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Can the insurance company increase the deductible on your claim?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2022 | Property Damage Insurance Claims |

What you pay for your homeowner’s insurance reflects the value of the property you have insured, the claims you have previously made and the overall value of your policy. The higher your coverage limits and the lower the deductible, the more you will typically pay for your insurance.

Most homeowners try to balance a reasonable deductible with an affordable annual insurance premium. After all, you need to be able to pay out of pocket for that deductible right away after significant criminal activity or a major inclement weather event. When you make your claim, you should know what to expect based on your current policy documentation. What can you do if your insurance company tries to impose a higher deductible in response to your claim?

They cannot retroactively change the policy

To assert your rights and get the coverage that you have long paid for, you need to understand what insurance companies can and cannot do. It is a bad faith practice to try to change your coverage after you have already paid your premium for the policy.

In other words, if you pay from January to January and file a claim in August, the deductible that you agreed on when signing your renewal contract in January is what applies to the claim, regardless of the circumstances.

The insurance companies can increase what they charge you or demand a higher deductible for your next renewal, but they can not change the terms of your policy when it is already in effect. Some agents will count on you not understanding these rules and will try to lie to you or trick you into signing paperwork that will alter the terms of your policy and minimize the company’s financial obligations.

How do you fight insurance company tricks?

From stonewalling you and refusing to answer phone calls from your roof repair company to trying to trick you into accepting less coverage than you require, there are many insurance company tactics an agent or adjuster may employ to minimize how much you receive for your claim.

It can be very difficult to make sense of your policy paperwork, let alone to handle the manipulative tricks employed by insurance professionals. Homeowners facing a large claim and an uncooperative insurance company may benefit from bringing in professional help to handle negotiations and educate them about their rights. Reviewing your policy paperwork and standing up for yourself will both be crucial as you navigate a homeowner’s insurance claim.