How to File an Insurance Claim Without Increasing Your Rates

It is a good idea to have insurance in case of costly damage to your car, home or health. However, filing a claim with home, renter's, health or car insurance companies can sometimes result in 20 to 40 percent rate hikes. The best way to ensure that large claims are paid without increasing rates is learning how insurance companies look at claims, as insurance for disasters rather than small expenses. Then, you can decide which claims are unlikely to raise rates and which are likely to keep them steady. Learn how to file an insurance claim without increasing your rates.


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    Research your policy benefits ahead of time. With health insurance, call the benefits hotline or look online to see whether a test or procedure is covered, and it may tell you what is needed in order to ensure the insurance will cover it. This will not work in the case of car or collision insurance; however, you can refresh your memory as to what is covered, and at what cost.
    • There are many advantages to staying knowledgeable about your policy. Some insurance agents must report any discussion of claims, whether or not they are filed. If you have unanswered questions, call now to discuss the policy without the risk of raising your rates.
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    Document the reason for your claims very well. Each type of insurance, whether it's health, collision, life or home requires a different type of documentation. Once you know there is a problem, request copies of records, receipts and other proof.
    • If you have just been in a car collision, take pictures and/or video before the cars are moved. Then, ask witnesses for their names, accounts and phone numbers. Write down how many passengers there were in each car.
    • Document your possessions for renter's and home insurance before there is a problem. Keep track of all of your possessions on a site like Take pictures and keep detailed information that you can call up in case of theft or damage. Keep receipts for large purchases or request old credit card statements.
    • Keep copies of all of your medical records. You will need to visit medical records offices to request them; however, it is worth the effort in case of large procedures or potential health care fraud.
    • If small repairs are necessary, keep all the receipts. It is not a good idea to spend too much money before the adjuster inspects the damage, but they can also be used as proof of the costs and extent of damage.
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    Know why companies tend to raise insurance premiums, so that you can avoid these red flags. Insurance companies may drop coverage or raise rates if people make frequent claims. To them, this signals that you are a high-risk individual, and they will attempt to get rid of your coverage instead of lose money.
    • There are certain kinds of claims that are most likely to increase your premiums. These are dog bites and slip and fall accidents in the medical insurance sector. Water damage in the home sector is seen as risky because many insurance companies do not cover water damage or mold.
    • As well as insurance companies increasing rates, the risk of claiming on these high risk problems is that they will be reported and make you a high-risk individual if you seek insurance in the future. If your insurance company drops your coverage, every other insurance company will be able to see a record of your past history by requesting the appropriate documents legally.
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    Do not assume that every type of claim should be filed. Sometimes the best protection against rates being raised is to choose your claims carefully. You can save your insurance for large claims and pay smaller claims out of pocket.
    • While this may seem counter intuitive to having insurance, you are often more likely to be penalized for filing many small claims than 1 large claim. An insurance company may not raise rates for 1 small claim, but when they start to stack up, you look as though you are high-risk. Insurance companies may not question a large claim if a car is totaled or you have storm damage, because it is not indicative of reckless behavior or habits.
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    Choose high-deductible insurance policies. One way to by-pass this worry of having rates hiked for a lot of small claims is to choose a policy with a high-deductible. These policies may be less likely to see rate hikes, because they send the message to the insurance company that you have no intention of filing a lot of small costly claims, but, rather, that you keep insurance in case of expensive, unforeseen circumstances.
    • High-deductible insurance policies may also save you money on your premiums. Set aside the deductible amount in an interest-bearing account. Then, in case of a large claim, you will be ready.
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    Consider not filing a claim, if you could have prevented the damage. If the insurance company can prove that your negligence led to damage, they will refuse to pay and your rates may still go up. This is especially common with pest and water damage.
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    File claims for large disasters. Your insurance company expects you to use the insurance policy to avoid financial troubles, so call your insurance agent to make a report and get the forms right away. They can help to expedite your process, and this is unlikely to have extra bearing on your rates.
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    Evaluate your claim promptly. Just like reporting a large claim immediately, evaluating a small claim based on the above criteria quickly is important. Most insurance companies have a time limit on submitting claims.
    • Reporting your claim quickly will allow any evidence that you have gathered to still be relevant. It will also insure an adjuster can come inspect the damage. In some cases, waiting too long may make the company suspicious of a fraudulent claim.
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    Keep current on your insurance payments. After you have made a claim, you are more vulnerable to being dropped by your insurer. They may also stop payment on the claim if you become delinquent.


  • Beware that every insurance company has a different policy for raising customer rates. Despite taking all precautions, your rates may be raised. If you have avoided financial troubles by filing a large claim, a hike in rates may be worth the money you have recouped.

Things You'll Need

  • Copy of insurance policy
  • Claim documentation
  • High-deductible policy
  • Insurance agent
  • Insurance adjuster
  • Prompt insurance payments

Article Info

Categories: Insurance