While home insurance is not mandatory under Florida law, most people agree that finding good coverage is an important part of homeownership. (Not to mention, most mortgage lenders require you to have it!)

As a result, it may come as a shock to find that certain things can make you ineligible for home insurance, leaving you scrambling to find coverage.

In this article, we’ll cover 10 things that may negatively affect your home insurance eligibility (and what you can do about it).

 

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Before we talk about the things that can make you ineligible for home insurance, we should first emphasize why homeowners insurance is so important.

Home insurance provides you with financial protection in the event of a loss covered by your policy.

There are different types of homeowners insurance with a wide variety of coverage options, but most offer:

  • Personal property coverage against theft and a range of natural disasters;
  • Personal liability coverage for third-parties; and
  • Loss of use if your home is uninhabitable after a covered loss.

 

In Florida, one thing that most insurance policies do not cover is flood damage. Instead, flood insurance must be purchased under a separate policy.

couple having breakfast in the kitchen

10 Things That Affect Home Insurance Eligibility

As a Florida homeowner, you want your insurance to be in good standing. So what are some of the things that can leave you on shaky footing?

Here are 10 of the most common things that make homeowners ineligible for insurance.

1. Claims History

It might sound strange, but having a history of filing too many claims can lead to your insurance company choosing not to renew your policy.

The insurance industry relies on having a large pool of funds from which carriers can pay claims. If any policyholders are taking out more than they’re putting in, the system won’t last for very long.

Instead, take care of your home to prevent damage and loss, and talk to your agent if you’re thinking about filing a claim where the repair or replacement costs are the same as your deductible.

2. Lapsed Coverage

Another thing the insurance companies like to see is continuous coverage, as this sends the message that you have a vested interest in keeping your home and personal belongings safe.

Allowing your home insurance coverage to lapse sends the opposite message and can lead to your policy being dropped.

person in suit with fingers crossed behind back

3. Fraud

It’s true what they say: Crime doesn’t pay.

Giving false or misrepresentative information on your insurance application can and will lead to your policy being canceled. It will also lower your insurance score, making it harder (and more expensive) to find insurance coverage with another carrier.

4. Vacancy

If you’re not living in your home for a good portion of the year, you might think you’re doing the insurance company a favor. After all, what can happen if you’re not there?

The truth is that damage does happen in vacant homes. And a burst pipe or electrical fire will do a lot more damage if you’re not around to see it.

5. Property Use

Your home insurance cost and coverage are based on you using the home as a residence. If you’re using it as a daycare, vacation rental, or another type of business property, this increases your exposure to risk.

tiny home

6. Construction

Certain types of construction might be unique, but that’s precisely the reason why many home insurance companies choose not to cover them.

Certain types of homes that may require a specialized insurance policy include:

  • Yurts and other cloth or canvas homes
  • Straw bale homes
  • Tiny homes
  • DIY construction
  • Mobile or modular homes.

 

7. Outdated Features

Building codes are often updated from year to year to make residences safer. If your home isn’t updated accordingly, you could have difficulty finding coverage.

Some of the more common features we see in Florida are:

  • Polybutylene pipes
  • A roof older than 10 years
  • Old electrical wiring or panels.

 

8. Improper Home Maintenance

One thing that many insurance companies look for in their policyholders is “pride of ownership.” Their reasoning is that the better you look after your home, the less likely you are to file a claim.

Things like leaky roofs, cracking foundations, broken windows, a dirty chimney, and even an unkempt lawn can affect your home insurance eligibility.

boys jumping on trampoline

9. Attractive Nuisances

According to Florida law, homeowners can (and will) be held liable if a third party is injured due to an “attractive nuisance.”

Such attractive nuisances include things like:

  • Pools & Hot Tubs
  • Trampolines
  • Tree Houses
  • Play Structures

 

Don’t worry, depending on your insurance company, you may be able to keep your pool and the kids’ trampoline as long as you take security precautions, such as installing fencing and “Keep Out” signs.

Speak to your insurance agent for more information on what’s covered and ask about personal umbrella insurance.

10. Animals

You might think of your pet as one of the family, but that doesn’t mean the insurance company agrees.

In fact, many carriers have a list of certain pets that they will not cover.

Typically, these include exotic or wild animals and/or specific dog breeds, such as Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Doberman Pinschers, and wolf hybrid species.

Similarly, if your dog has a history of aggression, you may be refused coverage no matter what breed he is.

 

Looking For Good Insurance?

If you received notice that your policy has been canceled or won’t be renewed, you don’t have to worry but you should make finding replacement coverage a priority.

As an independent insurance agency, Darr Schackow Insurance not only has access to a wide range of insurance policies from a number of carriers, we know which ones are the best for your risk profile and budget.

We can also advise you on any measures you can take to reduce your insurance premiums.

Contact us today for a free quote.