One of the quickest ways to get your premiums up is to file a claim any time something happens to your home. Technically, you can get in touch with your insurer every time there's a broken window or a dent in your garage door. But, in the long run, this is only going to cost you more than the repairs are worth. And it may even result in your home insurance plan being canceled. If this happens, you may find that other insurers are hesitant to sign you on to a policy.
On the other hand, there are damages and losses that you do not want to cover on your own. If you don't file for these when you need to, then why are you paying for insurance in the first place? So, where's the cut-off? There are a few instances where you should certainly not file a claim:
- When the repairs cost less than the deductible.
- When damages are superficial or minor and do not need to be repaired immediately.
- The damages were caused by negligence on your part.
- Any non-emergency scenario where you've already filed multiple claims in the last ten years.
- When the damages aren't even covered by your policy in the first place. (Read your policy, and when in doubt, call before you file).
Once we've ruled these out, the question then is when do you file a claim?
If the losses need to be covered, and the cost to do so is more than you can comfortably pay out of pocket. That's what home insurance is really for, and that's when you're going to be happy to be a policy-holder.
You will want to be pragmatic about filing a claim. A stolen TV can be replaced easily enough. A broken window can be repaired. When a tree falls through your roof or your house suffers fire damages, though, you're going to be glad that you held out on filing claims for those other scenarios.