I have a roof which needed replacing before we had a storm. Do I make a
claim since the storm took a shingle or two off? My house is a modest
single family site built and it's paid for. I've owned it for 15 years and
never made a claim. (State Farm insurance).
Also, in general I have a separate but related question about how often to
make claims. Clark Howard seems to think you should max out your deductible
and only make a claim if the house explodes, then pay out of pocket for
non-catastrophes. However, another person who's opinion I respect says to
use it whenever you have a legit claim. This person has been a home owner
for 30 years and owns 17 rental houses.
"Unless your mortgage company prohibits it, Clark would like you to boost
your deductible to $2,500. Most people have a $500 deductible, but that is
not a good idea. Why? First of all, you pay a lot more in insurance costs.
Secondly, if you make a claim against your homeowner's insurance for a small
amount of money, the insurer may treat your horribly. Sure, they'll pay the
claim. But they may fire you after. So, you only want to use homeowner's
insurance for catastrophes."