With the increasing frequency of events like hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters, it’s becoming more common for home insurance companies to opt not to renew home insurance policies or simply to drop policyholders altogether. Data shows that in areas with a high risk of severe weather, like California, more than 200,000 policies were nonrenewed in 2020 according to the California Department of Insurance. Being dropped can also happen if you’ve filed multiple insurance claims in recent years.

Losing your home insurance can be stressful and puts you at risk of financial loss should anything happen to the home. In addition, mortgage companies often require that you have home insurance. If you’re dealing with canceled insurance, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team helps you explore your options.

Reasons a home insurance company will cancel or not renew your policy

There are many different reasons why a home insurance company may choose to cancel or nonrenew a policy. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Non-payment: Your insurance policy is a legal contract between you and your insurer. In exchange for a premium, your insurer agrees to compensate you for covered losses. If you stop paying your premium, your insurance company will eventually cancel your home insurance policy for non-payment.
  • Frequent claims: Can an insurance company drop you after a claim? In some cases, yes. Filing home insurance claims often could cause your home insurance premium to increase and if you’ve filed multiple claims within the past few years, it’s possible that your home insurance company might cancel your policy altogether. Homeowners with a lengthy claim record are generally viewed as riskier to insure.
  • Insurance fraud: Insurance fraud is illegal, and it has serious consequences. So, if you intentionally set your house on fire and try to collect an insurance payment, your insurance policy will most likely get canceled, along with other potential fallout.
  • Underwriting issues: Certain underwriting issues can also lead to dropped insurance. For instance, if an adjuster visits your home after a claim and notices that your home does not meet the insurer’s underwriting guidelines, it’s possible that your policy will get canceled.
  • Nonrenewal: In some cases, insurance carriers decide not to renew a homeowners insurance policy. This can happen if you live in an area that’s been designated as too high risk or you no longer fit the company’s underwriting profile. It can also occur if your home is not well maintained or as a result of your claims history.

In addition to the reasons listed above, it’s also common for home insurance companies to refuse a renewal if they are withdrawing business from your area. In such cases, you will have until the end of the policy period to find new coverage.

What should you do if your homeowners coverage is dropped

It can be stressful to find out that your home insurance policy is getting canceled, but there are a few things you can do to address the situation.

The first step to take is to reach out to your insurance provider or your agent. Inquire about the reason for the cancellation and see if there is anything you can do to fix it. For example, if your policy is being canceled due to non-payment, see if you can set up a payment plan with your insurer and catch up on what you owe.

If you can’t amend the situation and your policy is scheduled to be canceled, here’s how to get homeowners insurance after being dropped:

  • Shop for a new policy: Start shopping for a new home insurance policy as soon as possible. Get quotes from a few different insurers to find the most affordable policy for your situation.
  • Reduce your risk: If your policy was canceled due to risk-related issues, see if you can address them. For instance, if your home is in a high-risk hurricane area, consider installing stormproof windows and hurricane shutters, or replace your current roof with a metal one.
  • Look into a non-standard policy: Some homeowners have a harder time getting approved for coverage due to factors that are out of their control. In this case, you might want to consider non-standard policies, which often have more flexible eligibility requirements.
  • Improve the condition of your home: In some cases, the policy may be dropped because of the conditions of your home. This could include the roof being in poor condition or perhaps other structural issues. In such cases, you may be able to address the issue that caused the policy to be canceled and get it reinstated. If you’re unable to reinstate your policy, the improved conditions of your home should help reduce your chance of being denied by a new insurer.

Home insurance cancellation laws by state

In many states, insurance companies must provide some type of notice prior to moving forward with a policy cancellation. However, every state has unique laws around home insurance cancellation and nonrenewal. For example, in California, insurance companies are required to give policyholders a notice of cancellation at least 45 days before the policy’s termination date.

