My car got broken into and some stuff was stolen. Will insurance comp. try to take advantage of me?

My vehicle was broken into the other day (broke both front drivers and passenger side windows) and some items were stolen, and I filed a claim with my home owners policy for the items which were a 180 GPS, a brand new 800 notebook PC and a Leatherman multi-tool. My deductible is $ 250.00. The last claim I made on my homeowners policy was was approx 15 years ago for a stolen camera.

She (the adjuster) is sending me paper work to fill out for the claim. I used to have this company (Erie) for both auto and home policies but when I made a claim with them 4 years ago for a totaled car (approx $ 5500 claim) they dropped me like a hot potato soon after despite zero points on my record and a 17 year history with very few incidents, so I’m not thinking they have my best interests at heart.

I have the box and sales receipts for the notebook (purchased 2 weeks ago) but no docs for the other two items although I could probably dig up a receipt for the GPS.

It sounds straightforward but I’m suspicious after they way they treated my last time. Do any insurance savvy dopers have advice? Will they jack my rates up?

Yes. Of course. That’s what they do.

Did you file a police report on the theft? If not you will need to do so.

I would suspect that if your homeowner’s policy is with a reputable company, you should have no problems.

I don’t understand why you would base your assumptions on a single claim experience 15 years ago. That said, homeowners’ policies tend to be a lot more forgiving vis-a-vis claims experience than auto policies.

Yes I did and I forwarded the case # to them.

As single claim caused them to drop me as an auto policy client. I’m just wary at this point.

That’s what insurance companies do. They’re not in it to help you, they’re in it to make money, and it makes them more money if everybody paid their dues but never claimed anything.

They can afford to be. Auto policy claims are much more connected to the skills & driving habits of the driver, compared to claims under homeowner policies.

Yeah. Nobody gets tipsy and drives their house into the side of a bakery truck.

Just eat the loss. I wouldn’t make a claim for $730 (actually, with a $1,000 deductable, I couldn’t). Insurance is for bigger claims - think multi-thousands - that you won’t be able to eat.

Kitchen fire that costs $12,000 to fix? That’s a claim.

If you expect an insurance company to make you right for every little loss that slightly exceeds your deductable, then expect them to consider dropping you.

Bump up your deductable to $500 or higher, pay less for insurance, and just suck it up and pay for the minor stuff.

Why? I expect them to cover everything over the deductible I pay for. If the insurance company does not like that, then they need to not offer that level of deductible.

Let me tell you about sophomore year…

Or alternatively, drop you from coverage, which is what the OP is worried about.

Um, yeah. Will they raise your rates? Will they drop you? The answer to both is maybe, and if they do, good riddance.

Insurance, especially car insurance, is an ultra competitive marketplace. These companies make huge profits by minimizing payouts, and they do this by both challenging claims and dropping clients they deem risky. Whether that’s evil or good business is besides the point.

If they drop you or jack your rates, there are ten other places that will love to have your premium check.

In my case they didn’t drop me, they simply refused to pay.

So I cancelled the policy. The slug behind the desk just couldn’t understand that.

As someone stated above for home insurance it’s not a good idea to file a claim unless you have a big loss like a fire or major wind damage. For a small claim they will likely drop you and your rate will go up when you find another company to take you.

Homeowner’s insurance was originally designed to protect people against catastrauphic losses. house fires, falling trees, damage from roving bands of wild Indians(excluding acts of open war), etc. Most homeowner’s insurers, even the giants, are dying the death of a thousand cuts; it’s the nickel & dime claims that add up to far greater losses than their premium structures are designed to handle. For various marketing and regulatory reasons, however, they can’t eliminate coverages for minor theft, dog bites, and hail claims; and raising premiums to a level that approaches the actual expense of the policy would guarantee the death of the company because policyholders would simply dump the policy in favor of a cheaper one. NOBODY gives a damn about a company’s solvency or ability to pay claims until a major catastrophe strikes(Katrina, Ike, Northridge, etc), all anyone cares about is cheap rates. So the way homeowner’s insurers address the problem is to let the nickel & dimers demonstrate who they are and then drop them after paying the requested nickel or dime.

Opinions like this:

Are possibly accurate characterizations of the vast MINORITY of companies. Otherwise they represent a simple reluctance to think deeply about the nature and intent of personal lines insurance, and a complete disregard of the existence of the existence of a government-run insurance commissioner’s office in every state of the union who’s sole purpose is to advocate on the part of the consumer. Insurance is a contract: you pay your money, they pay your claim according to an insuring agreement. They break that agreement, you get rich in a bad faith lawsuit. From a profit standpoint, there are two things people like to forget. 1) An insurance company is a business and as such is entitled to make a profit. 2) An insurance company has a DUTY to its policyholders to remain solvent–if that means dumping the nickel & dimers (who are only mildly inconvenienced that someone broke into their car and stole some electronics that should have been properly secured elsewhere) so that they can be in a position to rebuild someone’s house after it burns down, then so be it.

Auto insurance is not in the same plight. If your carrier bends you over for a comprehensive loss or for paying for collision that isn’t your fault, fire them. You get what you pay for with auto insurance, rate shoppers get no sympathy from me.

I’ve never seen anybody sum it up as perfectly as this! It is 2010, do you not yet know to not leave electronic gadgets in plain view of people because they are one of the most commonly stolen items in the world?..that cars are always being broken into and searched for anything that can be stolen? I see little claims submitted all the time and in the long run it benefits neither you nor the insurance company.

Auto is a whole different can of worms.

Agreed, although the OP didn’t say anything about leaving his stuff in plain view.

You’re making a judgment of the OP that isn’t fair. And frankly, I think your defense of the insurance industry is a little overzealous. If you want to complain about the nickel and dime claims, then let’s talk about the folks whose houses are destroyed and have to fight for years to get a penny.

And with all due respect, if insurance companies don’t want to pay out $1000 claims on a home owners policy, they shouldn’t sell coverage for personal belongings. Don’t sell me something and then complain when I want to use it.