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Filing an Insurance Claim and Your Rates

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

Feet with rain boots in a flooded house If your Miami Lakes, Fl home is flooded contact SERVPRO of Miami Lakes.

Filing an Insurance Claim and Your Rates

You got into an accident or your house flooded, and now you're wondering if filing a claim will raise your rates. It's a reasonable question, but there's no one-size-fits-all answer.

What to Consider Before Filing

Not all insurance claims are made for the same reason. Some people file a claim because they feel like they have to, while others file a claim because it's cheaper than paying out of pocket. If you're considering filing an insurance claim, you will want to consider a few things. 

Whether your Miami Lakes, FL home was damaged by the act of vandalism or theft is the first thing to consider. Many insurance companies offer coverage for acts of vandalism and theft, so if this is the case then filing a claim may be worth it; however, if you weren't directly affected by this act and only want reimbursement because your neighbor's house was damaged in the process, then it could raise questions as to why you're seeking reimbursement from them when you weren't directly affected by their loss as well.

What if it’s Not My Fault?

There are a few situations in which your rates can go up, even if you're not at fault. For example, if you live in an area that has a high rate of accidents and claims, then your insurance company may raise your rates to reflect this. Similarly, if you make multiple claims within a short period of time or have several claims over many years, then it's possible that they will increase your premiums as well. In cases where the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle (for example, when a car is totaled) or when there are no salvageable parts left after an accident, insurers may also increase premiums due to a "loss ratio" on their end.

More Claims Means Increased Rates (Usually)

The more claims you file, the more likely it is that your insurance premiums will increase. This isn't because of a personal preference or bias on behalf of your insurer; it's simply a matter of statistics. Each time you file a claim, your insurer sees that as an indication that there is more risk associated with insuring you and thus they must raise their rates to compensate for this.

As an example, if someone was involved in two accidents over the course of three years with no prior accidents before or after those incidents, insurance companies would consider that to be a high-risk situation—even if they were not at fault for either accident. On the other hand, someone who has been driving for 30 years without any accidents may find themselves considered low risk even though they've been in two fender benders during that time period (and therefore filed two claims). Therefore, filing claims responsibly means knowing when filing one is appropriate and when it might actually hurt your chances at getting affordable coverage down the road.

Different Claims Means Different Rates

There are two types of insurance claims: property and liability. Property claims include fire, theft, or vandalism. Liability claims are bodily injury or property damage.

You may be more likely to see your rates increase if you file a property claim than if you have a liability claim. 

Some types of common accidents raise rates more than others. If you have an accident that's the fault of someone else, your rates may not increase as much. However, if it was your fault and/or you've had multiple claims in the past, your insurance company may raise your premium for some time.

Some types of claims will never cause rate hikes at all. If a tree falls on your car because of windy weather or another natural disaster (such as a hurricane), there’s nothing to worry about when filling out an insurance claim! As long as everything was paid back in full by the company, this type of claim won't affect future premiums because no one person is responsible for what happened.

It's important to know that filing a claim doesn't necessarily mean your rates will go up. While it's possible that they could, it's also possible that they won't. You can lower your chances of raising your rates by avoiding accidents and reducing the number of claims you file over time.

When you experience a natural disaster in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Miami Lakes a call! 

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