My homeowners or rental home insurance is being Non-Renewed – what does that mean?

My homeowners or rental home insurance is being Non-Renewed – what does that mean?

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A “Notice of Non-Renewal” with regard to your homeowners or your rental home insurance policy is a notice from your insurance carrier that they do not intend to offer you a renewal when your current policy expires. With the sudden, and chaotic shift currently occurring in the Florida property insurance marketplace, many carriers have begun to issue Non-Renewals to once-loyal customers at a record pace. Non-Renewals can be issued for a variety of reasons, and we will go over some of the most popular reasons here and what you can do about it. If your homeowners insurance or dwelling fire insurance (rental home) is being non-renewed, this might help you make some sense of it!

RELATED: Some insurers restricting renewals, new business in South Florida

- Due to Catastrophic Risk Exposure / Exposure Risk Management

If your policy is being non-renewed due to “Catastrophic Risk Exposure / Risk Management” (or a similarly worded reason), than this means, in a watered down explanation that your insurance carrier has lost their appetite to offer you insurance – they believe it is no longer profitable to do so. This is not something that is your fault or you could have prevented. Unfortunately when an insurance carrier gets over-extended in certain areas of the state, they may need to lower their policy count to avoid putting their reserves at too much risk, so this is an authorized and legitimate reason for a carrier to non-renew your policy.

- Due to the age and/or condition of my roof

If your policy is being non-renewed due to “The age and/or condition of your roof”, than that means your insurance carrier doesn’t want to continue to insure your home based on their criteria for roofs. Florida insurance carriers have gotten extremely picky when it comes to the age or condition of roofs, so many insurance carriers have tightened their guidelines. Some carriers have a set-rule as to the age of a roof triggering a non-renewal, while others conduct routine property inspections to verify the condition of the property ahead of agreeing to offer a renewal. Being non-renewed for this reason may require you to complete a repair or a full replacement of your roof to obtain competitively priced insurance.

- Due to agent no longer representing my insurance company

If your insurance policy is being non-renewed due to “Agent no longer represents company”, than this means simply that – your insurance agent and that insurance carrier no longer transact business together. As a result of this break-up, your carrier is legally required to non-renew you due to agreements between the agency and carrier. Being non-renewed for this reason is not your fault, and may be reversible if you contact your insurance carrier and locate another agent who they work with (although some carriers do not allow this even by request).

- Due to carrier no longer doing business in the state of Florida

If your insurance policy is being non-renewed due to “Carrier no longer doing line of business in the state of Florida”, then this means just that. The carrier could have chosen to stop offering only this type of policy in our state, or could have chosen to stop offering coverage in our state for all lines of insurance. This reason was more common in the years following Hurricane Charlie, but it is becoming more common today. We know of one carrier locally non-renewing their “Wind-Only” insurance policies due to this very reason. If you are being non-renewed for this reason, it’s best to secure replacement coverage as soon as you can to get locked in with your next carrier.

- Due to requested information not received

If your insurance policy is being non-renewed due to “requested information not received”, than this likely means that your agent was notified of a request for more information from your insurance carriers underwriting department, and they did not respond in a satisfactory manner. If you are being non-renewed for this reason, it could be an easy fix with a phone call to your insurance agent.

- Due to change in occupancy

If your insurance policy is being non-renewed due to “change in occupancy”, than that means your insurance carrier was recently made aware of this type of change. You could now be using the home as a seasonal home, or now as a rental home, and as a result of this may no longer be eligible for their program. If you are being non-renewed for this reason, than you likely need to obtain a new type of insurance policy, or a new carrier altogether who accepts the new occupancy status.

- Due to change in ownership / lack of insurable interest

If you are being non-renewed due to “change in ownership / lack of insurable interest” than this means the home was likely recently sold, or transferred to another person not listed as an applicant on your insurance policy. While insurance policies are tied to specific property addresses, they are also tied to the specific person(s) who originally purchased the insurance. Once your name is no longer on the title or deed of the property, than you no longer have insurable interest in the home and your insurance cannot be offered a renewal. If you are being non-renewed for this reason and believe it is a mistake, than you should contact your insurance agent immediately to clear up the issue.

If you have recently received a notice of non-renewal, you should have some time to review your situation and consider all of your options. While exceptions exist for extreme circumstances, Florida law requires your insurance carrier to give you at least 120 days written notice of their intent to non-renew your homeowners insurance policy.

We can help! While this is not a full list of any and every reason you could be getting non-renewed, these tend to be the most common reasons. At Evolve Insurance Agency we are ready and prepared to offer you an affordable and competitive homeowners insurance quote, regardless of your renewal status. If you have recently been non-renewed by your insurance carrier for homeowners or rental home insurance for your Florida home, request a quote today by calling us or visiting the quote request at the upper right hand corner of our website.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I received a non-renewal, now what do I do? First, read the notice and determine the reason they are non-renewing you. If it’s for a roof issue or other issue you need to have addressed, than you should act as soon as possible. Although the non-renewal may be for a very minor, and fixable reason, simply complying does NOT guarantee your carrier will reverse their decision. All Non-Renewals are considered on a case-by-case basis, so it’s best to secure new coverage well in advanced just to avoid any potential gap should an unforeseen issue arise.
  2. If I fix the problem will my insurance company reverse their decision? Maybe, but it’s not automatic and it’s not guaranteed. Since the market is experiencing a rapid squeeze in all directions, you could be in the “non-renewal” status for multiple reasons. If the condition of your roof was the stated reason for the non-renewal, and you replace your roof, your carrier could still decline to reverse their decision if you are in an area they no longer want to offer insurance in. This is why it’s best to act as soon as possible so you know your options before it becomes a real emergency.
  3. What if I just do nothing? Then your insurance will expire and cease to be in force as of the date and time stated on your notice of non-renewal. If you have a mortgage or lien, they could increase your mortgage payment dramatically due to stipulations in your mortgage agreement. Most mortgage agreements stipulate you maintain insurance for the home, and if you fail to do so you authorize them to buy it for you and charge you for it - this is something referred to as 'Force-Placed Insurance'. The rate of insurance for this type of insurance is typically much more expensive than insurance you can purchase on your own in the private market. Not only is it more expensive, but the force-placed coverage only covers the loan balance – there is no coverage for you, your equity in the home, nor your contents. Don’t just ignore your non-renewal – take the steps necessary to allow the carrier to reconsider their decision or to allow you to secure replacement coverage.
  4. Can I get insurance from a new carrier if I have been Non-Renewed? Typically, yes, you can still get insurance if you are currently being non-renewed, but it really depends on WHY you are being non-renewed. If you are being non-renewed for something that is no fault of yours, or for a reason you can’t correct or prevent (like risk exposure, or loss of agent relationship), then you shouldn’t have any problem finding new insurance with a competing carrier. But for other reasons, you may run into trouble – every insurance carrier I know of specifically asks their new customers about non-renewals received in the last 3 years. Once you disclose this information to the new carrier, they will request more information from you and likely proof that the reason has been remediated before agreeing to provide you with coverage. And if you are thinking about just “lying” - that’s a BIG NO-NO - if you lie about being non-renewed on your insurance application, then you could be jeopardizing your coverage completely by misrepresenting yourself. All the local carriers have ways of communicating with one another for fraud investigative purposes, so definitely do not do that.

Evolve Insurance Agency has a high success rate at securing overage for clients who are being non-renewed by their current carrier – so if you are being non-renewed, do not panic and instead call Evolve – we’ll explain your options and let you know what you need to do to stay covered.

Thank You,
Evolve Insurance Agency

Photo Credit: Tim Mossholder