We all know that having adequate homeowners insurance is a must—especially in the Sunshine State. This is one of the reasons why receiving a Notice of Nonrenewal from your insurance company is so alarming.
Over the past few years, thousands of Florida homeowners (including our own clients) have gotten insurance nonrenewal letters in the mail and were confused over why they were “losing their home insurance.”
As upsetting as it is, this scenario is fairly common in the insurance industry. In this article, we’ll let you know what to do if your insurance policy is canceled.
Insurance Nonrenewal vs. Cancellation
It’s important to note that there is a difference between a nonrenewal of your insurance policy and a cancellation.
A cancellation occurs when your insurance company decides to terminate your policy before it expires. An insurance nonrenewal is when the company decides not to renew your policy when it expires.
If you’ve had your home insurance policy for longer than 60 days, the insurance company generally won’t cancel your policy unless:
- You haven’t paid your premiums;
- You committed fraud on your application;
- Your property is no longer in compliance with the policy.
It’s important that you read all communication thoroughly to determine whether your policy is being canceled or not renewed.
Reasons For Insurance Nonrenewals
Your written Notice of Nonrenewal should include the reason that the insurance company is choosing not to renew your policy.
For instance, they could be ending coverage due to an extensive claims history or a drop in your credit score. Or perhaps the insurance company is pulling out of your region altogether and choosing not to renew any of their policies in that area.
What To Do If Your Insurance Policy is Canceled or Not Renewed
Having home insurance coverage is incredibly important, so if you find yourself in this position, you should take steps now to avoid a lapse in coverage.
Under Florida law, the insurance carrier must give you at least 45 days’ notice of nonrenewal. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be plenty of time to find a new policy or have your coverage reinstated.
First, read your nonrenewal letter carefully to see why your policy is not being renewed. In some cases, you may be able to appeal the nonrenewal and bring your home back into compliance.
If the nonrenewal is due to factors within your control, such as home maintenance issues, you may be able to make the necessary improvements and ask the insurance company to reconsider.
If this is not an option, however, you will have at least 45 days to find coverage with a new insurance company.
How To Find Home Insurance
The best (and easiest!) way to find home insurance coverage is to work with an independent insurance agent.
Because they are not tied to a single carrier, independent agents can provide you with a wide range of quotes from trustworthy carriers. Furthermore, you will be building a relationship with an agent who understands your needs, risk tolerance, and budget—even as you switch insurance carriers.
Whichever options they present to you, it’s essential that you make your decision based on more than the cost of your premiums.
Your home insurance should cover risks particular to Florida, such as hurricanes, floods, and sinkholes. You should also consider the policy limits and deductibles, as well as the company’s customer service.
Nonrenewal Notice? We Can Help!
While a nonrenewal or cancellation notice can feel like a huge setback, it’s important to remember that you have options.
Take the time to understand the reason behind the nonrenewal or cancellation and use the notice period to find a new insurer that’s a better fit for your needs.
And remember, an independent insurance agent can be a valuable ally in this process, helping you navigate the market and find the best coverage for your unique situation.
At Darr Schackow Insurance, we are proud to have strong relationships with some of the Sunshine State’s top home insurance companies.
If you’re scrambling to find replacement coverage, don’t panic! DSI has plenty of options available with reliable carriers. Call today or visit our website for a free quote.