Home insurance protects homeowners from the unknown; living without home insurance is not recommended. Home insurance is required by all homeowners with a mortgage or deed of trust to protect the home. Lapsed home insurance means you no longer have protection for damage to your home or visitors, so having your home insurance provider cancel a policy is not something you want. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences of a lapsed policy and how to avoid them.
Too Many Claims
A home insurance company may cancel your policy if they believe you are too risky to cover. If you have filed more than two insurance claims on your property in the last few years, you may find yourself in this situation. That’s especially true if the claims were for small, fixable issues like a pipe leak. How do you know if you’ve filed too many claims? Well, it’s not an exact science. Insurance companies look at the severity of the claim, the frequency, and whether they seem to be repeated occurrences. Raising your deductible may be a way to stay on with your current insurance provider. That means you have higher out-of-pocket costs, but still retain insurance coverage needed for a mortgage.
Once your homeowners’ insurance is up for renewal, your insurance company will send notice of an inspector. The company’s underwriter will come and inspect the property for any potential risks. If the underwriter finds any issues on inspection, you will receive notice that your policy is in danger. The notice will contain clear violations that the underwriter found. These may be fire hazard issues or areas of your home that are in disrepair. One common reason for policy non-renewal includes a significantly damaged roof. Your insurance company will require you to fix the issues before your policy can be renewed.
Not paying insurance premiums on time will result in immediate cancellation of your policy. Most insurance providers have a 30-day grace period for catching up on insurance payments. Some insurance providers may work with you on extenuating circumstances such as the death of a provider. The best way to avoid your home insurance lapsing from non-payment is to talk with your provider. Tell them the financial issues you’re facing, and they will be more likely to work with you to resolve them. Speaking up about your inability to pay before it happens shows you are taking responsibility for the situation.
Living in an area that is prone to natural disasters can also get an insurance policy canceled. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods are all risks that many insurance companies are not willing to bear. Your insurance company may look at claims for an entire area and deny everyone who lives there. In cases like this, you will need to find a high-risk insurer who is willing to assume the risk of a natural disaster.
Believe it or not, some insurance companies may deny you coverage over your choice of pet. Certain dog breeds are considered high-risk pets. Dogs like pit bulls may require additional liability insurance to keep. Many insurance companies keep a list of banned breeds due to historical statistics for those breeds.