Can you get negative results on your insurance just by asking about submitting a claim?

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Insurance Question from Great Falls, MT

Asked on 06/06/2010

Can you get negative results on your insurance just by asking about submitting a claim? My mother fell in our driveway due to uneven pavement and wants me to inquire about submitting a claim. Would that negatively impact our policy even if we don't formally submit a claim? Is there a time limit (it happened in March) and what proof would she need to show?

Answer given on June 10, 2010

Some insurance companies do have a policy of considering an inquiry as an actual claim submission.  While I don’t think this is a correct way of serving customers, you should speak to your insurance agent about this.  You do not have to give the agent any details, simply ask them if your company considers an inquiry to be a claim.  Also, if your mother lives with you, there may not be any coverage available for her injuries.  The liability portion of your insurance is for injuries to others, not household members. 

As far as the time frame involved, you are expected to submit a claim in a timely manner.  While there is no set time indicated in the policy other than timely, or as soon as possible, there are ways to explain your delay.  For proof, a medical bill for your mother on or near the date of the fall should be sufficient to prove she was injured.

An additional point to consider is the fact that your driveway has uneven pavement.  This is a safety hazard, as you have seen, and the insurance company will most likely ask you to repair or replace the driveway, or the area that is uneven, to avoid future losses.  If you do not make the repairs, the insurance company will have the right to non renew your insurance due to what is called an “increase in hazard”.  Therefore, if you submit the claim, be prepared to have to make the repairs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: These answers are for general information purposes only and are provided by the person answering and AS IS. It has not necessarily been reviewed by the management staff of nor is it binding any insurance agent, broker, or other insurance professional or any attorney or insurance company. Insurance laws, regulations and practices vary from state to state and insurance policies and practices differ from company to company, by type of policy, by state and locality and by type of insurance. Tiny variations in the facts, policy language or a detail not set forth in a question often can change the outcome or a professional's conclusion. Although has confirmed that the answer(s) was/were provided for the account of an experienced insurance professional, that professional may not be licensed in the state referred to in the question, and may not be experienced or up to date in the subject area. Unlike the answers provided here, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you consult a licensed insurance professional in your area or retain a licensed attorney listed on to represent you.

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption