Can Homeowners Insurance Drop You After a Claim?
Yes, homeowners insurance companies can choose not to renew a policy after a claim has been filed, effectively “dropping” the homeowner. Here’s a closer look at the reasons and scenarios where this might happen:
1. Frequency of Claims
If a homeowner files multiple claims in a short period, the insurance company might view the property as high-risk and decide not to renew the policy.
2. Severity of the Claim
Large or catastrophic claims, especially those nearing or exceeding the policy’s limit, might lead an insurer to reconsider the risk associated with insuring the property.
3. Type of Claim
Certain types of claims, such as water damage or mold, might be seen as indicative of ongoing issues or potential future risks.
4. Risk Assessment
After a claim, the insurance company might reassess the property’s risk profile. If they determine that the risk of future claims has increased significantly, they might opt not to renew.
5. Policyholder’s History
If a policyholder has a history of late payments, combined with one or more claims, the insurer might view them as a higher risk.
6. Changes in Company Policy
Sometimes, insurance companies change their underwriting criteria or decide to stop insuring properties in certain areas (e.g., in regions prone to wildfires or hurricanes). In such cases, they might not renew policies for homeowners in those areas, regardless of individual claim history.
7. Fraudulent Claims
If a claim is found to be fraudulent or if there’s evidence of misrepresentation, the insurance company can not only deny the claim but also choose not to renew the policy.
It’s essential to note that while insurance companies can decide not to renew a policy, there are regulations in place to protect consumers. For instance:
- Notice Requirements: Insurance companies typically need to provide advance notice before non-renewing a policy, giving homeowners time to find alternative coverage.
- Reason for Non-Renewal: Many states require insurance companies to provide a specific reason for non-renewal.
- Protection Against Unfair Practices: Regulations exist to protect consumers from unfair insurance practices, ensuring that insurers don’t drop policyholders without valid reasons.
If you have a legitimate insurance claim and lack the funds to repair on your own, and you’re considering filing an insurance claim, please contact us for a free consultation before you contact your insurance company.