Your homeowners policy protects against financial ruin if your home is damaged or destroyed. It can be frightening and stressful to find out your homeowners insurance has been cancelled. You might feel more confident managing your homeowners insurance by understanding the different types of cancellations and what to do in each case.
Types of homeowner insurance terminations
There are many types of homeowner insurance terminations. Some are simple to solve, while others may require you to change insurance companies. These cancellations also apply to renters insurance. These are the three most common types:
If you act quickly, a homeowners insurance lapse can be one of the easiest issues to resolve. If you fail to pay your insurance premiums, your policy will lapse. If your coverage is canceled, you could be without insurance in the event of a break-in or other disaster.
Many home insurers offer a grace period during which you can make payments to reinstate your coverage. Paying your premium immediately if you are responsible for your payment is the best way to resolve a problem with lapsed coverage, provided you remain within the grace period. You may need to contact your mortgage lender if your mortgage company has paid your insurance out of an escrow account.
You will receive a nonrenewal notice notifying you that your policy will no longer automatically renew after your coverage period expires. You or your carrier can initiate a nonrenewal. If you have received quotes elsewhere and decide to change insurance companies at your renewal date, you may initiate a nonrenewal. You may be denied renewal by your insurance company for a variety of reasons. These include your claims history, the condition of your house, and your personal financial situation. Your policy could be cancelled if you are not a good fit for the underwriting profile of the company.
Your insurance company may decide not to operate in your area, or withdraw coverage after you file a series costly claims such as a major flooding or other natural catastrophes. No matter the reason, your insurance company must notify you in writing if it decides not to renew your homeowners’ insurance. Most states require that companies give you at most 30 days notice so you have time to shop around for an alternative.
Like nonrenewals you and your insurance company can initiate cancellations. Cancellations are different from nonrenewals because the end of your coverage is not on the same date as your renewal date. If your homeowners insurance policy begins and ends on January 1, every year, a cancellation notice will never cancel your policy. Cancellation notices can be sent at any time during the policy term.
There are many reasons why insurance companies might cancel your policy. Your policy could be cancelled if you make false statements or omit information during the application process. This applies even if your policy and home were purchased recently.
Inspections are one of the main reasons insurance companies have to cancel home insurance policies. Inspections are an important part of insurance policies. They usually inspect homes after new policies have been written. If your roof is damaged, your home has structural problems, or your company discovers you have an ineligible breed of dog, you might receive a cancellation notice. You will need to fix the problem or your policy could be canceled.
State laws require insurance companies to give you written notices of cancellation. Companies must usually give you notice of cancellation within 30 days. This allows you to talk with your carrier about the cancellation and address any concerns.
You can also cancel your home insurance. You might have found a better company or sold your house. To cancel your policy, you can contact your carrier. To confirm your request, you may be required to sign a cancellation agreement.
What should you do if your homeowners’ insurance is cancelled?
There are several steps that you can take depending on what type of notice is received. You should immediately contact your insurance company if you get a homeowners insurance notice of lapse. Make your past-due payments. Your mortgage lender may require that you notify your mortgage company once you have restored your policy. The lender might purchase a new policy for you and require that you pay. This is even if the policy is more costly than your existing lapsed one and doesn’t include coverage for personal property. Your lender should know if you have been reinstated so it can cancel this force-placed coverage. If you get a lapse notice and your insurance has been paid through an account, it is advisable to contact your mortgage company and request that they send the payment to you.
You should first find out the reason your policy has been terminated if you get a notice of non-renewal. You will receive a letter with an explanation. Or, you can call your carrier for more information. You may be able, depending on your situation, to make changes to you home or to your policy that will satisfy insurance companies and convince them to continue your coverage.
Similar to a notice of cancellation, you should contact your insurance company if you are notified that your policy has been cancelled. You may be able make necessary home improvements if your homeowners insurance is canceled following an inspection. The company may be able to cancel your policy and reinstate it.
It may be difficult to get coverage if your insurance company refuses to renew your policy. This is especially true if there are multiple claims and your home is in poor shape. Check with your state’s insurance commission if you have difficulty finding affordable homeowner insurance. You may be able to find a list of carriers that can provide coverage for homeowners who are more difficult to insure.
Questions frequently asked
My homeowners insurance is being cancelled.
There are many reasons your home insurance might be cancelled. A letter explaining the situation will usually be sent to you. This letter will give you a time limit before your coverage ends. You may lose your coverage due to nonpayment. Your insurance company could also decide to cancel your policy for claims.
Can I contest a home insurance cancellation?
It is possible to contest a cancellation depending on the circumstances. An agent may be able work with an underwriter directly to reach a compromise. You could also call your company directly. In return for your company maintaining your policy, you might be asked to raise your deductible or reduce your coverage if you have made multiple claims. It may be worth getting quotes from other companies to ensure that you don’t have to search for coverage quickly if negotiations go sour.