Insurance claims are the one subject that seems to cause the most amount of confusion with our clients. Before you automatically call your insurance company to file a claim, consider this: If you own property (house, car, commercial building, camper, etc.) you know that you are expected to maintain that property.
If your car has many miles on it and you discover that the tires are bald, do you call your auto insurance company to file a claim to get the tires replaced? Of course not. Yet we regularly receive phone calls from people who want to file a homeowners insurance claim because the roof of their house is 25 years old and beginning to leak. In the eyes of an insurance company, there is no difference between bald tires and an old leaky roof. They are both considered maintenance issues.
The two words that you should always keep in mind when deciding if you should call in any type of insurance claim are SUDDEN and ACCIDENTAL. This is the threshold that insurance companies look at when deciding if your claim is even an insurance issue at all.
If lightning strikes your house and causes damage, that certainly meets the threshold of sudden and accidental and we should consider filing a homeowners insurance claim. However, if your air conditioning system is old and has quit cooling your house, that probably fits within the parameters of maintenance and it will not benefit you to file an insurance claim.
If you are not sure, always call your insurance agent to discuss the situation before calling the insurance company. Your agent can help to determine if an insurance claim should be filed to help get any damage repaired.