If you have questions about the home insurance cancelation laws in your state, you can notify your state’s department of insurance using the contact information below:

  • State Department of Insurance Contact Information
    Alabama Department of Insurance
    201 Monroe Street, Suite 1700, PO Box 303351
    Montgomery, AL 36104
    Phone: (334) 269-3550
    Fax: (334) 241-4192
    Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development
    3601 C Street, Suite 1324
    Anchorage, AK 99503
    Phone: (907) 269-7900
    Fax: (907) 269-7910
    Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development
    P.O. Box 110805
    Juneau, AK 99811
    Phone: (907) 465-2515
    Fax: (907) 465-3422
    Arizona Arizona Department of Insurance
    2910 N. 44th Street, Ste. 210 (2nd Floor)
    Phoenix, AZ 85018-7269
    Phone: (602) 364-3100
    Fax: (602) 954-7008
    Arkansas Department of Insurance
    1200 West 3rd Street
    Little Rock, AR 72201
    Phone: (501) 371-2640
    Fax: (501) 371-2749
    California Department of Insurance
    300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1500
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: (916) 492-3500
    Fax: (415) 538-4010
    Colorado Division of Insurance
    1560 Broadway, Suite 850
    Denver, CO 80202
    Phone: (303) 894-7499, ext. 4311
    Fax: (303) 894-7455
    Connecticut Department of Insurance
    P.O. Box 816
    Hartford, CT 06142
    Phone: (860) 297-3984
    Delaware Department of Insurance
    841 Silver Lake Blvd., Rodney Building
    Dover, DE 19904
    Phone: (302) 739-4251
    Fax: (302) 739-5280
    Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking
    810 First Street, NE, Suite 701
    Washington, DC 20002
    Phone: (202) 727-8000
    Fax: (202) 535-1196
    Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
    200 East Gaines Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399
    Phone: (850) 413-3140
    Georgia Insurance and Fire Safety
    Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
    Atlanta, GA 30334
    Phone: (404) 656-2070
    Fax: (404) 651-8719
    Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs,
    Insurance Division
    King Kalakaua Building: 335 Merchant Street
    P.O. Box 3614
    Honolulu, HI 96813
    Phone: (808) 586-2790
    Fax: (808) 586-2806
    Idaho Idaho Department of Insurance
    700 West State Street, P.O. Box 83720
    Boise, ID 83720-0043
    Phone: (208) 334-4250
    Fax: (208) 334-4398
    Illinois Illinois Department of Insurance
    320 West Washington Street
    Springfield, IL 62767
    Phone: (217) 782-4515
    Indiana Department of Insurance
    311 W. Washington St., Ste 300
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Phone: (317) 232-2385
    Fax: (317) 232-5251
    Iowa Division of Insurance
    330 Maple Street
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    Phone: (515) 281-5705
    Fax: (515) 281-3059
    Kansas Insurance Division
    420 SW 9th Street
    Topeka, KS 66612
    Phone: (785) 296-7801
    Fax: (785) 296-2283
    Kentucky Kentucky Department of Insurance
    215 West Main Street
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    Phone: (502) 564-3630
    Fax: (502) 564-1650
    Louisiana Department of Insurance
    950 North Fifth Street
    Baton Rouge, LA 70804
    Phone: (225) 343-4834
    Fax: (254) 342-5900
    Maine Bureau of Insurance
    34 State House Station
    Augusta, ME 04333
    Phone: (207) 624-8475
    Fax: (207) 624-8599
    Maryland Maryland Insurance Administration
    200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700
    Baltimore, MD 21202
    Phone: (410) 468-2000
    Fax: (410) 468-2020
    Massachusetts Division of Insurance
    South Station, 5th Floor
    Boston, MA 02110
    Phone: (617) 521-7794
    Fax: (617) 521-7772
    Michigan Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
    611 West Ottawa Street, 3rd Floor
    P.O. Box 30220
    Lansing, MI 48909-7720
    Phone: (517) 373-0220
    Fax: (517) 335-4978
    Minnesota Department of Commerce
    133 East 7th Street
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    Phone: (651) 296-2488
