Similar to staying adequately hydrated in order to avoid an actual headache, being prepared and taking care of yourself will help you avoid a figurative headache when it comes to homeowners insurance. After all, people’s homes (or other properties) tend to be their most significant asset, and so it only makes sense to protect something so valuable. While the unexpected can and does happen, it’s important to know when to file and when not to file a claim depending on the severity of a given situation. Indeed, to avoid any unpleasant surprises, policyholders need to understand why they have homeowners insurance and what happens in the event of a claim.
Providing Stittsville, Ottawa and Ontario With Expert Homeowners Insurance Services
Because homeowners insurance can be so fickle, your seasoned Ottawa homeowners insurance providers at Bradley’s Insurance are here to inform you on what to do and what not to do when it comes to filing a claim. Of course, Bradley’s Insurance home and auto policies are designed with our fellow Stittsville and Ottawa residents in mind, making sure that you’re protecting your house and car without sacrificing your wallet in the process. As always, feel free to learn more about home insurance in Ottawa, or discover what the greater Ontario community has to say about their home insurance experience with us.
Below are some important points to keep in mind about homeowners insurance.
Small Claims Aren’t Necessarily “Better” Than Large Ones
The typical understanding with claim sizes is that if a homeowner files a really large claim, they’re a “bad” customer in the eyes of an insurance provider, but that’s not necessarily the case. In many instances, small claims – minor happenstances that aren’t even close to what we’d describe as “catastrophic” – can actually be disproportionately expensive for an insurer to process. One of the main reasons why this is the case is because smaller claims tend to bear the same administrative costs as large ones. At the very least, insurance companies must work with adjusters and have a team of people review a series of claims to make sure they are legitimate, and naturally, this process takes time.
Do You Have a CLUE About Homeowners Insurance?
Here’s a great clue about optimizing your home insurance policy: get a CLUE. Seriously; a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange file is similar to a credit report, listing a homeowner’s history of losses and helping insurance companies determine a person’s risk for future insurance claims. Though you’ve probably never seen your CLUE file, if you’ve filed a claim on a home within the past five years or so, chances are that you have one.
In certain areas of Canada and the United States, CLUE reports can include information about inquiries homeowners make about their policies, even if they never actually file a claim. For example, if you contacted your friendly Ottawa insurer about what you should do with the recently broken window in your living room, the call could go on your record as a report of damage to your property. Note that the keyword is “could” in this scenario, but our point is that this information could be the basis for denying an insurance claim in the future. Curious about what’s in your CLUE report? Consumers and homeowners in Ottawa can obtain a free copy of their personal report online via the Federal Credit Reporting Act, the same law that allows people to view their credit reports. CLUE files can also be obtained at any time if a prospective insurance company denies coverage or makes any other adverse decision based on information in the report.
Your Claims History Isn’t The Only Factor In Your Risk Profile
Your “risk profile,” which really translates into an insurance score, is pulled from a plethora of personal data from sources including but also going beyond your CLUE report. With this data at hand, insurers can more accurately determine a homeowners risk for reporting future claims. Just to name a few things, your past claims history, your credit score(s) and your driving record all factor into your greater insurance score.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty technical details, the score is an actuarial math model that places everybody in different risk tiers. For reference, tier one could include the top ten percent of people in the population who (most likely) never file a claim, while tier ten would include the group with the worst claims history. While different companies use different models in order to accurately compute an insurance score, it is nearly impossible to determine what that score would be before a customer applies for insurance. In general, each homeowner can expect to be placed somewhere on the risk spectrum.
Keep Your Home’s Past In Mind
If you have great credit and no history of claims (bad ones, in particular), then congratulations! Though you’re likely in a good homeowners position, it is still possible to encounter higher rates based on a home’s past. Any damage that was reported on that property – even if it occurred well before you lived there – can and will adversely affect your insurance. Not good. To learn more about the history of your home (from an insurance perspective), your CLUE report can help.
Questions? Our Ottawa Home Insurance Professionals Are Here To Help!
Ready to get the best deal on homeowners insurance in Ottawa, Stittsville and other communities in Ontario? Bradley’s Insurance is ready to work with you. From high value homeowners insurance to home insurance with a trampoline, we’re ready to provide you with a financial peace of mind. Contact us today!