Cancelling a claim

by Suzanne
(Ontario)

In a three year period I had damage to my house due to a roof leak in a rainstorm within three months of moving into this house (I had had a home inspection and the rotted roof was missed by him) and last July a mini tornado damaged my house. Both times I called my insurance company and then withdrew the claims because it seemed prudent to pay for the damages out of pocket. Both times I was not advised that they were considered "claims" regardless. When my house insurance policy came up for renewal the premium was almost doubled and the deductible shot up to $2500. My broker said that contacting the insurance company was the wrong thing to do. I was told only last week that I should NEVER call the insurance company but my broker and that both were considered claims whether there was financial settlement or not. He also said that my insurance was in danger of lapsing after my call in July of last year. The insurance company considered it to be a "three claim - you're out" (my ex-husband made a claim with financial settlement almost 10 years ago when we were still married). No one warned me of any of this.

How can this be legal? At the very least shouldn't it be made common knowledge on your policy to never phone the insurance company? My broker's website clearly counsels clients to phone either one. Have I any recourse? Shouldn't someone have disclosed to me that my policy almost lapsed without my knowledge? How long will it take to clear my so-called high risk status?

Home Insurance Claims Answer


Hi Suzanne,
This is a frustrating situation.

In general, it is best to only make home insurance claims when the claim is substantially larger than the deductible. This is because after the first claim you lose a claims free discount. And after the third claim in a short time period your policy will be canceled at renewal with most home insurance companies. Not only that, but the purpose of home insurance is to provide protection from the financial devastation of large claims.

Usually claims are not counted after 3 - 5 years. So the statement that a third claim from 10 years ago is causing this doesn't quite fit.

Home insurance rates have really climbed and you have lost your claims free discount. So that alone could have done it.

If your policy is canceled you will have to get high risk insurance which is way more expensive with much lower coverage.

This doesn't fully answer your question, but hopefully gives you a better understanding.
--

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Keep in mind that insurance licensing, legislation, and policies often vary by province and most certainly by country. Canada Insurance Source is a free information source. So use this site to gain a general understanding of insurance with your own area and situation in mind.  Make sure you review the "please read" page. Always speak with a licensed insurance professional about your specific situation.

Always speak with a licensed insurance representative about your specific situation.

This site is general in nature and there may be errors or ommissions

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