How Long Home Insurance Claims Stay on Your Record

Updated: May 22, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Homeowners insurance claims typically stay on your insurance record for about five to seven years. This record is maintained in a database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE), which insurance companies use to track claims history.

Understanding how long a claim stays on your record before you file one is helpful, as it can influence your insurance premiums and eligibility for new policies.

Key Takeaways

homeInsurance icon

Home insurance claims typically stay on a homeowner's record for five to seven years and are tracked through the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE).

clock icon

The length of time claims stay on your record can be influenced by the type and severity of the claim, the number of claims, the insurance company's policies and more.

money icon

Homeowners insurance claims can lead to increased premiums, especially if they are significant or frequent, suggesting a higher risk of future claims to insurers.

How Long Home Insurance Claims Stay on Your Record

Homeowners insurance claims stay on your record for anywhere between five to seven years, tracked through the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE). This database is used by insurers to assess an applicant's claims history and potential risks.

Insurance claims remain on your record for five to seven years to provide insurers with a relevant snapshot of your risk as a policyholder. Here are a few reasons insurers look back at past claims for this length of time:

  • Risk Assessment: Past claims are one of the best indicators of future claims. By examining the last five to seven years, insurers can identify patterns in claims that may suggest a higher likelihood of future incidents.
  • Statistical Validity: This period aligns with the timeframe actuaries determine as statistically relevant for predicting future home insurance claims based on historical data.
  • Fairness and Relevance: Keeping claims on your record for this length of time strikes a balance between keeping relevant information and not over-penalizing for old incidents that may no longer indicate current risk.
  • Regulatory Standards: Insurance regulations often guide how long data can be held and used for underwriting purposes, ensuring the practices align with legal standards and consumer protection laws.

Generally, insurers consider this period long enough to reflect your risk based on recent history but not so long that it unfairly penalizes you for old issues. 

Factors That Impact How Long Claims Stay on Your Record

The duration that insurance claims remain on a homeowner's record is influenced by several key factors, such as the type and severity of the claim, the number of claims filed and the insurance company's policies. Understanding these factors can help you comprehend the impact of your past claims on your insurance eligibility.

    insurance2 icon

    Type of Claim

    Different types of claims can have varying impacts on how long they stay on your record. For example, claims involving water damage or theft may be viewed as indicators of ongoing risk and remain on record longer than claims for minor accidental damage.

    earthquake icon

    Severity of the Claim

    More significant claims, especially those involving large payouts or serious incidents, will likely remain on your record longer because they suggest a higher risk level.

    homeInsurance icon

    Number of Claims

    If you have multiple claims within a short period, this could extend the time they impact your insurance profile. Frequent claims can flag you as a high-risk policyholder.

    greenHouse icon

    Insurance Company Policies

    Different insurers have different policies regarding how long they keep claims on record. While the industry standard tends to be around five to seven years, some companies may retain information for shorter or longer periods based on their internal policies.

    usMap icon

    State Regulations

    Insurance regulations vary by state, affecting how long claims are visible. Some states might have specific rules limiting past claims' use for determining current insurance rates.

    house2 icon

    Claims Resolution

    The nature of the claim resolution might also impact the duration. Claims that were closed without payment or were denied might not affect your record compared to those where the insurer made a significant payout.

Do Home Insurance Claims Affect Premiums?

Homeowners insurance claims can indeed affect your insurance costs. After a claim, it's common for your insurance premiums to increase, especially if the claim is for a significant amount or if you have filed multiple claims in a short period. Insurers adjust premiums based on perceived risk, and a history of claims can suggest a higher likelihood of future claims.

Claims can also impact your eligibility for claims-free discounts. You may lose these discounts once you file a claim, leading to higher overall costs.

When Home Insurance Cannot Increase Rates After a Claim

Certain circumstances and events can prevent your insurer from increasing your rates. These include natural disasters and claims that fall below a certain cost threshold. Additionally, regulatory guidelines in some states and the nature of the claim itself, such as no-fault incidents, may also prevent insurers from increasing rates. Understanding these exceptions is crucial for homeowners to manage their insurance costs effectively.

Instances where insurers cannot increase rates after filing a homeowners insurance claim include:

    earthquake icon

    "Act of God" or Natural Disasters

    In many cases, insurance rates cannot be increased due to claims for damage caused by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. These events are considered beyond the homeowner's control.

    homeInsurance icon

    First Claim Exceptions

    Some insurance policies include a "first claim forgiveness" feature, where the insurer agrees not to raise your rates after your first claim. This is designed to provide peace of mind to policyholders who have not previously filed a home insurance claim.

    hammer icon

    Small Claim Thresholds

    Certain insurers may have a threshold below which they do not raise premiums. Your rates might stay the same if the claim's cost is below this threshold.

    mortgage icon

    No-Fault Claims

    If the claim involves circumstances that are clearly not the fault of the homeowner, such as vandalism or damage caused by a neighbor's actions, some insurers may choose not to raise premiums.

    usMap icon

    State Regulations

    Some states have specific regulations that limit when and how insurers can increase premiums following a claim. For example, certain states prohibit rate increases based on a single claim or require that increases only occur if the insured demonstrates a pattern of frequent claims.

How to Prevent Home Insurance Rates From Increasing After Filing a Claim

While it's not always possible to avoid a home insurance rate hike, there are several strategies you can use to minimize the likelihood of an increase or mitigate its impact:

Maintain a High Deductible

Opting for a higher deductible can lower your premiums and discourage filing small claims, which in turn can help maintain your claims-free discount and avoid rate increases.

Claim Prevention Measures

Implementing safety and security improvements in your home, such as installing security systems, smoke detectors and storm-proofing features, can reduce the likelihood of claims. Many insurers offer discounts for such preventative measures, which can offset potential rate increases.

Understand Policy Terms

Knowing the details of your insurance policy can help you understand what claims are more likely to increase your rates. This knowledge can guide you in deciding when to file a claim.

Claims-Free Discounts

Some insurers offer discounts to homeowners who have not filed a claim for a certain number of years. Preserving this discount by not filing small, manageable claims can be financially beneficial in the long term.

Regular Policy Reviews

Review and compare insurance policies regularly to ensure you're receiving the most competitive rates and the best coverage. This can also include negotiating with your current insurer for better terms based on your loyalty and claims history.

FAQ About How Long Home Insurance Claims Stay on Your Record

Navigating the complexities of homeowners insurance can raise many questions, especially concerning the impact of filing claims on your insurance rates. To help homeowners better understand these dynamics, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you get a snapshot of the pros and cons of filing a home insurance claim:

How long do homeowners insurance claims stay on your record?
Do homeowners insurance claims always lead to higher premiums?
Can you prevent your homeowners insurance rates from increasing after a claim?

About Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.