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What To Do If You are Dropped By Homeowners Insurance

What should you do if you are dropped from your homeowner insurance policy, either because of claims filed, or because the insurance company is no longer offering coverage in your area?

Don't panic. You won't go uninsured. Depending on the state or type of mortgage you might have, you simply can't go uninsured. There are options in place to help you get coverage, no matter what. If you receive notice that you are being dropped, you have a window of time before that goes into effect; just be sure to use that time wisely and shop around.

Your insurance company is required to state the specific reason you are being dropped. If the company is moving out of the area (either physical or coverage), then you should have little trouble finding another company to cover you. Check with your state insurance department for referrals to other companies-keep in mind that this is a great opportunity for you to get the exact homeowner insurance and home contents insurance you need. In other words, be sure to shop around.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has recently provided supplemental flood insurance to homeowners in some areas.

If the reason listed on the cancellation notice has to do with claims previously filed, make whatever efforts necessary to resolve your standing in the eyes of the industry. You don't necessarily have to have your roof wholly replaced by the time you start shopping for a new policy, but a documented good faith effort to reconcile the reasons against you will go far in the eyes of your new insurance provider. Also make sure to take a look at your Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) score, which is like a credit score for your insurance history, and dispute anything on it you might find falsely claimed.

You might also find yourself impacted by the number of claims you've filed over the years, or because you live in a high-risk area. Again, realize that individual states have agencies in place to help out. Several states participate in a program called FAIR, or Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, to cover those in the high-risk pool. Check with your state insurance regulatory agency to find out whether you live in one of the FAIR states. If your state is not a FAIR state, there may be similar policies that will cover you.

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