What You Should Know About Insurance Claims
Every type of insurance is different and every insurance company has its own internal rules and practices. Even your past claims and circumstances affect different rules and practices – just because something went one way for your neighbours, doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.
That’s why if you have any concerns about filing a claim, or even if you just have questions, you can contact us and discuss your situation. That’s one of the benefits of doing business with a dedicated team instead of phoning a call centre. We’ll make sure you understand your insurance policy and advise you so that you can make the best decision for you.
Isn’t my insurance supposed to protect me?
You may be wondering what you pay for then. Insurance, and the price you pay for it, is based on risk – the risk of a loss occurring. High risk of loss means that you’re paying higher prices. And lower risk means lower prices. That makes sense, right? So why does your previous claims history matter?
Statistics show that people who have a claim are more likely to have another claim. That means that compared to someone with no prior claims, if you have claims on your record, you represent a higher risk of loss to the insurance company.
Should you file this claim?
If there's a slight chance that someone may have suffered as a result of the accident, then you must file the claim. Otherwise, if you choose not to file it, you won't have the insurance policy to protect you from lawsuit.
There are, however, situations where it makes sense to not file a claim. For example, keeping your insurance record clean will likely keep your rates down. In extreme cases, a claim can end up in a cancellation of your policy.
A reminder about deductibles
Remember that a deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket toward the amount of your loss and then the insurance company pays the balance.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and your suffer $800 in damages, then your insurance company isn’t going to pay anything. The amount of damage is less than your deductible. You’re responsible for the first $1,000, so you’re responsible for the full $800 in this case.
But here’s where it gets a little tricky.
What if the loss is just a little bit more than your deductible amount? What if your deductible is $1,000 and the damage is, say, $1,200?
In this case, your damages are only $200 more than your deductible. Therefore, you’ll receive only $200 from the company. Is it worth getting $200 to suffer the consequences of submitting the claim?
It depends. It depends on what those consequences are!
Depending on the type of loss and your personal situation, this claim may cause an increase in your rates, possibly a significant increase. It could even cause the insurance company not to renew your policy.
Here’s what to consider
- Size of your claim - Generally it’s only in the case of a small claim that you don’t want to submit a claim. Especially if the losses come close to your deductible. In the case of small claims, the submitted claim may outweigh the money you’ll receive from the company.
- Your deductible – Is it less costly for you to pay the additional out-of-pocket expenses and keep the claim off your policy?
- Injury – If anyone suffered an injury, it’s always a good idea to talk to someone about it (us!) to make sure you’re protected. No matter how minor the injury, the injured company may come back and sue you months, and even years, later. So make sure it’s reported so that you won’t be denied coverage down the road.
- Your insurance company – Every insurer is different. Some will insure very few “high-risk clients”. Others will, but for a premium.
Need to File a Claim?
If you need to file an insurance claim now, please click here to return to our main claims page.
We will be happy to assist you!