TheNewsCenter | Parkersburg, West Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Preparing Before You Claim

By: Shannon Houser
By: Shannon Houser

Summer storms like last years derecho can hit at any time. Insurance experts say it's important to be prepared or you could get dropped.

"The fence just exploded one day. It just shot up in all these little pieces. Like an explosion."

This is just some of the damage Skip Holstein had on his Waverly property after major storms. He says he sent the claims in to his insurance company but then this happened; " I wasn't given any options. I was just cancelled," Holstein says.

It's something that happens to many homeowners. Getting dropped just when you need insurance, but experts say it's all part of the company's policy.

"Company A make look at claims frequency as having two claims within a certain specific period of time. Company B may say that's three. Company C may say that's four or more. It is going to vary by each company," explains Ohio Insurance Institute, VP of Information and Education, Mitch Wilson.

And that's exactly what happened to Holstein, although he says he was unaware his policy stated that."They told me it was their policy that after two claims they don't renew if you have two claims within a five year period."

While you may not be able to change the way your insurance handles your policy, there are some things you can do to be prepared ahead of time. Experts like Wilson recommend to first;

"Take a look at that situation. Try to prevent any further loss from occurring. Try to protect the property from any further loss."

Second;

"Then you would evaluate. Get the contractor out. Get someone out to determine the amount of loss."

And third;

"We recommend you evaluate that situation based on your needs and try to determine should we submit the claim or should we not submit the claim."

For more information on your individual policy, contact your insurance representatives.

Holstein's insurance company issued a statement in regards to his situation. State Farm spokesperson Dave Phillips says,

"Due to our privacy guidelines, it is inappropriate to discuss a policyholder’s renewal or cancellation. However, decisions to non-renew are never made lightly because we absolutely value the relationships we have with our policyholders.

Every policy is unique and is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions that help keep rates affordable for all of or State Farm customers.

When reviewing policies, we consider many factors including type of policy, claim activity and history.

Those considerations sometimes mean we have to make the tough decision to part company with a long-term policyholder."


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