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Be careful when filing minor insurance claims

Posted at 6:34 PM, Mar 01, 2016

Dodi Wright says her driving record is clean of at-fault accidents and tickets. Yet State Farm dropped Dodi and her husband, customers of 10 years.

The cancelation came months after another driver rear-ended Dodi even though the at-fault driver's insurance covered the damage.

The notice of non-renewal cited that accident plus five towing claims as the reason. The Wrights said they paid State Farm extra for road side assistance and towing.

Karyn Seibert, the owner of the Seibert Insurance Agency in Tampa, said insurers are looking at more than your driving record. It comes down to a risk profile and they want to identify people that are going to be profitable for business.

Her advice: Consider paying minor claims on your own so that you don't run the risk of higher rates or nonrenewal.

State Farm would not comment on the Wrights' policy but did explain: “There is no general answer to how road side assistance use impacts underwriting decisions. We handle each customer’s situation on a case-by-case basis since there are so many variations when it comes to each customer’s unique circumstances.”

The Wrights say the situation got worse when close to 10 other insurers turned them down before they finally found coverage. As for how the other insurance companies knew all about the State Farm claims, they all utilize a CLUE report that lists all of your claims, big and small.