Owning a home is expensive; between maintenance, repairs, and renovations, homeowners can spend thousands of dollars each year keeping things looking and running great. Homeowner's insurance, like that from The Selzer Company, is there to help you deal with unexpected expenses, but many people are confused as to when it applies and when they should file a claim. Some of the facts on when you can — and should — file a claim with your insurance company may come as a surprise.
When The Damage is Accidental.
One of the first signs that a loss qualifies for a homeowner's insurance claim is when damage or loss is accidental. Homeowner's insurance is not designed to protect you from damages done as a result of failure to maintain your home or make necessary repairs, but to get you back to normal when something accidental occurs.
An accidental event may include a fire that is set unintentionally and without negligence (an appliance malfunctions), and damage that happens during normal activities (a paint can is spilled on your carpet). Weather events also fall under accidental damage, if they are covered under the policy.
When You Have Been Victimized.
Break-ins and vandalism are both examples of situations in which the homeowner is the victim, and the losses are therefore covered by insurance. This applies both to your personal property and all structures on the property from the house to the shed.
When the Damage is Over the Deductible.
There is no point to making a homeowner's insurance claim if the damage is below, or often just above, the deductible. This may seem obvious, but many people forget that smaller claims can add up to higher insurance rates. If you're not sure, get an estimate for damages before you file the claim. You can always file a claim, but it may be denied if it doesn't meet the deductible, or you can withdraw it if you choose to pay for the repairs yourself.
When You are Being Accused of Negligence.
There are a number of ways you could be seen as negligent and responsible for damages. If a tree in your yard falls and damages a neighbor's house, if your dog bites someone on your property, or if someone falls on your property — these are all common liability issues. If you are being held responsible for this type of damage, you should file a liability claim as soon as possible with your homeowner's insurance. This is especially true if a lawsuit is brought against you; your insurance company will help to defend you in a covered claim.
When Personal Property is Stolen Outside Your Home.
Your homeowners insurance policy covers your personal property everywhere you go. That means that whether your camera is stolen on vacation or your laptop is taken from your car, it's your home insurance policy that will step in to help.