It’s a conundrum more and more Florida homeowners are facing: the cancellation, or non-renewal, of their homeowners’ insurance coverage. No matter the reason, receiving the notice that your insurance will lapse in a certain number of days is frightening and leaves many homeowners feeling frustrated and unsure of what to do next. A Miami insurance coverage lawyer from our firm discusses why these cancellations and non-renewals happen and what homeowners can do when they receive notice that it is happening to them.
5 Reasons Why Homeowners’ Insurance Is Canceled or Not Renewed
There are many different reasons why homeowners’ insurance policies are canceled or not renewed. Listed below are five of the most common reasons encountered by our Miami insurance coverage lawyer.
Age and Condition of Roof
Believe it or not, many insurance policies are canceled or not renewed due to the age or condition of the roof. A typical roof should last anywhere from 15-20 years, but it may not last that long in Florida due to the sun, rain, and hurricanes. Insurance companies are careful to look for damage to a roof before issuing or renewing a policy. If damage is noticed, it is not unusual for there to be a requirement that the roof be replaced before an offer of insurance can be extended or renewed.
Insurance Carrier Leaving The State
Some states are considered more high-risk than others, and Florida is one of them. There are several reasons, from the high number of claims due to natural disasters to fraudulent claims, and insurance carriers are shying away from issuing policies in the sunshine state. Some are honoring the current policies they have but are not renewing them when the time comes. Others are canceling all policies and leaving the state altogether.
Animals on Property
If the homeowner has a pet, they need to check the terms of their homeowners’ insurance policy. Many exclude animal coverage, and they will need to request and buy it specifically. Even so, coverage may not be available for certain breeds of dogs, such as Rottweilers and Dobermans, and homeowners may be limited to the number of dogs they are allowed to own.
Insurance companies do not like insuring properties with high-risk hazards, and if they find out a property has these hazards, they are likely to cancel or refuse to renew their homeowners’ insurance policy. Some of the most common hazards include pool slides, pool diving boards, trampolines, and skateboard ramps. When these items are present on a property, the insurance company is taking more of a risk when they insure the property.
Failure to Upkeep Property
The more run-down and damaged a property is, the less likely an insurance company will want to issue a new policy or renew an existing one. An unkept home is a sign to insurance companies that the property owners may be in financial trouble, don’t take good care of the property, or that they are not often at the property. It is also more likely that the owner will be making a claim under the insurance policy at some point in the near future. Because of all these reasons, the insurance carrier often feels the risks outweigh the benefit of issuing the policy.
5 Steps to Take When Your Homeowners’ Insurance Is Being Canceled
When a homeowner receives a notice that their homeowners’ insurance policy is being canceled or that it will not be renewed, there are 5 steps our Miami insurance coverage lawyer suggests they take to ensure their house is protected.
Time is of the essence when a homeowner receives notice that their policy will not be renewed or is being canceled. The time they have is limited to either come to a resolution with their current carrier or find insurance through a new carrier. The last thing any homeowner wants is to be left without homeowners’ insurance coverage, and if there is a mortgage on the property, the lender will not let there be a lapse in coverage. Instead, they will place what is known as “force-placed” insurance on the property to protect their own interests in case something happens to their investment, which is the home. This coverage is typically very expensive and the homeowner is expected to cover the cost.
Call the Insurance Company
The first thing a homeowner should do when they receive the notice of cancellation or nonrenewal is to call the insurance carrier to discuss why this has happened. The insurance company is required to give a reason why they have taken this step. Depending on their reasons, it is possible that the homeowner may be able to work out a new policy arrangement. The insurance carrier may agree to coverage if the deductible is increased, for example.
If the insurance carrier refuses to give a reason for why they are not renewing, or they are canceling the insurance policy, it is time to reach out to a Miami insurance coverage lawyer.
Start Calling Other Insurance Companies
Even if a homeowner is making headway with their current carrier and a compromise seems imminent, it is still in their best interest to begin to check with other companies and receive quotes for coverage. There may be options available that provide more coverage for less money, but the only way to find out is to put in the legwork and check with different insurance carriers.
Make Repairs to The Home
When the reason the insurance policy is being canceled or is not being renewed has to do with the condition of the property, in many cases the homeowner should make the necessary repairs or changes as soon as possible. If the reason the policy is being canceled is due to a diving board on the pool, for example, the homeowner should remove it and let their carrier know that it has been removed. It will also help when negotiating with new insurance carriers.
Consult With A Miami Insurance Coverage Lawyer at Ver Ploeg & Marino
If your homeowners’ insurance has been canceled or your carrier is refusing to renew your policy, contact a Miami insurance coverage lawyer at Ver Ploeg & Marino. We focus our practice on helping homeowners in disputes with their insurance carriers.Share