Filing a home insurance claim will most likely raise your rate, but that should not prevent you from filing a claim. Other factors such as the amount of the claim and whether you have filed claims in the past can also determine how much your insurance premium will increase. Attorney Bill Voss explains how an insurance claim can affect your rate and result in an increase. If you have been denied a claim for property damage, contact an insurance lawyer to determine if you can pursue a case.
How an Insurance Claim Affects Your Rate
According to InsuranceQuotes.com, filing just one insurance claim can cause your premium to increase by 32 percent. This is not always the case and depends on what state you live in. In Texas, insurance law prevents companies from increasing premiums if filing a first-time claim does not result in an increase in the rate.
The purpose of insurance companies offering homeowner's policies is to protect against damage or loss. Homeowners are not always able to recover compensation for their loss, or if they do, the insurance company may increase the rate or cancel an existing policy if they think that the loss is likely to happen again. If the same type of claim is filed more than once within a five-year period, the insurance company has the option to not renew your policy. Some types of claims that can lead to a policy having a rate increase or cancellation are:
- Water damage
- Weather damage from hail or wind
Rate increases depend on a variety of factors, such as the area you live in and the type of claim being filed. Some other factors that can affect your homeowner's insurance policy rate and result in an increase are:
- Age of your residence
- High-risk items such as wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, swimming pools, etc
- Owning certain dog breeds
- Living in an area prone to natural disasters or harsh weather conditions
- Increase in construction costs or home values in your area
- Credit score
- Past claims on your property, including those from a previous owner
Keep Your Rate Down
After filing a claim, your rate should decrease in a few years. Some claims may not cause an increase in the rate, and the policy may remain unchanged. Ask your insurance agent if you are uncertain about whether a claim will raise your rate. They should be able to determine if the claim is subject to a rate increase or not.
There are several ways to keep the cost of homeowner's insurance down, such as:
- Avoid making small claims
- If the amount of damage is less than what your deductible is, you may want to pay out-of-pocket rather than file a claim
- Avoid filing more than one claim within a five-year period, if possible
- Raise your deductible for a lower payment
- Ask your insurance agent about discounts such as bundling your policies, using automatic payments, or equipping your home with a security system
- Look for better rates and get a quote from another company
How a Lawyer Can Help
If your homeowner's insurance is not covering damage due to a disaster such as a tornado or fire or the insurance company has denied your claim, you may still be able to recover damages for your loss. An experienced Texas insurance lawyer can give you legal guidance, protect your legal rights, and help file a lawsuit against the insurance company for failure to pay a claim or if they deny you the full payment of a claim according to your specific policy. An attorney can also do the following to help with your insurance claim:
- Answer any questions you have about your rights to a claim
- Examine the evidence surrounding your case
- Determine the value of your claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- File a lawsuit to recover damages
To learn more, contact The Voss Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation by using our online contact form or by calling our office at 888-614-7730. We are 100% contingency-based and collect nothing unless we recover on your behalf.