Home insurance cancellation laws by state

Insurance companies are required to provide notice before canceling your coverage, but how much notice varies based on state law.

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Rachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Pat HowardPat HowardManaging Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertPat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

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Homeowners insurance helps cover financial losses in the event of a disaster, so the prospect of having your policy canceled or nonrenewed can be especially frightening. While your insurance company may choose to cancel or nonrenew your policy if you don’t pay your premiums or you file too many claims, there are consumer protection laws in place that limit how, when, and why an insurance policy can be terminated.

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Most common reasons for home insurance policy cancellation

Insurance companies can only cancel your coverage in the middle of your policy for a few reasons, including: 

  • Non-payment: Your insurance company can let your coverage lapse if you don’t pay your premiums.

  • Too many claims: If you file too many claims your insurance company may choose not to renew your coverage. 

  • Insurance fraud: Insurance fraud is illegal and your insurance company will cancel your coverage if you file a fraudulent claim. If you are found guilty of insurance fraud you could serve time in prison or pay thousands of dollars in fines, so think twice before filing false claims or intentionally damaging your own property. 

  • Misrepresentation: Misrepresentation is enough for an insurance company to drop you, so lying about your dog’s breed or how many people are living in your home could be enough for your insurer to terminate your coverage.

  • Underwriting: If your insurance company discovers underwriting issues in your policy they could choose to terminate your coverage. For example, if you file a claim and your insurance adjuster notices your roof is much older than they thought or water damage they were previously unaware of, your insurer may drop your coverage mid-term.

Home insurance cancellation laws by state

Insurance is regulated on a state level, which means the laws regarding when and how your insurance can be canceled will vary from one state to the next. The chart below shows the laws regarding home insurance cancellation in each state.

State

Insurance cancellation laws

Alabama

Insurance companies must give at least 20 days notice prior to cancellation. Policies cancelled for nonpayment only require 10 days notice.

Alaska

If your policy has been in effect for less than 60 days, the insurer can cancel it for any reason. When your policy has been in effect for longer than 60 days, or your policy is a renewal, it may only be canceled for a limited number of reasons.

Arizona

Your insurance policy can only be cancelled for a few reasons after being in force for 60 days or more, including unpaid premiums, fraud, misrepresentation, and failure of the insured to eliminate or reduce conditions that could lead to a loss.

Arkansas

Policies cannot be cancelled after 60 days except for a few specific instances, including non-payment of premium. No insurance policy may be cancelled solely because of claims due to natural causes.

California

After 60 days an insurance company cannot cancel your insurance policy except for nonpayment of premium, fraud, material misrepresentation, or physical changes to the property that increase any hazard covered by your insurance.

Colorado

Insurance companies cannot cancel your insurance policy after 30 days except for a few specific reasons, such as non-payment of premium, misrepresentation, or fraud.

Connecticut

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation due to nonpayment and 30 days notice prior to cancellation for any other reason.

Delaware

Insurance policies require 30 days notice prior to cancellation; cancellation due to nonpayment requires 15 days notice.

Florida

Insurance companies must give 120 days notice prior to cancellation of residential property insurance unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Georgia

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation and return any unearned premium to the insured.

Hawaii

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation. Cancellation will not be considered valid without proof proper notice was mailed to the insured.

Idaho

Insurance companies must give at least 20 days notice before cancellation. Cancellation for nonpayment only requires 10 days notice.

Illinois

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Indiana

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation for policies in effect for more than 60 days unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Iowa

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Kansas

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation for nonpayment of premium.

Kentucky

Insurance companies must give 14 days notice prior to cancellation in the first 60 days of coverage and 75 days notice for policies that have been active for more than 60 days.

Louisiana

Insurance companies must give thirty days notice prior to cancellation unless due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Maine

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Maryland

Insurance companies must give 15 days notice prior to cancellation during the first 45 days of coverage. At least 10 days notice is required for cancellation due to nonpayment.

Massachusetts

Insurance companies must provide 5 days written notice to the insured (or 10 days for non-payment of premium) and 20 days written notice to lender or mortgage company prior to the cancellation of a policy.

Michigan

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

Minnesota

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Mississippi

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice of cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Missouri

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation.

Montana

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 20 days notice.

Nebraska

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Nevada

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation for all grounds except nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

New Hampshire

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

New Jersey

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation if a policy has been active for more than 60 days. Policies active for less than 60 days require 10 days notice.

New Mexico

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation.

New York

Insurance companies must give 45 to 60 days notice prior to cancellation.

North Carolina

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 15 days notice.

North Dakota

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Ohio

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Oklahoma

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

Oregon

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Pennsylvania

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

Rhode Island

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

South Carolina

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice before cancelling a policy.

South Dakota

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation.

Tennessee

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Texas

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation.

Utah

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Vermont

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 15 days notice.

Virginia

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Washington

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation.

Washington D.C.

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

West Virginia

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation or nonrenewal.

Wisconsin

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation.

Wyoming

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Collapse table

Cancellation vs. Nonrenewal: What’s the difference?

When your policy is canceled, the insurance company can stop insuring your home immediately, or within a short period of time after notifying you of their decision. While state insurance laws prevent insurers from canceling policies arbitrarily, they’re allowed to under certain circumstances, like not paying your premium.

Nonrenewal is when the insurance company decides not to no longer insure your home once your current policy period expires. Your insurer may choose not to nonrenew your policy for many reasons, such as if you live in an area that has seen a significant increase in natural disasters like wildfires or hurricanes.

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What should you do if your homeowners coverage is dropped?

There are several steps you should take if your homeowners insurance is dropped, including:

  1. Find out the reason for the insurance company’s decision and see if there is anything you can do to have your policy reinstated. 

  2. Most states require insurance companies to include an explanation should they choose to cancel or nonrenew your policy. And if they fail to do this, you can file an appeal with your insurance company directly or issue a complaint with your state’s insurance department to find out why your policy was canceled. If your coverage was canceled incorrectly you can request to have the policy reinstated.

  3. A FAIR Plan is a type of high-risk homeowners insurance for individuals who are unable to find coverage on the standard market. Depending on the reason for the cancellation, homeowners whose insurance policy was canceled mid-term may be considered high risk. Although FAIR Plans are typically more expensive and offer less coverage, they offer coverage for individuals who can’t get coverage anywhere else. There are 33 states (and Washington, D.C) that offer some type of FAIR Plan for high-risk homeowners.

  4. Consider purchasing surplus lines insurance if your coverage is canceled because your property is too high-risk or unique to be covered under a standard insurance policy.

Learn more >> How to get home insurance after nonrenewal

Frequently asked questions

Does an insurance company have the right to cancel policies?

Yes, your insurance company can cancel your policy at renewal for any reason for up to 60 days. They can also cancel your coverage in the middle of your policy term for a few specific reasons, like nonpayment or fraud.

What are the rules for home insurance policy cancellation?

Laws vary from state to state but, generally speaking, insurance companies can’t cancel your coverage in the middle of your policy term except for very specific reasons, like nonpayment or or a significant change in your risk profile. When an insurance company does cancel your policy mid-term, they are required to give you a minimum amount of notice based on the laws in your state.

What are the three types of home insurance cancellation?

There are three types of insurance cancellation: flat cancellation, pro-rata cancellation, and short rate cancellation. Flat cancellation means your policy is canceled on the effective date and there is no money paid or owed. Pro-rata cancellation means you are refunded any money you paid for advanced premiums. Short rate cancellation allows the insurance company to keep a portion of the unearned premium to encourage customers not to terminate their policy mid-term.

Author

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

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