Will Filing a Claim Affect My Insurance Premium?
January 22, 2024 3 minute read

At Chalmers, we understand the complexities and concerns that come with filing an insurance claim. A common worry for clients is whether filing a claim will lead to an increase in insurance rates. To help you navigate this, we’re here to provide some clear and practical insights.

Understanding how your insurance rates might change after a claim involves several key factors.

First, the nature of the claim itself holds significant sway over any potential rate adjustments. For example, if you're involved in an at-fault accident, this is more likely to lead to higher rates in comparison to claims for events that are out of your control, such as theft or damage from severe weather.

The frequency of your claims also plays a critical role. If you've made multiple claims in a short period, insurers might view you as a higher risk, which could lead to an increase in your rates. On the flip side, if your history with the insurance company includes few or no claims, a single new claim might not significantly affect your rates.

Another important aspect is the severity of the claim. Minor incidents generally have a smaller impact on your rates, whereas more substantial claims — particularly those involving liability issues or significant property damage — are more likely to result in noticeable rate increases.

Finally, personal factors, especially with auto insurance, are also taken into consideration. These include your driving record, age, geographical location, and driving habits. A clean driving record can work in your favor, potentially softening the blow of rate increases following a claim.

Why Rates Change

You might wonder why insurance companies sometimes raise rates after a claim. The reason is straightforward. Insurers reassess your risk level following a claim. A history of claims can suggest a higher likelihood of future claims. This perception leads insurers to adjust premiums, accounting for increased risk.

When to File a Claim: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits

Clients have every right to file a claim for any covered loss. However, it's also important to fully understand what filing a claim entails.

A critical component in your decision to file a claim lies in understanding the role of deductibles. A higher deductible generally means a lower premium, but it also results in greater out-of-pocket expenses when you file a claim. When considering whether to file a claim, especially for smaller losses, it's important to weigh the out-of-pocket cost against the possibility of a premium increase.

What is a deductible? It’s the amount you pay for a covered loss before your insurance policy starts to pay. New to insurance and curious about other insurance terms? View our full glossary here.

For significant losses that go beyond your deductible, filing a claim is usually the wise choice. These scenarios often involve considerable expenses where the financial protection of insurance becomes invaluable. On the other hand, in cases of minor damages, where the cost of repair is less than your deductible, handling the expense out-of-pocket can be a more economical decision. This approach not only avoids involving your insurance but also maintains a minimal claim history, which can be beneficial for your future rates.

When assessing whether to file an insurance claim, it's also crucial to consider the extent of the damage and the circumstances of the incident. The question of fault in accidents is also a key determinant in this decision-making process. If you're involved in an incident where you are not at fault, such an event might have a lesser impact on your insurance rates compared to a situation where you are at fault. However, each situation is unique, and the specifics of the incident can significantly influence how insurers assess your claim and adjust your rates.

Chalmers Insurance Group’s Role in Guiding You

As your trusted insurance partner, Chalmers is here to help you evaluate the long-term benefits and implications of filing a claim, ensuring you make informed decisions that align with your best interests. While filing a claim may affect your rates depending on several factors, our primary goal at Chalmers is to ensure you're fully informed and prepared for any outcome.

Reach out to us for more information, we’re always here to help! Call: 1-800-360-3000.

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