Claim Free

What does claim free mean?

Claim Free is a discount that can appear on your personal insurance policy. The usual credit ranges from 10-30% and can make a significant difference on your premium. It may not affect all the categories on your policy.

A commercial or business-type policy will not usually declare a discount for not having claims. The fact that you are claims free will affect your rate with the insurance company. It also may help to determine how high the minimum deductible will be for any losses.

Some insurance companies offer a claims waiver. This extra coverage means that your first claim is disregarded. Do understand that the second claim now becomes the second claim and the first claim is now also charged. The waiver only works when your record has been claims free up to the point of the loss.

How to achieve and maintain claims free status

Some of the steps you could consider include:

  • Day-to-day choices - what do you do to help avoid or control your chance of having a claim? This would include everything from checking batteries in your smoke detectors at home to knowing the current road conditions before you drive to work.
  • Split up your policies. If your tent trailer has a tree branch crash into it while on a camping trip during a heavy rainstorm then the claim for that policy will not affect your homeowner policy. This only works if you have separated the policies. The same can be said for watercraft - insure your boats and contents under their own policy. Yes, you will lose claim free status on these smaller policies for a while but it will not affect your higher premium home insurance policy.
  • Purchase claim forgiveness where you can. Not all companies offer this so you need to discuss your options with your broker or agent.
  • Consider paying out smaller claims out-of-pocket.

Sit down with your agent or broker to talk about what you want in insurance. Not everyone feels the same way about claims.