Home insurance renewal: What you need to know

Home insurance renewal usually happens automatically, though it’s still a great time to review your policy to see if you can find better coverage or cheaper rates elsewhere.

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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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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.
Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.Learn more about oureditorial review process.

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Michael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™Michael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™Financial AdvisorMichael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™, is a financial advisor, principal and founder of Elevation Financial, host of the weekly personal finance podcast Wealth Redefined®, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

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Does homeowners insurance renew automatically?

Homeowners insurance renewal typically happens automatically. Roughly 30 to 60 days before the end of your policy, your insurance company should send you a homeowners insurance renewal statement. This statement explains that your home insurance policy is set to renew for another year, and also informs you of changes to your insurance premium or coverage limits.

If you don’t respond to your renewal statement, your home insurance policy will typically renew automatically as long as you send in your premium payment by the due date. 

However, if you respond that you’d like to change coverages or policy limits, you’ll receive a revised home insurance policy and premium quote to sign before your policy is renewed. Or if you let the insurer know that you’ve decided to switch insurance companies entirely, your home insurance policy will expire on the policy end date listed on your home insurance policy declarations page.

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Will my rate change when my home insurance renews?

Home insurance premiums often increase at the time of your policy renewal. In fact, 90% of homeowners saw a premium increase at time of renewal from May 2021 to May 2022, according to the Policygenius Home Insurance Pricing Report.

Your insurance company will inform you if your rates for the next year are higher or lower than your current rates in your renewal statement. If you notice your insurance premiums increased and you’re not sure why, reach out to your insurance agent for an explanation.

Here are a few reasons your rates may have gone up at the time of your home insurance renewal:

  • Your insurance company filed for an average rate increase in your state. It’s become common for home insurance companies to file requests with state insurance departments each year to increase rates state-wide by a certain percentage. This is due to a surge in costly home insurance claims after natural disasters, an increase in home insurance litigation (mostly in Florida), and inflation driving up labor and construction costs.

  • Your coverage limits increased. Your rates are largely determined by the coverage amounts in your policy. Since your dwelling coverage amount is based on the rebuild value of your home — and rebuild costs generally go up from year to year — there’s a chance your rates increased because your dwelling limit went up.

  • You filed a claim. If you recently filed a claim or have a long claims history, that could be another reason why your rates went up at renewal. Keep in mind that your insurer doesn’t have to wait until renewal to increase your premiums after a claim.

  • Your credit score went down. If your credit score went from great to poor in the matter of a year, that could be another reason why your rates went up. Homeowners with low credit scores are considered high risk, as insurance companies have found that property owners with poor credit are more likely to make frequent claims.

  • Natural disasters have increased in your area. If your community recently experienced a hurricane, tornado or wildfire, that could be another reason why your insurance rates went up.

  • Your home is older or due for upgrades. Older homes are constructed with materials and certain architectural features that aren't widely used anymore, so it generally costs more to rebuild them to their original specifications. If you have a bad roof or your plumbing is brittle and is in need of being replaced, that can also lead to higher premiums at renewal.

Learn more >> 5 reasons why your home insurance rates went up

How to decide if you should renew your home insurance policy

When deciding whether to renew your home insurance policy, our team of licensed insurance experts recommend following these steps:

  1. Review your home insurance renewal statement. Your insurer may have increased your dwelling, other structures, personal property, and loss of use coverage limits to account for inflation. It also could have also added exclusions to your policy, like that it no longer covers wildfire damage or dog-related liability claims.

  2. Check to see if your rates went up. It’s not uncommon for home insurance rates to go up at time of renewal for several reasons, including: your company filing a rate increase with your state, your credit score going down, or filing one too many home insurance claims. If your homeowners insurance premiums went up over 10%, it’s generally suggested that you re-shop your policy.

  3. Decide if you need to update your coverages or limits. You can use your home insurance renewal as an opportunity to inform your insurance company of any improvements or upgrades to your home; major purchases like an engagement ring or new computer; or lifestyle changes, like if you sent your kid off to college or you started a new home business that needs additional coverage. Renewal is also a great time to ask about discounts and different ways to save on homeowners insurance. One way to do this is by increasing your out-of-pocket policy deductible

  4. Compare home insurance quotes from several companies. You can use a marketplace like Policygenius to compare quotes from multiple home insurance companies in your area. Apart from comparing the policy itself and rates, you’ll also want to look into each insurance company’s background. This includes looking at financial stability and customer service ratings from sites like AM Best, J.D. Power, and Consumer Reports. You can easily find this information all in one place by reading our home insurance company reviews.

  5. Decide if you want to renew your current policy or switch insurers. If you decide to renew your current policy without making any changes, then you likely just need to send in your payment before the due date. But if you want to make changes to your policy with your current insurer, you’ll need to notify your company and sign a new policy. And if  you decide to switch insurers, you’ll need to cancel your current home insurance policy. There should be instructions listed on your home insurance renewal statement. If not, contact your local agent or insurer’s customer service department for next steps.

