A question we are commonly asked is “Will filing a claim make my rate go up?”. The short answer is Likely.
First of all, filing a claim on your house is different animal than filing claims on your automobile. Homeowners can sometimes see a 25% increase in their rates for losses like water damage, theft of property, or fire. Insurance companies believe that these types of losses can be somewhat helped by not allowing pipes to freeze for example. Auto insurance claims can also be very expensive. Insurance companies regularly look at your claims history to determine if you’re a safe driver. Any accident minor or severe, will generally be treated the same and in some cases cause a higher rate for 5 years from that date of an accident.
Generally wind and hails claims (homeowners insurance) and “not-at-fault” auto claims will not count against you.
One thing to keep in mind is Insurance companies do not want to insure those who file several small claims and doing so may actually cause you to be dropped from coverage.
It’s a great idea to pay for small claims out of pocket, especially if the cost is not too much more than your deductible. If you’re not sure what to do, contact your agency to discuss your options. A five minute phone call can potentially save you thousands of dollars.