The last time we got together, I tried to explain how the deductible works, and some things that you should consider when choosing a property deductible. I’ll wait if you want to go back and read it again. Go ahead. Done? Good. Now that you have chosen how much deductible you are going to pay in the event of a loss, we can talk about when to use them.
We will start with the easier of the two – your auto insurance. I want to start the restof this article by saying this; you pay for insurance to protect your things. Sometimes, a claim just needs to be made. With auto insurance, mist claims are worthwhile, because you have had an accident. The only claims we caution clients to consider avoiding are windshield chip claims. While they won’t raise your rates directly, they can be problematic if we need to quote your policy with other companies. Unless your windshield is broken, it is best to pay for the chip repair yourself. With other claims, my personal rule of thumb is to consider the payout – if you have a $500 deductible, do you really need to make a $600 claim? Those types of claims are pretty rare on auto policies, due to the rising cost of auto repairs. Also, remember that most car insurance policies now come with some form of roadside assistance, and if you have to use that service, it does not count as a claim.
The big question you should ask yourself when it comes to homeowner’s insurance claims is whether or not the claim is “worth it” or not. Just like with auto insurance, if you have an $1100 claim and a $1000 home insurance deductible, it’s probably not “Worth it” to make a claim. Most home insurance policies here in Texas have a 1% wind and hail deductible, so if you are in a $130,000 home, then you probably have a $1300 deductible. However, a hail claim doesn’t “count against you” for rate purposes. A water claim or a burglary claim, on the other hand, will increase your rates, so it’s imperative to consider what the claim is worth before you call the insurance company. Your first call should be to our office to chat with one of our consultants about your claim.
In fact, we even have a “claims advocate” here at The Phoenix Insurance to help guide you through the claims process. Hopefully, you will never need the advocate’s help, but if you have a claim and have any questions, concerns, or needs, he is here to help you understand the claims process, and make it a smooth one. Whether you have had an auto accident or a water claim on your home, our claims advocate is here to help you get made whole again as quickly and painlessly as possible.