    Fax: (651) 296-4328
    Mississippi Department of Insurance
    P.O. Box 79
    Jackson, MS 39205
    Phone: (601) 359-3569
    Fax: (601) 359-2474
    Missouri Missouri Department of Insurance
    301 West High Street, Room 630
    PO Box 690
    Jefferson City, MO 65102
    Phone: 573-751-4126
    Fax: (573) 751-1165
    Montana Montana Insurance Department
    840 Helena Avenue
    P.O. Box 4009
    Helena, MT 59601
    Phone: (406) 444-2040
    Fax (406) 444-2701
    Nebraska Nebraska Department of Insurance
    941 O St.
    PO Box 82089
    Lincoln, NE 68501-2089
    Phone: (402) 471-2201
    Fax: (402) 471-4610
    Nevada Division of Insurance
    1665 Hot Springs Road, #152
    Carson City, NV 89706
    Phone: (775) 687-7690
    Fax: (775) 687-3937
    New Hampshire Department of Insurance
    56 Old Suncook Road
    Concord, NH 03301
    Phone: (603) 271-2261
    Fax: (603) 271-1406
    New Jersey New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance
    20 West State Street
    PO Box 325
    Trenton, NJ 08625
    Phone: (609) 292-7272
    Fax: (609) 777-0508
    New Mexico Department of Insurance
    P.O. Box 1269
    Santa Fe, NM 87504
    Phone: (505) 827-4601
    Fax: (505) 827-4734
    New York New York State Department of Financial Services
    25 Beaver Street
    New York, NY 10004
    Attn: Insurance Department
    Phone: (212) 480-6400
    North Carolina North Carolina Department of Insurance
    Dobbs Building: 430 N. Salisbury Street
    Raleigh, NC 27603-5926
    Phone: (919) 807-6750
    Fax: (919) 733-6495
    North Dakota North Dakota Insurance Department
    600 East Blvd. Avenue, 5th Floor
    Bismarck, ND 58505
    Phone: (701) 328-2440
    Fax: (701) 328-4880
    Ohio Department of Insurance
    2100 Stella Court
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone: (614) 644-3378
    Fax: (614) 752-0740
    Oklahoma Insurance Department
    3814 North Santa Fe
    Oklahoma City, OK 73118
    Phone: (405) 521-2828
    Fax: (405) 521-6652
    Oregon Insurance Division
    350 Winter Street, NE, Room 440-2
    Salem, OR 97310
    Phone: (503) 947-7984
    Fax: (503) 378-4351
    Pennsylvania Insurance Department
    1321 Strawberry Square, 13th Floor
    Harrisburg, PA 17120
    Phone: (717) 787-2317
    Rhode Island Insurance Division
    233 Richmond Street, Suite 233
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone: (401) 222-2223
    Fax: (401) 222-5475
    South Carolina South Carolina Department of Insurance
    1201 Main St., Suite 1000
    Columbia, SC 29201
    Phone: (803) 737-6160
    Fax: (803) 737-6205
    South Dakota South Dakota Division of Insurance
    445 East Capitol Avenue
    Pierre, SD 57501
    Phone: (605) 773-3563
    Fax: (605) 773-5369
    Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
    500 James Robertson Parkway, 5th Floor
    Nashville, TN 37243
    Phone: (615) 741-2241
    Fax: (615) 532-6934
    Texas Department of Insurance
    333 Guadalupe Street
    Austin, TX 78701
    Phone: (512) 463-6169
    Fax: (512) 475-2005
    Utah Department of Insurance
    State Office Building Rm 3110
    Salt Lake City, UT 84114
    Phone: (801) 538-3805
    Fax: (801) 538-3829
    Vermont Department of Financial Regulation
    Insurance Division
    89 Main Street, Drawer 20
    Montpelier, VT 05620
    Phone: (802) 828-3301
    Fax: (802) 828-1446
    Virginia Bureau of Insurance
    P.O. Box 1157
    Richmond, VT 23218
    Phone: (804) 371-9967
    Washington Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
    14th Avenue and Water Street
    Olympia, WA 98504
    Phone: (360) 753-3613
    Fax: (360) 586-3535
    West Virginia West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner’s Insurance Education Center
    1124 Smith St.
    Charleston, WV 25301
    Phone: (304) 558-3386
    Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
    125 South Webster Street
    P. O. Box 7873
    Madison, WI 53703-3474
    Phone: (608) 266-3585
    Fax: (608) 266-9935
    Wyoming Department of Insurance
    122 West 25th Street, 3rd Floor East
    Cheyenne, WY 82002
    Phone: (307) 777-7401
    Fax: (307) 777-5895

