In most cases, when your homeowners insurance policy nears its end date, your insurer will send you a renewal notice to continue your coverage. However, in some situations, you could receive a nonrenewal notice which means your insurance company is no longer interested in having you as a customer.
If your insurer chooses not to renew your policy, they will notify you of the reason in your non-renewal notice. While there may be reasons that you can address and have your policy re-instated, in many cases, you will need to shop for a new insurer to avoid a lapse in coverage.
Reasons your homeowners insurance may not be renewed
If an insurer decides to non-renew your policy, they must give you a reason in writing as to why they won’t be renewing your policy. Here are a few of the more common reasons for non-renewal:
Area too high-risk
If you live in a high crime area or more likely, an area that experiences frequent natural disasters such as wild-fires, flooding or earthquakes your insurer may decide you are too big of a risk. If an insurance company experiences massive losses in a certain area, they may decide to not write coverage in that area, in some cases, they may pull out of the state altogether.
Claim history may affect renewal
If you have made numerous claims on your policy, your insurer may decide that you are too big of a risk and refuse to renew your policy. You may also be non-renewed for making too many late payments, it is always a good idea to pay your premiums on time.
It is also possible to be non-renewed if your credit score takes a nosedive or if you end up with a new dog and your insurer doesn’t like the breed you chose. Some insurers will not insure certain dog breeds due to history of biting (Pitbull’s are commonly excluded) or violence.
Finally, a pool, trampoline or treehouse on your property can lead to a non-renewal with some insurers.
The home is vacant
The majority of homeowner insurance policies have a vacancy clause which means that if a home is empty and unoccupied for 30 days or more, your insurer can choose to cancel your policy. This is due to the fact that vacant homes are broken into more often, and if a pipe bursts there is no one there to deal with the issue, which can lead to a very expensive claim as the house may flood for days before anyone is aware.
Insurance company pulls out of area
While this was fairly uncommon until recent years, insurers may decide to no longer write coverage in your area. This is becoming more common as severe weather hits more frequently due to climate change. There have been a number of insurers that have pulled out of the Florida market in recent years as well as numerous insurers that have gone under in the Sunshine State.
How can I get coverage after nonrenewal?
When it comes to non-renewal, the notification time can vary by state but in most cases, you will receive at least 45 days’ notice which gives you time to address the issues or find a new policy. Here are a few options if you non-renewed for some reason:
Resolve the issue: If you are being non-renewed due to a payment or maintenance issue you may be able to resolve the issue and get your policy renewed. Maintenance issues can be fixed (as an example, your insurer wants you to put a new roof on your home) or resolved with your insurer so your policy can be renewed.
Dispute the nonrenewal: If you feel that your nonrenewal is unfair, most states allow you to dispute it. You should start by calling your insurers consumer affairs division and if you are unable to resolve it that way you can contact your state’s insurance department for help.
Shop for new coverage: Regardless of whether you are going to dispute the non-renewal or not, you should start shopping for new coverage. If you let your policy lapse without new coverage in place, you will be paying higher premiums in the future. Let us help you shop the best rate and coverage options, get started today, click here to get home insurance quotes!
In addition, if you have a mortgage on your home, you are required to carry homeowners insurance at all times or your mortgage company can force place coverage on your home which will absolutely be more expensive than coverage you could get on your own.
Always make sure your new policy goes into effect before your previous policy expires, to avoid a gap in coverage with will result in higher premiums in the future as insurers don’t like coverage gaps and charge more for a policy after there is a gap. Notify your lender of your new policy.
Depending on the reason for your non-renewal, you may struggle to find a new policy. If you have been non-renewed for too many claims or because of a high-risk area, finding a new policy may be more difficult. Many states have insurers of last resort which are run by the state and help homeowners who cannot find coverage put a policy in place.