replace one side, who want tot buy your home with siding that does not match on all four sides. NOT ME!

  • Summer

    We had insurance for about $1,300 a year and they raised it to almost $4,000 claiming the wind and hail damage in our area was high. As far as claims we haven’t had any in the last 20 years..so no filing a claim must have nothing to do with it. Needless to say we dropped this company and found another for around $1,000 which is about what anyone should be paying in the state of Ohio for a moderately priced home. How can any insurance company think you are going to stay with them when they raise their rates this much? It is silly.

    • Deweywebb

      Who did you switch to?

  • Mrscdel

    if you have ALLSTATE they WILL DROP YOU!! I have the double proof. The letter from their customer service saying that after one claim they can drop you. They also write that they feel if you DARED to have a single claim you will in the future have another. SO …bye bye ….go find another insurance company!! ALL This after ALL STATE REPORTED RECORD PROFITS!!!! those good hands are to slap your face for all the premiums you paid in the past and dared to claim storm damage today!!

    • Dkt4c

      We filed two claims with Allstate and were not dropped.

  • Dwilliamson44

    My daughter lives in GA and was dropped by USAA because of three claims in five years rule. Now she can’t get homeowners insurance with anybody except the state of GA. What do we premiums for all these years. It seems to be a racket.

    • jpage000

      That’s an unfortunate situation she’s in, but lets not be naive If everyone filed 3 claims in 5 years and the company was paying out more than they were taking in, they would go out of business. Insurance is a business, not a charity. Companies must stay profitable to stay in business and to be competitive. Can you really blame other companies for looking at her insurance record, seeing 3 claims and concluding she is not the type of customer they want to insure. Would you buy a car that has a proven history of being a lemon? Of course not. They look at the information to determine risk. Just as a person would check a carfax report to see the history of a vehicle they want to purchase .
      On average a person files 1 claim every 10 years. Your daughter is way above this average and unfortunately is now dealing with the consequences. Thankfully within a few years, the claims will have fallen off her record and she’ll be able to get a standard policy (as long as nothing new is added).

  • john

    The poster of this article is only semi accurate. If the damage was caused by an uncontrollable event such as storm or catastrophe related then NO the insurance company can not single you out and raise your rates. If the damage is caused by you, lets say you back your car up and smash your garage, then file a claim. YES the insurance company can, and most likely will raise your rates. Seeing as how it was not an uncontrollable event, and it was your actions that caused the damage.

    • kim

      That is not true….I recently filed a claim for water damage that was caused by my water heater and the insurance company still raised my premium from $1000 to $1250 a year.

      • Guest

        your water heater is not an uncontrollable event such as a storm or catastrophe. No one made you wait until it failed and you had damage before you replaced it. That is why it IS true. Your raised premium is due to your maintenance negligence.

  • Deweywebb

    I was told by the Allstate that if I used my Homeowners Insurance within the first year my premium would go up by 15%.

  • Erus

    yeah, right! they will not raise your premium… BUT they (AAA for sure) will charge you wooping 35% of the premium in claim surcharges for years following your claim. Plus some insurance companies may have a requirement of no claims on your record to be able to sign you up. So once a claim is filed, you are not only facing higher annual payments with a current company, but limited choices of insurance providers for years to come. Consider your pros and cons before filling a claim!

    • Brenda

      that is correct. my AAA insurance agent told me the same thing. I thank them for being up front about this issue. They said save the claims for catastrophes only, if you actually want to come out ahead financially. the insurance companies have to make money to stay in business. they can’t if they pay out more than is paid in. People need to be told the truth about it. This article is a freeking catastrophe. The guy is about to have his first child. He’s only a baby himself. No real life experience. That’s the only reason I give him a break. He’s not lying, just clueless and misinformed himself.

  • Tired

    I made a claim in 1996 or 1997.. the insurance adjuster gave me the claim # but since it goes back so far. it has been deleted out of their system. They set everything up and paid the roofer and the gutter people that did the job. He said he didn’t know who they made the claim to and found the claim # it in his desk. After all this time and storm damage we have received, I tried to report it in May 2012 Louisville kY. the shorted the plywood on oneside under the singles about 1 foot. and about 2 inches around the front. This has caused serioius damage and the rotting over the years of my soffit. They only gave me $900 for this wind/storm damage. I never even told them a date. they did that on their own. Now after two adjusters, an outside Engineer sent from the Dept of Insurance. They say it has been a result of an intentional act. Which at first the 2nd adjuster wanted to match the missing shingles.. with a bark brown.. and mine is more like a gray..Can I find out who they payed it to with the claim # in 1997 or 1996. They (insurance) said no record and to treat it like a new claim. Please help. I have had some roofers on my roof. Even and intruder who came 15 minutes before the 2nd adjuster. I didn’t know who he was and explained this to my 2nd adjuster with the insurance company. Now my insurance company raised my homeowners deductable to 1,000 instead of $500.. and sent me a certified letter.. and wanting me to sign something allowing a Special Investigation Unit here. My public adjuster met with the Engineer when the Dept of Insurance sent him out. I have been recovering from surgery and also am disabled with seizures,fibromyalgia. So is my husband disabled with diabetes, cancer, diabetic neuropathy, scoliosis,degenerative disc disease in his back.

