Insurance – Consider Before Filing a Claim
A lot of things have changed over the years in the insurance business. One of them is the impact of making a claim on your landlord insurance policy.
There was a time when the owner’s could submit possible claims thinking, “if you are unsure whether something is covered or not, just turn in a claim and the insurance company will go out there and have a look”. Unfortunately several years of underwriting losses have caused insurance companies to enforce much stronger underwriting guidelines and action than in the good ole days. In fact, making 3 claims on the same policy will probably get you a non-renewal notice in the state of Georgia. And it doesn’t really matter how small or large the claims were, or even if they resulted in a payout. The insurance company will tell you that less than 1% of homeowners will make 3 claims in 3 years, and statistically that group is much more likely to continue to make claims in the future. And that those homeowners are responsible for pushing up the rates for the ones who “never” make a claim. Historically the average homeowner goes about 18 years in between claims. Bottom Line – talk to your agent before making a claim. They can help you determine if your policy covers the loss (it probably does) and if the damage is even likely to exceed your deductible. It would be a shame to lose a large “claim free discount” for a small payout, AND have one claim on your record. Your insurance agent may work for the insurance company but you are their customer. Speak to your agent first before filing a claim on something that may be relatively small or not covered by the policy.