Tag Archives: Flood Insurance

When to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim

Your dishwasher floods and ruins your beautiful wooden floors. A tree falls on your fence and knocks it down. A hailstorm dents your roof and smashes in your skylight.

Most of us would think to simply file a claim with our homeowners insurance and they will take care of it. Unfortunately filing a claim to your homeowners insurance is not as straightforward as expected.

An insurance company considers many things when it comes to paying a claim. Sometimes your insurance company will raise your premium or cancel your policy all together. Sometimes they reject the claim because you’re not actually covered for what you thought you were.

Damages happen to your home at any time and by various causes, but how do you know when and when not to file a claim with your homeowners insurance? Here are a few tips for when and when not to file a claim:

1. Don’t file a claim unless it’s significantly more than your deductible

Before you file a claim it’s a good idea to assess the damage and understand all the costs involved in the repairs. If the cost to repair is less than the deductible or only slight above the deductible, it’s usually better not to file a claim and fork over the money out of pocket. However, if the cost to repair is significantly more than your deductible, at least double the deductible, then it should qualify as a claim.

2. Don’t file a claim if you aren’t actually covered

Check your coverage before you file any type of claim on your homeowners insurance. Sometimes people think they are covered for certain losses that are not covered. For example, many people think they are covered for flood damage when in fact flood insurance is a completely different policy and not included in homeowners insurance.

3. Don’t file a claim if it’s not sudden, accidental, and catastrophic

Insurance companies are very picky when it comes to the type of damage they will cover for your home. If your son accidentally breaks a window while throwing baseballs in the backyard, your insurance may or may not cover the damage. While it is sudden and accidental, it’s not necessarily catastrophic. Another example type of claim that often gets rejected is if the damage is actually a home improvement project, like a rotted fence or old carpet. Read your homeowners insurance policy carefully to determine what exactly they will cover.

4. Don’t file a claim if you’ve submitted too many claims in one year

This one is tricky because there is no fine line for how many claims are too many. It’s a good idea to keep track of how many claims you file each year and check your history before filing another. A good way to do that is to look up your CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange), which is a collection of all the personal auto and property claims you’ve made over the past 7 years. Insurance companies measure your chances of receiving a settlement based on your CLUE, so it’s smart to be familiar.

5. When in doubt, ask your agent!

Considering the fact that filing a homeowners insurance claim is tricky, it’s usually best to go through an insurance agent who knows the ins and outs of the industry. They can help you determine whether a claim will increase your premiums or knock you off the policy or if you might have a chance of getting a settlement.

Don’t have an insurance agent?

If you’re looking for some guidance on filing a homeowners insurance claim, just contact us for a complimentary quote and to discuss your particular needs.

Flood Insurance in San Antonio, TX

flood insurance flooding insurance san antonio tx texas Are you prepared for mother nature?

Many people have been affected by recent flooding in the San Antonio, TX Area. Sadly, they have been left with significant financial loss because of the damage.

If you are not prepared for mother nature’s surprises, it might be time to consider a flood insurance policy.

Here are a few common questions about flood insurance that will help you prepare for mother nature:

Won’t My Homeowners Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Unfortunately, one of the most common misassumptions is that flood damage is covered by homeowners or property insurance. Actually,  property owners must purchase flood insurance as a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

What is the National Flood Insurance Program?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), run by FEMA, provides affordable flood insurance to property owners in medium-high risk areas in an effort to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.

Flood insurance is sold and serviced by private insurance companies in more than 21,000 communities nationwide. The federal government sets the terms and rates.

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

Costs for flood insurance plans vary based on the property’s level of risk, how much insurance is purchased, and what the policy covers. The best way to get an idea of how much a plan would cost is to talk with your insurance agent about your specific needs and get a quote.

How Soon Can I Use My Flood Insurance?

Be aware that a flood insurance policy normally takes 30 days from the date of purchase to go into effect. In other words, don’t wait until the rainy season begins to purchase a flood insurance plan.

What About Federal Disaster Assistance?

Federal disaster assistance is only available in the case of a federally declared disaster and often comes in the form of a loan that must be paid back.

Many times water damage is not caused by a declared disaster, and therefore government assistance is not available. The good news is that flood insurance will cover any kind of flooding, whether it’s a declared disaster or not, and you do not have to pay it back.

Should I Buy Flood Insurance?

The better question is can you afford to NOT have flood insurance?

Did you know that the average residential flood loss claim is $38,000 and nearly 25% of those claims come from low risk areas?

In the last month alone, over 8 inches of water has covered the southern part of Texas, destroying homes, cars, and properties. Even if you live in a low risk area, it only takes an inch of water to destroy an entire home.

Yes, it’s important to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy.

Especially if you live in a high risk flood area. In fact, many homeowners are required to purchase flood insurance if they have a mortgage and live in a high risk area.

If you’ve never thought about preparing for mother nature’s surprises with flood insurance, now is the time to talk with an insurance agent about your options. With flash floods and continuous rain in the forecast, don’t wait until it’s too late.