For many, the answer is a no-brainer: "Whenever I have an accident or suffer damage to my house or car."
Unfortunately, the decision about whether to file a claim is rarely so simple. In some cases, making a claim may cause an insurance company to raise your rates.
In other instances, the decision to file a claim could put your name into a database that makes it difficult to get or maintain coverage in the future.
Insurance is there to give you peace of mind and to restore a damaged car or property to its original state.
"The whole point of insurance is to make good on a loss, to make individuals whole again," says Claire Wilkinson, vice president of global issues for the New York-based Insurance Information Institute, an organization focused on improving public understanding of insurance.
Insurance claims better be worth it, because your premiums do rise when you make a claim. It is better in the cases of minor damage to just take care of the damage yourself rather than make a claim on which you have to pay a deductible PLUS deal with a rate increase.
Insurance costs contnue to rise every time a claim is made. Insurance is paid every month to help cover the costs of accidents or damage and yet when a claim is made based on the promise, insurance costs continue to rise as if the insurance companies have not built the cost for covering claims into their business models.
I've made a few claims over the years with my home insurance and I don't recall paying much higher premiums due to them. One was for hail damage which was quite expensive and costly. In my experience this hasn't been a problem, but overall you have to remember that insurance is more a scam than a legitimate business.