How to get homeowners insurance after nonrenewal

If your homeowners insurance was recently nonrenewed, find out the reasoning for your company’s decision and how to get a replacement policy for your home.

Pat Howard 1600Kara McGinley

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Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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.

&Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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Deante' Peake

Deante' Peake

Licensed Property & Casualty Expert

Deante' Peake is a licensed property and casualty insurance expert and a former operations manager at Policygenius.

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A couple of months before the end of your homeowners insurance policy term, your insurance company will inform you if your policy is up for renewal or if you’ve been nonrenewed. Most companies will automatically renew your coverage if they don't hear from you — and you should receive renewal paperwork in the mail or online through your carrier portal. 

But there is a chance that your insurer may nonrenew your policy. There are a few different reasons that could lead your insurer to nonrenew your policy, like if you filed too many claims. Here’s what you need to know about home insurance after a nonrenewal.

Key takeaways

  • As your policy nears its expiration date, your insurance company may inform you that it won’t be renewed

  • Your insurance company usually needs to include a reason for nonrenewal

  • The best way to shop for coverage after nonrenewal is to use an insurance marketplace where you can compare multiple policies at once

  • You may be able to get insured through your state’s FAIR Plan if you can’t find coverage on the private market

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What is a home insurance nonrenewal notice?

Your insurance company will send you a nonrenewal notice anywhere from one month to three months before the policy’s expiration date. The required number of days notice varies from state to state. In New York, for example, insurers must give you 45–60 days notice and explain the reason for nonrenewal. In some states, an explanation for nonrenewal is not required.

Be sure to check with your state’s department of insurance to see what the rules are for nonrenewal. If you think your company’s nonrenewal decision was unfair or you want a more detailed explanation, contact the insurance company. If you’re still not satisfied, contact your state’s department of insurance to file a complaint.

Reasons for homeowners insurance nonrenewal

Here are a few reasons why your policy may have been nonrenewed:

You filed too many claims

This is probably the most commonly cited reason for insurers to drop you from your policy at renewal. It could be that you filed too many claims within the designated three- or five-year window or you filed a claim that insurance companies generally don’t look highly upon, like a water damage, dog bite, theft, or fire claim.

Keep in mind that most states have consumer protections in place that dictate when a company is allowed to raise your rates or not renew your policy as it relates to insurance claims. For example, certain states prohibit rate increases or nonrenewal for basic claim inquiries, zero-dollar claims (claims that didn’t result in a payout), and first-time claims. There are also states that prohibit companies from using weather or catastrophe claims as grounds for nonrenewal.

Your risk changed

Your company may also nonrenew your policy if there is a substantial change in the risk of insuring your home. In other words, if your insurer determines that your home is significantly more likely to be damaged by a peril covered by your policy than it was before, they may choose to not renew your policy when it expires. This is often the reason for nonrenewal in high-risk wildfire regions and hurricane-prone coastal communities.

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The insurance company may no longer be offering coverage where you live

Your insurance company may have nonrenewed your policy for the simple reason that they’re cutting down on a particular line of insurance or pulling out of a state or region. Insurance companies are businesses first and foremost, and one of the key indicators of company viability is shareholder profits. If cutting down on a particular line of business or pulling out of a high-risk state like California limits losses and increases shareholder profits, that may be their course of action and many policyholders could be nonrenewed for that reason.

You can choose to nonrenew your home insurance policy, too

You have the option to nonrenew your home insurance policy at its expiration date. Experts recommend re-shopping your home insurance annually to make sure you aren't missing out on a better deal elsewhere. But don't wait too long to switch insurance companies —  if you reach the end of your policy term and don’t have new insurance, your coverage could lapse, meaning you won’t be covered if something bad happens to your home. If you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will likely be notified of your lapse and may insure your home on your behalf since most require home insurance

Can I get homeowners insurance after nonrenewal?

It’ll depend on why your home insurance policy was nonrenewed. Whatever the reason, it often won’t affect your ability to get coverage in the future, and in some cases you might even find that you’re able to get lower rates with a new company when you compare and re-shop your homeowners insurance.

In many cases, your insurance company will nonrenew your policy because they’re simply cutting business or their risk appetite changed, not because of anything you did. However, if your company is nonrenewing your policy because you filed too many claims or you live in an area where every insurer seems to be fleeing because of the high catastrophe risk, you may find that getting insured on the private market is a little more difficult. We’ll explain a workaround to this in the next section.

How to get home insurance after nonrenewal

Before you begin evaluating replacement insurance, be sure to check with your state’s department of insurance to see if the company gave you enough of a heads up. Insurance companies in Florida, for example, must send a nonrenewal notice at least 100 days prior to the policy expiration date, and the notice must include a reason.

Assuming they gave you enough of a heads up and the reasoning is legit, here are a couple of ways you can get covered after nonrenewal:

Use an insurance marketplace

The best way to compare coverage and rates is to use an insurance marketplace like Policygenius. Many insurance marketplaces can provide quote comparisons on the spot, and applying often takes as little as 5 minutes. You'll be able to compare policies from top insurance companies, as well as companies that specialize in high-risk homes like Foremost and other surplus lines carriers.

Your state’s FAIR Plan

If you’re having trouble finding coverage on the private company market, you may be able to get a form of last-resort coverage called a FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) Plan. A FAIR Plan is a high-risk insurance pool that is administered by your state’s department of insurance and funded by private companies that are registered, or admitted, with the state.

Most (but not all) states have FAIR Plans, and each has its own policyholder benchmarks for approval. Many states, for example, require policyholders to prove that they’ve been turned down by at least three insurance companies before they’ll be eligible for a FAIR Plan.

It’s also worth noting that FAIR Plans have strict limits on the maximum amount of policy coverage. Your home may only be covered up to a certain limit and the dwelling and personal property are typically only covered at their actual cash value. Additionally, FAIR Plans don’t normally include liability protection or additional coverage for expensive valuables.

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Authors

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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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.

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

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Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

Expert reviewer

Licensed Property & Casualty Expert

Deante' Peake

Licensed Property & Casualty Expert

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Deante' Peake is a licensed property and casualty insurance expert and a former operations manager at Policygenius.

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