If I file a claim will my rates go up?

After Hurricane Irene many people suffered downed trees in their yard, loss of power, spoiled food, and flooded basements. A common question heard is if I file a claim will my home insurance rates go up? The simple answer is no. But we all know insurance is not so simple. If you do file a claim and your insurance company pays the claim you will at the very least lose your loss free credit. This credit could be several hundred dollars. You would lose this credit for 3 years. To most people this would seem like a rate increase. The rate charged to insure your home does not go up, but by losing the loss free credit your premium will increase.

Obviously if you have a tree through your bedroom ceiling it will be worth your while to file a claim. A food spoilage claim for $250 may not be worth filing. It is a personal decision if you want to file small insurance claims. I would typically recommend against it only because they go on your file and if you file enough small claims your insurance company may decide to non-renew your policy. At that point your only option would be the Mass Property Fair Plan. And while the Mass Fair Plan is an excellent insurer of last resort, their rates are high and they do not offer the same coverage options.

If you have any questions on your policy feel free to call our offices at 781-293-5500 (Pembroke), 508-747-0030 (Plymouth), 508-428-6919 (Osterville).

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

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