Learn more >> How to change home insurance companies in 2023

When else should I review my homeowners insurance policy?

Aside from your home insurance policy being up for renewal, experts recommend reviewing your home insurance policy at the following times:

  • You purchased new valuables. You might need to increase your personal property coverage limits, or add scheduled or blanket coverage endorsements to your policy to ensure your high-value belongings are fully protected.

  • You renovated your home. Whether you finished your basement, renovated your kitchen, or closed off your garage, any large renovations you make to your home likely means your home is underinsured and you need to increase your dwelling coverage limit to ensure you’re fully protected to pay for a full rebuild of your home.

  • You made outdoor additions to your home. If you added a deck, gazebo, fence, or new storage shed, you’ll likely want to increase your other structures coverage limits to ensure you’re fully protected to rebuild these additions after a total loss.

  • You added a pool, trampoline, or hot tub. You’ll also need to add additional coverages to your policy if you’ve added any of these additions to your home. In fact, you’re likely not covered forany property or liability claimsto your pool, trampoline, or hot tub unless you notify your home insurance company of these new additions.

  • You adopted a pet. Many home insurance companies deny coverage to homeowners with what they deem “dangerous” dog breeds, such as pit bulls, German shepherds, or Siberian huskies. If you don’t notify your insurance company of this addition to your family, they’ll likely deny any liability claims caused by your dog — or even cancel your policy entirely.

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6 reasons for home insurance nonrenewal

Your insurer also has the option to not renew your policy. This generally happens when the insurance company determines your house is too risky to insure — like if you live too close to a wildfire-prone area or you filed one too many claims in a given period of time. Insurers are generally required to send out nonrenewal notices around 45 to 60 days before the end of your policy period.

Here are a few reasons why your home insurance policy might not be eligible for renewal:

  • Your home insurance company stopped writing policies in your state

  • You filed too many home insurance claims

  • Your credit score decreased

  • You added a trampoline, pool, or dog with an “aggressive” breed to your home that increases your risk of filing a claim

  • Your area experienced an increase in costly natural disasters in the last year

  • You were late or missed a home insurance premium payment over the last year

How can I get homeowners insurance after nonrenewal?

If your home insurance company sends you a notice of nonrenewal, you'll likely have to start shopping around for a replacement policy. But before doing that, double check to see if you were lawfully dropped from your policy. If the insurance company broke any rules or didn't provide a reason for nonrenewal when they were supposed to, you may be able to appeal their decision and keep your coverage.

Know your rights

State insurance departments have regulations in place to keep insurance companies in check. These regulations stipulate when insurers can and cannot cancel policies or increase insurance premiums and they also have rules for nonrenewal.

In New York, for example, an insurance company must give you 45 to 60 days notice from when you’re informed of nonrenewal until the end of your policy term. Insurers are also required to provide a reason for nonrenewal.

If you think the reason for nonrenewal is unfair, you can file a complaint with your state’s insurance department.

Talk to your mortgage lender

Since your mortgage lender is listed as an additional insured on the policy, they will likely also be sent a notice of nonrenewal by your insurance company.

If you’re appealing the nonrenewal decision, be sure to inform your mortgage company as soon as possible. If you’re looking for new coverage, inform your lender that you’re actively pursuing a replacement policy.

Shop around

If you were recently nonrenewed, you have at least a month and a half to find a replacement policy. If you’re not able to find homeowners insurance on the private market, look into a Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR Plan), which provides last-resort coverage for high-risk properties that have been turned down by three or more insurance companies.

Learn more >> How to get homeowners insurance after nonrenewal

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Frequently asked questions

Does home insurance automatically renew?

Homeowners insurance policies typically renew automatically. Roughly 30 to 60 days before your policy is set to expire, your insurance company should send you a renewal statement detailing any changes to your insurance premium or coverage limits. If you don’t respond to your renewal statement, your home insurance policy will typically renew automatically as long as you send in your premium payment by the due date.

Do you have to renew home insurance every year?

Home insurance policies are purchased for year-long terms, so you’ll need to either renew your home insurance policy or purchase a new policy every year.

Can you change homeowners insurance at any time?

You can change your homeowners insurance policy at any time — even if it hasn’t expired yet. Experts recommend that you compare quotes from different insurance carriers at least once a year to make sure you aren’t missing out on a better deal elsewhere.

Does renters insurance automatically renew?

Like with home insurance, renters insurance policies typically renew automatically every year. You should receive a renewal statement 30 to 60 days before your policy is set to expire with details about any changes to your premium or coverage limits.

Author

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.

Editor

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Expert reviewer

Michael Reynolds, CSRIC®, AIF®, CFT-I™, is a financial advisor, principal and founder of Elevation Financial, host of the weekly personal finance podcast Wealth Redefined®, and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius.

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