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I have a lot of home insurance claims – can I still buy home insurance?

Homeowners Insurance ClaimIf you have a lot of home insurance claims, you can still buy home insurance. However, there are some facts you need to know.

A history of home insurance claims can have an impact on your current premium, your ability to purchase home insurance, or the premium a new insurance company may offer you.

Like with car insurance, claims made on your current insurance policy can have an effect on your insurance rate or whether you are offered a renewal of your current policy.

But did you know that, if you are looking to buy insurance for a new home, claims you may have made on previous homes could also affect your ability to obtain insurance or the rate you are offered?

Not only that, but insurance companies will also look at any past claims made on the new house you’ve just bought or are considering buying.

Say that you are buying a new home in an area that has previously seen a lot of damage—a flood or fire area, perhaps. In areas such as those, policies may have been suspended or just not offered for a period of time due to large numbers of specific claims (such as water damage related claims in flood areas). While insurance companies will likely be offering policies now, they are still going to look at any claims made on a home, and those claims could cost you.

In addition to the home’s history of claims, if you yourself have a long history of claims, those could also impact your insurance rate. In some cases, the insurance company may deem your home uninsurable, period. And this doesn’t even necessarily have to be in an area that has previously seen extreme damage.

To find the very best home insurance rates even with a history of a lot of home insurance claims then be sure to enter your zip in on this page and compare free insurance quotes from many different companies. Get started finding the best insurance now!

When is a Non-Claim Counted as a Claim?

And sometimes the insurance claims report can be surprising. One good thing to keep in mind is that insurance companies will keep track of any and all (and this really means any and all) claim-type call you make.

We say “claim-type call” because this includes even those instances where you don’t end up making an official claim. If you (or the home’s previous owner) call to check on the deductible for a potential problem, but then decide to forego the claim and pay for the repair yourself, that call will still be classified as a “closed” claim.

The report then has one more claim than anyone had anticipated, and could potentially cost you your home insurance. This is currently standard procedure, and perfectly legal. You can read more about the home insurance claims process in the article “What happens if I file a home insurance claim?”

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How is My Claim Information Accessed?

All claim information (located in what is called “loss history reports”) is kept in property claim databases. One of those databases is called C.L.U.E., which stands for “Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.” The other is Automated Property Loss Underwriting System, or A-PLUS. (Both are usually referred to as “C.L.U.E. Reports.”)

All claims made in the last seven years (even those that are closed when the home’s previous owner took care of an issue him- or herself) are recorded in the reports generated from these databases, and are what insurance companies will refer to when processing your application for home insurance.

The list of the possible claims that might be on the report is rather long. The report will include claims for more expected things such as fire, flood, or damage caused by smoke, wind, or hail. It will also include any claims made where someone (or someone else’s property) has been injured (such as if someone slips and falls at your home, or is bit by your dog).

You can access your C.L.U.E report if you are denied home insurance because of something found on the report—this is a right guaranteed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you are buying a home, you can request a copy from the homeowner(s), but you cannot request an official report if you are not the owner of the home.

This report can make a prospective buyer feel much more comfortable to make an offer on a house (so if you are trying to sell your house, this is a good thing to keep in mind, and you might want to provide one automatically).

This report can also make you a more conscious buyer, because it will provide you with the tools to make sure that proper repairs have been made.

Typically, if the report shows that no claims have been made for losses in the past five years, then the home’s loss history should not have an effect on your (or your buyer’s) ability to purchase home insurance, or the premium offered.

So What do I do Now?

To make sure that you can buy home insurance, keep up to date on your credit and C.L.U.E reports, as well as any laws in your state that pertain to home insurance (purchasing or renewal). Any time you are considering filing a claim rethink it before you make a final decision; because the moment you make that call, a claim file will be opened. It might make more financial sense in the long run to take care of smaller issues with your own wallet. Lastly, don’t give up hope if you are denied coverage at first, or if the rate you’re offered is high. Shop around; get several quotes and compare. Enter your zip code to start now!

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