If you are facing cancellation of your homeowner’s insurance policy or non-renewal after making a claim, the good news is that individuals who purchase homeowner’s insurance have important rights. For example, a homeowner’s insurance company cannot cancel your policy because you have made a claim and then refuse to pay your claim without clear justification for doing so. This is insurance bad faith. However, when your insurance policy comes up for renewal, the insurance company may have a right to refuse to renew or may have the right to cancel your policy. Insurance companies may have a right to make decisions about which clients, buildings, and homes they deem an acceptable or unacceptable risk. However, in order to legally drop you or cancel your policy, the insurance company must be able to justify the cancellation. Furthermore, an insurance company cannot just cancel your policy without justification. Facing a cancelled or non-renewal on your homeowner’s insurance policy can be stressful. Individuals in this situation might have to find another insurer who may offer higher premiums. Or, they may even have trouble finding an insurer willing to insure their homes.
If you have received a non-renewal or cancellation letter from your homeowner’s insurance company, the company should explain why your policy is not being renewed or why it is being cancelled. If you believe you are being dropped for unjustified reasons, or if you believe your policy is being cancelled because you are trying to make a claim, you may have the right to fight back. Contact Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, insurance claims lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today.
Cancelation of Homeowner’s Insurance During a Claim: Your Rights
There are rules regarding how and when an insurance company can cancel or not renew a claim. While there might be situations where an insurance company can cancel a policy when you are making a claim, this is not common, and if it occurs, you may want to speak to the insurance claims lawyers at Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC today. An insurance company could cancel your policy when you make a claim if an adjuster, in his or her inspection, learns that you misrepresented certain aspects of your property or risk when you took out the policy. Certain things can impact how an insurance company calculates risk. So, if you put the wrong date for the age of your home when you filled out your insurance application, made a mistake about the age of your roof, or mistook the age of your pipes, or if you owned a pet that would be considered a high-risk and didn’t mention this when you took out the policy, the insurance company might have a legitimate right to cancel your policy when you make a claim. Another situation where your homeowner’s insurance policy could be canceled when you make a claim is if you have failed to pay your premiums. However, if your policy is being cancelled when you are making a claim and you believe your insurance company is cancelling your policy to avoid paying your claim, you may have certain rights under the law. Canceling a policy simply because an insurer doesn’t want to pay a claim is insurance bad faith and you may have legal recourse if this happens. Have questions about a denied claim or cancelled insurance policy? Contact Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida insurance claims lawyers today.
Valid Reasons Why Insurance Policies Might be Cancelled or Not Renewed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
There are several situations where an insurance policy might be cancelled or not renewed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Insurance companies have a right to assess your home’s risk when your insurance policy comes up for renewal. Different factors can impact how the insurance company assesses your home’s risk. What are some valid reasons why your insurance policy might not be renewed?
- Too many claims or claims that are too expensive. Multiple claims on your home could make your insurer believe that your home is a higher risk to insure. If you have made a particularly large claim, and the claim was paid out, the insurer might also believe that your home might be a higher risk going forward.
- Home inspection reveals hazards and risks. If an adjuster inspects your home and finds fire hazards, bad pipes, or other risk factors that could lead to damage and possible claims, the insurance company might deem your home too high a risk to insure. The insurance company might either require you to make needed repairs, or may cancel your policy outright on the basis of aged structures and infrastructure.
- Your home ages out of the policy. Sometimes insurers set age limits on how old roofs, pipes, and a structure can be before it becomes too much of a risk to insure. If you own an older home, your homeowner’s insurance could be cancelled because it has aged out of what your insurer deems an acceptable risk.
- Flood zones or high-risk areas have changed. With rising sea water, flood zones can change. As more hurricanes threaten the coasts, high-risk areas vs. moderate-risk areas can change. Areas might have more claims in a given year which can change how insurance companies perceive that area’s risk.
- Hazardous pets. If you own an exotic animal or a pet considered to be high-risk, or an animal who might pose a high risk to people you invite into your home, your insurance company might decide your home is too risky to insure.
- False declarations or changes in risks. If your insurance company learns that you misrepresented some material fact about your home—such as the home’s age or the age of your roof—your policy could be cancelled. Another situation would be one where you adopt an animal that the insurance company deems a hazard.
- Unpaid premiums. If you don’t pay your premiums, or if your premiums are often late, your insurance company may not renew your policy.
If you are facing a homeowner’s insurance cancellation or non-renewal, you may be able to resolve issues preventing renewal. In some cases, this may be to your benefit, especially if you don’t want to have to shop around for another insurer. For example, can you make repairs so that your insurance company can consider your home a lower risk? Did you make an honest mistake on your insurance application? Did you take steps to correct it? If you are facing a cancellation of your insurance policy or a non-renewal, consider speaking to Leader, Leader, & Zucker, PLLC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida insurance claims lawyers today. Our firm may be able to help you if your claim has been denied or if you an improperly cancelled policy. Your insurance company must tell you why they are not renewing your policy. Our insurance claims lawyers may be able to help you.