An Expensive Necessity in Florida
Homeowner’s insurance in Florida is viewed by some as a necessary evil. While it is beneficial to have when a residence is swallowed by a sinkhole or destroyed during a hurricane, the annual premium required to maintain coverage is not cheap. Although homeowner’s insurance claims can be filed by homeowners who have suffered a covered loss, it may not make sense to submit a claim for every type of loss you and your home sustain.
When It Might Be Best To Not File a Claim
There are several situations in which a homeowner may want to think twice before filing a claim. These include:
- Where you do not have a rate guard guarantee: Some homeowner’s insurance policies allow the carrier to increase your premium after you file your first claim. This might be permitted even if you have had a substantial number of years of claim-free history with the carrier.
- Where you have filed a number of claims in the past: If you have filed several claims in the past few years, you may wish to think carefully about whether you wish to file yet another claim. Some insurance companies maintain “scorecards” on clients that indicate how many claims you have submitted in the past. If you then go shopping for a new policy (whether for health, homeowner’s, or car insurance) the prospective insurer can review your scorecard and determine how often you have filed claims in the past. This can result in the prospective insurer offering you insurance at a higher premium or denying to offer you a policy at all.
- Where the replacement value of the item is close to your deductible: Although it might appear self-evident, homeowners might want to avoid filing an insurance claim for damaged or stolen property that is not worth much more than their deductible. If your deductible is $500 (for example) and your loss is $550, consider whether you want to pay an increased premium over several years in order to save $50.
This is not to say that it is always inappropriate to file a homeowner’s insurance claim in the above-described circumstances. There may be valid and compelling reasons to proceed with filing a claim even though your situation fits into one of the categories above. If your situation is described above, you should simply think twice about whether the benefits of filing a homeowner’s insurance claim outweigh the drawbacks.
If you have filed a homeowner’s insurance claim but your insurance carrier is delaying payment or has indicated that it will refuse to pay your claim. Our Florida homeowner’s insurance claim law firm may be able to assist you in obtaining payment on your claim. The Law Firm J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.