What is a FAIR plan?

If you’re struggling to get approved for a traditional home insurance policy, you might consider a Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan.

FAIR plans are an option of last resort for homeowners who have exhausted other options in the standard home insurance market. These plans make it possible for some homeowners to get coverage if they have been repeatedly denied.

FAIR plans are state-managed programs, which are jointly funded by taxpayers and private insurance providers. Unlike a standard home insurance policy, where you receive coverage from one company, FAIR plans are shared market plans, where you’re insured by several companies.

With home insurance through a FAIR plan, multiple insurance companies are providing your coverage. In that regard, it limits the risk that a single insurance company has to take on. If you have a claim, the companies that insure you each pay for some of the loss.

The type and amount of coverage you can get from a FAIR plan depends on your state. However, these policies typically offer less protection than regular home insurance policies and are often more expensive.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), all FAIR plans include coverage for fires, vandalism, riots and windstorms. Some FAIR plans include personal liability insurance, but it depends on the state.

As of 2022, more than 30 states and Washington, D.C. offer FAIR plans to qualifying homeowners.

When should I look into getting a FAIR plan?

Once you receive notice that your homeowners insurance company dropped you, you should start shopping for new policies.. If you get denied by two or more home insurance companies, it’s probably a good idea to look into a FAIR plan. Most states require proof of denied coverage by at least two insurers before you can apply for a FAIR plan.

If your home insurance policy gets canceled, it’s important to act quickly, whether you get another standard home insurance policy or a FAIR plan. Once your policy expires, you will have no home insurance coverage.

If you let your policy lapse, it could be more difficult to get another home insurance policy in the future, and the rates could be more expensive. Additionally, if anything happens to your home or property during the lapse, you will be responsible for the damages out of pocket. You can avoid a lapse in coverage by purchasing a new home insurance policy that starts a day or two before your old policy terminates.

The bottom line

Most homeowners are able to qualify for a standard home insurance policy, but others might struggle to get coverage. If your home insurance policy gets canceled, or if you get denied coverage, there are a few things you can do.

First, figure out why the policy was canceled and see if there’s anything you can do about it. If not, start applying for new policies as soon as possible. If you’re getting turned down by multiple insurance companies, find out if your state has a FAIR plan, which usually has more flexible underwriting requirements.

Frequently asked questions

    • Depending on where you live and the circumstances surrounding the cancellation, it can be challenging to get home insurance after being dropped. In parts of the country impacted by severe weather events, such as Florida and California, it is becoming more difficult to obtain coverage. The first step is to shop around and find out what options may be available. If you are unable to find insurance, you may need to seek coverage through the state FAIR plan, which are state-managed programs available in 30 states and Washington, D.C.
    • While there isn’t necessarily a specific number of claims that causes insurance companies to drop a policyholder, companies may opt not renew policies based on one’s claim history. This could be due to the number of claims made, frequency of similar claims or the severity of claims made.
    • Insurance companies are typically required to provide some form of notice before cancellation or nonrenewal. This typically must take place 30 to 120 days prior to the policy ending, depending on the state’s particular laws.