Paying an insurance premium on a regular basis is one of those tasks that makes most of us groan. After all, paying for something with no immediate or visible benefit is not that satisfying.
But if you ever need to file a claim for losses, especially related to a big investment such as a home, it becomes crystal clear that having insurance is one of the smartest things to do.
When you’re deciding how much coverage to purchase, use a convenient online tool to analyze the cost of common claims in your area. You should also familiarize yourself with the most common types of home insurance claims.
Fires aren’t the most common type of damages homeowners face, but they are among the most costly. Big insurance claims present their own set of challenges, so be prepared. Forty one percent of claimants with claims of $30,000 or more had more hassles from their insurance carrier. Be sure to store and use flammable liquids in an area that doesn’t contain propane appliances, and always check to see if your stove and candles are off when you’re done using them. And please remember that faulty chargers and cords can also lead to a fire.
2. Wind and Hail
The most common home insurance claim is for wind and hail damage. About three out of every 100 home insurance policies claim this type of damage. Most states prohibit policyholders to be punished with rate increases for “act of God” events.
However, insurance companies follow specific processes. Know the steps to recoup your losses and don’t wait too long to file a claim.
3. Water Damage
If you live in area where winter temperatures drop below freezing, you are at risk for your pipes to freeze or burst. You can prevent this by doing an annual check for leaks when the weather is still mild outside.
When winter comes, keep your pipes insulated and run warm water periodically to keep the pipes from freezing.
4. Wind Damage
Mother Nature gives us many gifts. Along with beautiful spring flowers and rich autumn leaves come other seasonal events that are not so lovely. Hurricanes, tornados and hail storms are a few that may affect you, depending on where you live. The damage caused by wind and debris can be devastating.
Every coastal state in the U.S. has hurricane deductibles. Unlike typical homeowner insurance claims, hurricane deductibles are a percentage of the damage cost, not a dollar set amount.
You work hard for the things you own. It’s a tremendous violation for someone to come into your personal space and steal what’s yours.
You could invest in a home security system to alert you of intruders. Many companies offer signs or stickers to place around your home. These warnings can be effective in deterring would-be intruders. You should also tell a friend or trusted neighbor when you’ll be out of town, so they can keep an eye on your home.
And even though it may be convenient for your children or dog walker, don’t leave a spare key outside your home.
6. Other Physical Damage
What falls into this category? A lot. It could be issues such as foul play or accidents — someone breaks into your house and tampers with the locks. Or someone breaks a window. Or someone destroys your lawn.
You never know what you’ll need to deal with from this miscellaneous category. Check with your insurance carrier to find out where you’re covered.
Bringing It All Together
If you do end up in the position where you need to file a clam, know what to expect to help minimize your stress level and keep the process as smooth as possible. A deductible, an amount that must be paid before your insurance carrier pays out any money, will be required. This amount can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on your policy.
Premiums don’t typically increase because of one claim. Repeated claims or type of claim may result in a premium rate increase or non-renewal of your policy.