    • Tired

      They finally took the claim in October 2012.

  • LD

    I recently had a sump pump backup in my at a year newly finished basement of my home. It is separated into 4 rooms. The main area of damage was in the room where the sump pump was. I am with State Farm Insurance. They sent out Service Master to dry out the area. I felt like the area directly off the mainly affected area was damp. Still after drying out the area, the rooms still smelled very damp and musty. Still do! I went down after all the work was completed on the main effected room and noticed green fuzzy stuff all over the main family area of the finished basements floor( carpet Etc.) I also noticed it on the furniture. remember, this room that I noticed the what I believe to be lots of mold is in the room directly next to the affected area. My issue starts there. In the meantime, I heard from the insurance adjuster for the personal property damage and they said that they could pay me the loss unless they had the damaged items. This is about $12,000.00 in musical equipment from the main affected room alone. Once I tested it all and saw it was not working any longer and saw that the bottoms of the speakers were warped completely, as an example, I threw it all away! No one told me to keep it for salvage? Never had heard of salvage of personal property from a homeowners ins claim before. I had been with Motorists for over 20 years with 2 bad claims, one being flood as well. Never had to do this. I simply received a check to replace it all. At this point, I am having difficutly being in my 4700 sq ft customer built home (including the basement). Im feeling sick and no one has responded regarding the additional mold that has appeared from the original structural damaged room. What do I do! Please help. We spent $25,000.00 finishing ‘our basement into 4 rooms just over one year ago. I don’t want to have or keep any item that has been affected with mold. I am very allergic as well. Please help.
    Thank you.
    LD

    • bob

      Always keep your items until your adjuster says you can throw them away. If you are claiming them they have the right to them until told otherwise, we reclaim tons of homeowner property everyday as we understand it still has value to many people.

      As for the mold I would stay on them and demand someone come out and look at it. If anything Service master is liable as they never should have left without records that it was dry.

    • Welovetoscamyo Insurance, Ltd.

      Get an attorney. Insurance companies are worse than politicians.

  • Leon Morales

    Right, I submitted a claim for damage done to my home from Sandy (i.e.they only paid $3200 approx.) to Liberty Mutual. I recently got my new insurance premium and it had increase 25%. In fact, I spoke to the company representative and he admitted that they all do it and I should be glad I wasn’t dropped which he claims other companies do.
    LM

  • Ralf

    Total bullshit – After filing a claim for water damage my home owners insurance with Allstate doubled.

  • sharon

    I filed a claim with allstate eight months ago because of a break in and behold i just had another one a week ago so i filed a claim with allstate they had me to do a recorded phone conversation. And today the adjuster told me that i needed to give them the ok to pull my credit so that they could see my financial record and i told them that it wasnt necessary to pull my credit. When i pay my insurance every month

    • bob

      That is standard practice and I cannot really blame them for it. Multiple burglaries in a year is suspicious, them asking for credit is a way to assist indetermining if you are in some type of serious financial trouble and may be attempting to commit insurance fraud to get yourself out of it. A little invasive if you ask me but they would win in court and thats what it comes down to. They have the right to investigate as needed.

  • InsuranceGuy

    This guy is simply wrong. Many insurance companies charge a higher premium based on a customer’s claim history. As an insurance agent having dealt with several major companies, I have seen the rate increase as the result of a claim returned via CLUE first hand.

  • quitepeeved

    Yeah, this is baloney. Just got our renewal info from Allstate. We had a burglary earlier this year. This was our one and only claim after being customers for nearly 7 years. Our premium is 2.5 times what it was last year. I’m told that no other insurer will touch us for three years. What a racket. Rest assured, we will be leaving “the mayhem” behind as soon as heavenly possible.

  • Karin Sabo Wagner

    I filed a little 1500 dollar claim, my deductible was 500 and my insurance doubled and never had filed a claim.

  • YBZ

    This guy is full of s$$%. I filed for a burglary claim in 2011, my 2012 insurance premium more than doubled. I called them and they insured me that is because of statewide premium increase and only a small part of it was due to the claim. When i asked friends who live near me who had no claims, their premiums were unchanged. Insurance companies get away with a lot of lies.

  • fed up in Kansas

    Filed a $1,200.00 claim on a toilet overflow. 2 months later my premiums went up over $400.00 and I can’t change ins. companies because of the water damage claim. That was the first claim in 15 years. I have a $1,000.00 deductible so they paid out a little over $200.00. I am fed up with the high price of insurance and the lies they tell you about why they increase the premiums every year. So I for one am canceling both home policies I have. If I had done that 15 years ago, I would have saved over $30,000.00 and would be able to know where that money went and know that it served me and not helped the ins. co. get rich so they can hire more lawyers so they can get out of paying more claims. In one year I will save enough to pput a roof on one of my homes if needed. And 15 years I will save over $50,000.00 because of the premium increases that they tack on every year will add up to at least that much over the next 15 years. So F@$%k them and their whores they ride in on.

