When and how does one file insurance claims?


Insurance claims are filed in the event of an accident and there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to filing for a claim.  If one company forgives, then the other will not forget.  Any claim for that matter will have an impact on your insurance rates and one must make an effort to understand the policy to get to the bottom of the insurance rates.  There are no specific answers as to when and why the insurance rates will get impacted.  Firstly get to know if the first accident you caused is forgiven and if the claim filed earlier on will go against you after some years.  Then make the decision if you should file a claim or not after gaining thorough knowledge that these things are bound to have on your insurance rates.

Always talk to your insurance agent and discuss the pros and cons of filing a claim.  While some agents might be obligated to report the incident to the company even if you have discussed a claim but decide not to file for it.  Hence, don’t wait till the very end and gather all the information beforehand.

Irrespective of the situation filing a minimum number of claims is the key to safeguarding the insurance rates and preventing a substantial increase.  The best thumb rule to follow is to file for a claim only in the event of a catastrophic loss or damage.  You will be better off taking care of small dents and other such related expenses and pay out of your pocket and reserve claims only for the worst situations.

For instance, if your car is totaled in a crash or if the whole roof of your house has caved in, filing a claim would certainly make sense as it would be more feasible.  However, insurance companies will refuse to renew your coverage if the policy has expired and this could be despite having paid all the premiums on time for many years.

One might assume that since they have paid the premiums for years they can easily make a legitimate claim.  However, that doesn’t really help and filing too many claims will have an adverse effect on the insurance rates and the policy might even get canceled after the claim has been settled.  So do your homework well in advance to avoid nasty surprises later.  Learn about the insurer as well as his practices before considering filing a claim.