Florida homeowners insurance is some of the most expensive in the nation, and it’s getting more challenging to find appropriate coverage. Once you’ve shopped for a policy that meets your needs, you’re all set, right? Hopefully, yes, but with the homeowners insurance market’s continuing volatility, there’s a chance that your homeowners policy could be cancelled or non-renewed. What then?
Sometimes this is out of your control, such as when an insurance company decides to reduce or eliminate coverage in a certain geographical area, or becomes insolvent, something we’ve seen far too often in Florida. But there are a few things you can do to lessen the chance of your policy being cancelled or non-renewed.
Cancellation vs. nonrenewal
First, what is the difference between cancellation and non-renewal? If you receive a notice of non-renewal, that means you will not be able to renew your homeowners policy at the end of the policy term. By state law, insurance companies are required to notify you at least 45 days before the end date of your policy in order for you to be have time to find a new policy.
Cancellation can take place during the policy term. Generally, a homeowners insurance policy is cancelled due to either fraud/misrepresentation or failure to pay insurance premiums.
Why your homeowners insurance might be cancelled or non-renewed
Homeowners insurance companies aren’t looking to cancel or non-renew your insurance coverage—they need policyholders or they wouldn’t be in business. But there are a few situations that make it more likely that your policy will be cancelled or non-renewed.
- You don’t make your payments on time. It seems obvious, but for your policy to remain in effect, you need to make your homeowners insurance payments. If you’re being cancelled for non-payment, contact your insurance company to see if you can get back on track. Some companies offer a grace period and will reinstate your policy when they receive your payment. If your homeowners insurance is paid through an escrow account by your mortgage company, you’ll need to call them to make sure the payments are sent on time.
- You make excessive claims (even if the insurance company doesn’t pay out). If you have significant damage to your home, of course you should make a claim. But too many people try to make claims that don’t fall under the limits of homeowners insurance. If you wonder if your problem is one that homeowners insurance should fix, call your insurance company or agent to check before making a claim. (For more information, see “What Your Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover.”)
- Your home is in an area of high risk, such as one prone to wildfires, flooding, or hurricanes.
- You own certain types of pets—a dog breed considered aggressive, or certain reptiles, for example.
- You don’t maintain your property in good condition. An insurance company may cancel or non-renew your policy if an inspection reveals structural damage or other significant maintenance issues. Avoid this by keeping your home in good repair. (Click here for a spring maintenance checklist!)
How Lakewood Financial Services can help
If your homeowners insurance policy is cancelled or non-renewed, whatever you do, don’t wait to shop for a new policy. Florida’s homeowners insurance market is still in crisis, and you’ll want to give yourself as much time as possible to find coverage to protect your home. If you need to shop for a new homeowners insurance policy, give Lakewood Financial Services a call at (941) 747-4600, or click here for an online quote. Our agents will be happy to help you find coverage to protect your greatest asset—your home.
Lakewood Financial Services is an independent insurance agency serving the personal and commercial insurance needs of Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and surrounding communities since 2003.