Talk to me about filing a homeowners insurance claim? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have State Farm in TX fwiw.

Had a bad storm last night and several branches fell and did damage to the roof. I think the cost to repair might be over our deductible, but I'm not sure without getting someone up on the roof as there are still limbs up there.

Our deductible is $2500 and I have no idea how I'm going to come up with that as that it our entire months income.

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#2 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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We had tree/storm damage a few years ago. We removed the tree ourselves, but had to have the fence repaired (the neighbor's tree landed on our fence). Apparently once the tree landed in our yard, it became our tree, and our responsibility.

We filed a claim with State Farm, and they sent an adjustor out to determine the amount of the damage. I think we got an estimate from the fence company too. Our deductible isn't nearly as high as yours, so we got most of the fence work covered.

Good luck - there's no getting around getting the roof fixed.

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#3 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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If you have not filed as claim before you probably receive a 20% discount. So take that into cost benefit considerations.... I think unless it is a huge cost that needs immediate replacement, you should leave the insurance out of it.
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#4 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeteaa View Post
If you have not filed as claim before you probably receive a 20% discount. So take that into cost benefit considerations.... I think unless it is a huge cost that needs immediate replacement, you should leave the insurance out of it.
would it mess up a claim with the insurance if we had a local estimate done first to make sure it's over the cost of the deductible?

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#5 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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Your insurance rates will likely go up...way up. Consider that also.

Single mom to 2 boys
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#6 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post
would it mess up a claim with the insurance if we had a local estimate done first to make sure it's over the cost of the deductible?
No, it won't. I would not inform the insurance until you have had a couple estimates done to see what you are really looking at in terms of repairs needed etc. Also consider that in some areas, roofs are covered with replacement cost coverage, and in other areas, they are covered at Actual Cash Value- meaning your coverage will have depreciated on the roof, so while the house may be covered for $200,000 of replacement cost in the event of a fire, if you have a claim to submit for a roof that is 15 years old- if the claim is for $10000, they may only cover say $5000, and you would still have the deductible- so with a $10000 repair claim, they may only pay $2500. (IMO, a $2500 deductible when you don't have that in savings is probably too high a deductible.)

On the flip side, a couple years ago a whole lot of people around here got brand new roofs after a storm- the insurance companies were pretty quick to approve entire new roofs instead of simple repair, and that made the whole equation work out to their favor- especially as many did the work themselves, so they paid the deductible in sweat equity- so to speak.

You will want to know what coverage you have, and what the estimated cost of repair is before you do anything else. Filing a claim is likely to make your rates rise, and it also may to make it harder for you to insure in the near future if you want to change companies. These are all things you need to consider.
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#7 of 7 Old 07-27-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by confustication View Post
No, it won't. I would not inform the insurance until you have had a couple estimates done to see what you are really looking at in terms of repairs needed etc.

...

You will want to know what coverage you have, and what the estimated cost of repair is before you do anything else. Filing a claim is likely to make your rates rise, and it also may to make it harder for you to insure in the near future if you want to change companies. These are all things you need to consider.


I have a background in homeowner claims and I completely agree with all of the above. And would add that the person who commented on your 20% discount makes a really important point. All of this needs to be factored into a cost and risk / benefit analysis.

Theoretically you could ask your agent for assistance in that but many have divided loyalties and may feel obligated to report the loss once they know about it in which case your premium could wind up going up anyway.

The one thing I would add is that you should get the estimates as quickly as possible. Normally a slight delay in reporting a claim is not problematic, unless it "prejudices" the carriers ability to make a determination on coverage, liability or damages. However, you do have a duty to mitigate your damages from this loss and prevent any future losses. What you don't want is for another storm to come along doing more damage to your interior or personal property and then having some sort of coverage question or question as to whether you took reasonable measures to prevent additional damages.

Oh, one other thing. If the tree wasn't yours and it's clear that there was a problem with it that the owner should have taken care of (e.g. a rotten limb or trunk) then if you move quickly you might be able to make a claim against your neighbor's policy without your carrier even knowing. That might depend upon how obvious it is that your neighbor should have taken care of it and whether they realize that your carrier would only subrogate agains them anyway.

Good luck,
~Cath
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