FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIM ON YOUR RESIDENCE, RENTAL OR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY?
Do you wonder whether or not you have a claim to file on your home insurance policy…. or even whether you should? Do you worry about your insurance rates going up if you do file a claim? Does your homeowner’s insurance policy cover your type of damage or loss? We always recommend calling your agent first but if that’s not an option give us a call at Langley Construction today and we can assist with your next decision on whether to file, or not to file the claim.
Langley Construction works closely with most Homeowner’s and property Insurance companies to help alleviate your worries and confusions. We can help handle your claim by working directly with you, your insurance company and your designated adjustor, or even do the adjusting and repair portion for you. We will determine, with your help, whether you have a claim, if it meets or exceeds your deductible and whether or not it’s in your best interest to file the claim or to do the repairs without needing to have the insurance company involved in the process.
Here are some general rules and ideas to keep in mind when considering filing a claim with your homeowner’s or property insurance company:
- If you are going to contact your insurance company to ask questions on whether or not damage or loss is covered, be sure to ask your questions in a “hypothetical” situation. Even if you don’t actually file a claim the insurance company creates a file for each situation that you have contacted them about, whether they pay out or ultimately deny your claim. In turn, your insurance company reports this information to what is called CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) to track and monitor your claim history. This database holds all personal property AND personal auto claims that you have made over the past 7 years. This is why it’s very important to talk to your insurance company in a hypothetical situation.
- We advise not trying to file a claim on your property if it is less than your deductible, mostly due to it not being covered. You must meet your deductible before your insurance company will pay out and if the damage or loss is less than your deductible, you may have filed a claim for no reason. This subsequent claim will sit on your insurance record for a minimum of three years and can/may increase your insurance premiums. Also, make sure to weigh the benefits and risk-reward to not filing a claim even if it goes over your deductible by as little as $200-$1000.
- Know your insurance policy! Make sure before you decide to file a claim with your insurance company that you actually have that coverage on your policy. If you file a claim and the insurance company subsequently determines that it is not covered by your specific policy and they don’t pay out, that claim doesn’t go away. It still sits on your record as a claim filed and will be on your record for a minimum of 7 years after the incident. Make sure you’re covered for the claim!
- Don’t submit an insurance claim for something that is really more of a home maintenance project. For example, if your fence is falling apart, rotting away and needs to be repaired or just completely replaced, decide to add into your monthly budget saving the money to repair the fence on your own without filing a claim. This will save you time and money in the long run by not having to involve your insurance company and by also not taking the chance of having your insurance rates increase because you filed a claim. The added benefit to replacing your fence, roof, siding, windows, etc., on your own as well is that a better maintained home gets better premiums. (NOTE: the best way for the layman to look at insurance is like this, Insurance is for non-maintenance items, which as a general rule should be taken care of on a routine basis. Obviously, hail damage to a roof, driving one’s car through the garage, pipes bursting in your home and causing interior water loss, etc. are not what we consider “maintenance” items). Painting, fence, deck, roof, siding maintenance (things that wear out over time), etc., should be considered more along the “maintenance” line of things.
If you have questions pertaining to whether or not you have an insurance claim, or whether or not you should file the claim, call Langley Construction. We can answer most of your questions dealing with these types of scenarios. We will assist you in making the most informed decision for your specific situation. As we all know, no incident is exactly the same. Give us a call today! 406-251-6900 or 406-251-7916.
** SERVING MONTANA AND IDAHO
Please note, we can only give advice on the information we’re given and an on-site inspection is always the preferred method for us to be able to represent our clients to the best of our ability.