  • KTE

    home insurance goes up because everyone files small claims for 1500 bucks – it costs more to pay adjusters to settle a million little $300 dollar claims than the claims themselves. Never mind all the fraud with people trying to get free roofs on their 20 year old roof that is storm damage when it really just wear and tear. When you own a home, things break – home insurance is for disasters!! you don’t file a car insurance claim when your brake pads wear out

  • guest

    my son had a fire in his kitchen which came out to around 4,000 dollars damage. they cleaned all the house, which they claim was 7,000, now he gets a bill from his insurance company that his rates have tripled, is this legal ? seems like there trying to get there money back from the claim.

  • Bob Castor

    I had a 2k claim…my rates tripled, and no one will insure me less than 4k a year. don’t file a claim unless your house burns down.

  • Al Covers

    Insurance agent here – This article is wrong. I’ve seen home insurance increase 40% on renewal for one hail claim right after a catastrophe storm. The key is they can’t raise the rate that term but the next term they can do what they like. If you have had no claims they can only raise the rate by what the state allows. Water claims and theft claims (pipe burst, toilet overflowed etc) are the ones no companies want. Don’t file those unless you absolutely have to. When you do have a claim make sure it gets coded right – talk to your insurance agent.

  • Silas M. Carson

    “The answer is that filing a claim will NOT cause your homeowner’s premium to increase.” Seriously!?! You do not know anyone that has ever filed a claim before, have you? My parents rate increased 29% after a foundation issue. A friend, who just received his renewal after his home caught fire increased 33%. Another friend had a flood in his basement and his rate increased 29%. I posed this questions as to which people did and did not receive a rate increase when their renewal came up. 100% said their rates increased. In case you missed the percentage Erik Folgate, it was 100%. I know my question was not scientific, however it does not take a study to assume that 90% of the time, if you make a claim, your rates will increase.

  • Eddie

    This is just wrong…period. I had a claim in August & received my renewal offer yesterday with a 33% increase from Allstate. It broke out what was related to general increases. The increase would have been about 10% without the claim.

  • lisa

    Obviously you don’t know crap in this Department. My broker is actually a straight up guy and gave me the break down of when a claim goes in which includes premiums going up over the next few years so that the insurance company can recoup it’s losses.

  • Michael

    You may be a good property inspector, but when it comes to insurance questions, you should stick to the “not my area of expertise” response because you have no idea what you’re talking about. As the others who have posted here indicate, I can cite you COUNTLESS examples of people who’ve had their rates go up because they filed claims.

  • Aussie

    I filed a claim for a burst pipe. (in Calif.) The insurance co paid $1440 and I paid $1000. Now they are imposing a surcharge of approx $2000 over three years. If I had been informed of the surcharge I would have paid the $1440 myself. How about informed consent?

  • Bob

    Here’s a thought to consider. OK. Let’s say we know for sure your rates will double or triple for 3 years if you file a hail claim. How much would it cost to have your house resided? Does it cost you more than the 3 years increase in your premiums? Most likely not by a long shot. So since filing a “legitimate” claim for a catastrophic, act of god/nature event is what your insurance is for, it seems like a siding replacement purchase at a highly discounted price is not such a bad risk management decision after all.

  • Sue

    This is just not true. I had a weather related claim due to leakage from snow on my roof. I also had a theft three years ago. Not only did my premium increase, but my insurance was cancelled! Do NOT think home insurance is designed to protect you.

  • Dan

    Liberty Mutual raised my annual home owners premium from $1,052 to $2,899 with no claims in the past 10 years on a home they’ve insuranced for nearly 30 years. They have no explanation. They have been my insurance company for home and car for over 40 years, not any longer.

  • jpage000

    Erik, As others have stated, you need to stick with adjusting and follow the advice of your colleagues by telling customers “this is not your area of expertise”. First off each state is different and has their own laws and regulation regarding premium increases and surcharges, so I guess its possible you live in a state that operates different than most. However, most states and companies will surcharge your policy if you file any claim whether its your first or not. Even if the company doesn’t pay anything out, some will still surcharge your policy. My brokerage writes in 5 states in the south east and they all operate the same way. First claim equals surcharge for 3-5 years…Second claim equals additional surcharge and/or cancellation. You get a third in a 3 year period and you’re just about guaranteed to be cancelled/non-renewed. Good luck finding a company willing to insure your home in the standard market if you’ve had more than one claim in the past 3 years. Your only option may be with substandard carriers whose rates will be far greater than any surcharge you would have ever received in the standard market. Some are even non-admitted carriers that aren’t required to follow the same state regulation that admitted carriers are forced to follow. Most of these claim issues are especially true in coastal states in the south that frequently experience large storms/hurricanes. I assume states dealing with large losses due to forest fires and states located in tornado ally are probably similar.

  • tony ruiz

    I filed a claim with nationwide on a house that was rented and had home owners policy, they paid damages for 70,000 dlls and now they droped me, I ve been with them for 30 yrs and my first claim they droped me, what can I do to get reinstaided

  • Poochnuts

    To keep it simple, Erik is an uneducated person with a title. He does not know what he is talking about.

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