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Pros and Cons of Filing a Home Insurance Claim

How to Know When to File a Home Insurance Claim 

You may consider filing a home insurance claim if your home is damaged by a covered peril. Before you do, it is essential you understand the pros and cons of filing a homeowners insurance claim. While filing a claim may seem intuitive, there are some situations in which you may choose to handle repairs yourself. Knowing the benefits and drawbacks can help you make an informed decision that is best for you.

Understanding Home Insurance 

Homeowners insurance provides coverage for repairs or replacements to your home in case of a covered claim. Your policy will list certain perils that your home insurance will cover. Common covered perils include:

  • Fire
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Vandalism
  • Theft

It is important you read your policy to understand all of the inclusions and exclusions. You should also know how to file an insurance claim to ensure a smooth process for you and your insurer. While the claims process is pretty cut and dry, navigating it can be overwhelming if you have never done so. 

The Pros and Cons of Filing a Home Insurance Claim 

  • Financial support
  • Catastrophe assistance
  • Reduced stress
  • Property value
  • Rate increases
  • Risk of non-renewal
  • Must pay a deductible
  • Policy limits
  • Potential future issues getting a policy

There are both benefits and drawbacks to filing a home insurance claim. You must evaluate each situation on its own and determine if it is worth doing so. Making several small claims could mean higher premiums down the road, but not filing claims is risky in case there are bigger underlying problems. 


Deciding whether to file a home insurance claim can be difficult, as it involves weighing potential pros and cons. Filing a claim can be a good option when there is substantial damage or loss. Here are some benefits.

  • Financial support: If your home is damaged, filing a home insurance claim can give you financial assistance to repair or replace depending on the severity of the claim and other underlying issues.
  • Catastrophe assistance: A significant event, such as a fire or a windstorm, can wreck damage on your home and property. In these cases, it’s almost always a good idea to file a claim
  • Reduced stress: Paying for repairs out of pocket can be financially challenging and emotionally stressful. Knowing you have insurance to fall back on when needed can provide comfort.
  • Property value: Ensuring that your damages are taken care of can help preserve the value of your home, which can be beneficial if you decide to sell or need equity to get a loan. 


While filing a home insurance claim has a lot of pros, as discussed above, there can also be some drawbacks. Here are some cons to filing an insurance claim.

  • Rate increases: Filing a claim may result in an increase in insurance premiums. You have to calculate the risk versus reward, whether it is worth it. 
  • Risk of non-renewal: If you have frequent or severe claims, your insurer may label you as high-risk and choose not to renew your policy. You may be forced to seek alternative coverage, which can be more expensive.
  • Deductible: Even if your policy does provide coverage for an event, you won’t be completely off the hook. You will still have an out-of-pocket expense in the form of a deductible.
  • Policy limits: It’s possible you may not have enough coverage anyway due to policy limitations. You should always read your policy carefully and review coverage limits often.
  • Future issues: If you need to shop around for home insurance in the future, having a claim history could make it difficult.

Factors to Consider When Making a Home Insurance Claim 

Making an informed decision regarding a home insurance claim requires consideration of several crucial factors. If you are back and forth about filing a home insurance claim, consider these factors:

  • Damage assessment: Assess the damage to ensure the claim payout is more than your deductible. Ask yourself if the damage is significant enough to need financial assistance to repair or replace.
  • Policy endorsements: Check your policy for special endorsements that may apply to the situation. Add-ons, such as flood insurance or replacement cost coverage, can make a difference in deciding if the claim is worth it. 
  • Claim history: Consider any claims you’ve filed in the past. Your insurer may deem you high risk for having too many claims, and you may have trouble staying insured. 
  • Out-of-pocket costs: Think about your deductible and possible future premium increases and whether you can still afford insurance. 

If you are still unsure, it is always a good idea to speak with a licensed professional who can guide you.

When to Avoid Filing a Home Insurance Claim 

Occasionally, it is more practical to address minor repairs yourself than to file a home insurance claim if you have the funds. The potential downsides of filing multiple claims may not justify minor damages, normal wear and tear, or self-inflicted problems. 

However, you should keep in mind that there could be more underlying damages. It may be a good idea to get a professional estimate before you decide to file a claim. If the estimate is less or close to your deductible, it may make sense to just pay out of pocket.

How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim 

If you have sustained damage to your home and think it may be covered by home insurance, you can file a claim. Follow these steps to get the claims process started.

  1. Contact your insurer. Contact your insurance provider when you are ready to file a home insurance claim. You can do so by calling or submitting claim information on the website.
  2. Document the damage. It’s essential to document any damage. Keep notes on when and what happened, and take photos or videos to have proof.
  3. Keep an inventory. Make a list of everything damaged, especially if it involves any personal property. If you have receipts or proof of value, also have that handy.
  4. Review your policy. Check your policy to be sure you have coverage. You can also review this with the insurer when you call to report the claim. 
  5. Finalize and work with the adjuster. The insurance adjuster will evaluate the damage and notify you how much coverage your insurer will provide. Review this carefully and communicate with them if you disagree with the number. 

Disputing a Denied Claim 

Policy exclusions, insufficient evidence, and disputes over coverage interpretation may all lead to insurance claims being denied. You can challenge a denied claim by following these steps:

  1. Review the denial letter. The insurance company will provide you with a denial letter. Look carefully at the reasons for their decision. 
  2. Understand your policy. Read your policy carefully to understand it and prepare your argument. 
  3. Gather additional evidence. Compile all your evidence to better support your appeal.
  4. Contact your insurance company. Let your insurer know you disagree and why.
  5. Consult a professional. Seek help if needed. Third-party assistance, such as an adjuster or lawyer, may make the difference. 
  6. File a complaint. If you still do not get the result you like, you can contact your state insurance department. 
  7. Take legal action if necessary. Consult with an attorney and consider legal action as a last resort.

All in All 

It can be worrisome when a weather-related event or another covered peril damages your home. While home insurance protects against the financial loss associated with having to pay for repairs, it may not always be beneficial to report the claim. 

You must weigh both the pros and cons before filing a claim. While filing a claim for big damages may make sense, smaller damages may be better paid out of pocket to avoid possible future rate increases or policy non-renewal. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

While there is no cut-and-dry answer, depending on the insurer and type of claim, you could likely see rate increases. Additionally, if you want to change insurers, the claims history may look bad to potential insurers, and you could be deemed high risk. 

Yes, you can reopen a claim if you discover additional damage. The adjuster must re-examine the damages and ensure they resulted from the same claim. Prepare to have all evidence and documentation ready. 

The adjuster is the professional who will come to your home to look at the damages and review your policy coverages to determine whether the claim is covered. You should be assigned one adjuster for your claim to work with, and they will be your point of contact. 

Some common mistakes that homeowners make when filing an insurance claim are filing too many small claims, not having supporting evidence or documentation, waiting too long to file the claim, cleaning up the damages before the adjuster can evaluate, and not reviewing their policy to make sure they have enough coverage.