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?