When Should I File a Home Insurance Claim?

A Homeowners Insurance Policy.

When should I file a home insurance claim?

When you file home insurance claims, you’re providing your insurance company information about the damage caused to your home as the result of a fire, storm, or some other unexpected event. Claims also detail exactly what happened and how much it will cost to make repairs or replace what was damaged. You file claims whenever you experience a loss due to events like fires, storms, tornadoes, theft or anything unexpected occurs. You should file the claim as soon as possible after the event occurs, but before you do file a make sure you know what’s covered in your policy, the extent of your coverage, and what your deductible is.

If you are uncertain about what’s needed or need to get estimates on repairs or want to ensure you get the full benefit of your claim, let the experts at Neblett Construction give you home insurance claims help in Virginia Beach, VA. We have years of experience with insurance companies and dealing with claims. Find out all we can do for you by calling 757-633-9949.

Does filing a home insurance claim hurt you?

While insurers may say filing home insurance claims won’t hurt you if the damages occur through no fault of your own, this might not always be the case. Insurers sometimes do increase rates, especially if you’ve filed several claims at other residences or at your current residence over the past five to seven years. When you file a claim it’s entered into the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) or Automated Property Loss Underwriting System (A-PLUS) databases. These are shared with insurers everywhere, and a new insurer will check it if you change your insurance company.

How many home insurance claims is too many? While there is no magic number that insurers consider too many claims, the types of claims you file can affect your rates, or even make it difficult to find insurers willing to insure you. Non-catastrophic claims—theft, fires, even dog bites—will often impact rates more than filing a claim on what insurers consider a catastrophic event such as hail damage or hurricane and flood damage. Even just two non-catastrophic claims could affect your rates. Of course, each insurer is different and will consider your risk level in different ways.

Are home insurance claims public record?

Technically, home insurance claims are not part of the public record. But, insurers enter claims into databases like the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) or Automated Property Loss Underwriting System (A-PLUS), and this information is stored for five to seven years. Insurers nationwide can use this database to determine risk levels, but policyholders can also request this information and contest any misleading or wrong, if necessary. In this way, a claim can be considered a public document. Information from these databases can also be released to potential home buyers or realtors but only through the policyholder, not the insurance company.    

Are home insurance claims taxable?

The benefits you receive from home insurance claims are normally not taxable. Claims on investment properties might be taxed if the reimbursement isn’t used quickly enough on repairs.

How does homeowners insurance pay claims?

Depending upon what kind of policy you have, home insurance claims are paid based either on actual cash value or on the replacement cost. Actual cash value means you receive reimbursement based on your property’s depreciated value. Replacement value means you’ll be paid out the amount it would take to purchase a similar item at current market rates. In both cases, your actual payout will also be affected by your deductible. If damages exceed the deductible, you’ll receive a payment from your insurer minus the deductible. 

Can you keep home insurance claim money?

When you receive a claims check, the money is yours to keep. Usually, the full amount you receive will be enough to cover expenses on repairs and replace property. If you end up paying less for repairs or for replacing property, any money left over is yours to use however you want.

Can you cancel home insurance claim?

If for some reason you need to cancel a home insurance claim, it is possible to do so, as long as the insurance company has not paid out any money to you. You will need to contact your insurance agent, give them your claim number, and ask them to cancel the claim. You will need to give your insurer reasons why you need to cancel the claim and you may need to fill out additional paperwork. 

A Tree Fell on a House.

What is the most common homeowners insurance claim?

Homeowners file home insurance claims on a variety of damages. Among the most common claims:

  • Wind and hail damage
  • Fire and lightning damage
  • Water damage and damage from freezes
  • Non-theft property damage
  • Liability
  • Theft

If your home has been damaged and you need help with home insurance claims in Virginia Beach, VA, look to the experts at Neblett Construction. Our team has years of experience dealing with insurance companies, especially when it comes to resolving disputes over the amount of benefits you should receive. All you need to do to get help today is call 757-633-9949.