Over the last few weeks, we have reviewed what discounts and other options may be available if your insurance costs go up. We have not yet reviewed what to do if your insurance company is cancelling your auto, home or business insurance. Especially in Oklahoma, we see a lot of clients every week with insurance policies being cancelled for various reasons. And often, the reasons are out of the client’s control. So, we are going to dive into some of the reasons your insurance may get cancelled. We will also look at some ways to avoid cancellation and what to do if your insurance company is cancelling your insurance.
Why is my Insurance Company Cancelling my Insurance?
There are a few reasons that an insurance company may give for cancelling your insurance. The majority of cancellations we see is for claims history. I get it – you pay insurance so that you have coverage when you need it. Then your insurance company cancels you for using the coverage you have been paying for! It doesn’t seem fair. Unfortunately, we see it happen all the time.
Other reasons for cancellation may include an insurance company no longer writing business in a certain state or going out of business completely. Sometimes, insurance companies will cancel their contract with certain agents. In turn, your insurance policy may get cancelled because your agent no longer represents that particular insurance company.
You may get a notice that your insurance is being cancelled if something at your home changes. For example, the home starts to deteriorate and does not appear to be well maintained. Peeling paint, damaged siding or fascia, debris on the property and roofs in poor condition are some of the things we see most often.
Some companies may have rules about certain breeds of dogs or certain “hazards,” such as an inground swimming pool with a slide. If you did not have a slide when the policy was written, but install a slide after, the insurance company may cancel your insurance coverage due to the change in risk.
How do I Avoid them Cancelling my Insurance?
Here are some of the suggestions we offer to our clients to avoid the cancellation:
- Don’t turn in the little stuff. If you have a claim on your auto or home that is barely over your deductible, just pay it. Don’t turn in a claim. This does not apply to liability claims where another party is involved. This is only if the damage is to your own autos or property. If you have an independent agent, like the agents at RCI Insurance, they will be able to help you weigh the pros and cons of turning in a claim.
- If you think you have damage to your roof or other areas of your home, get an estimate before calling your insurance company. Many people think that the insurance adjustor is the person who will determine if they should turn in a claim or not. But, once an insurance adjustor is assigned, you already have a claim on your insurance – even if nothing is ever paid!
- Be proactive! Maintain your property and remove things that could potentially cause a claim.
- Consider installing an alarm system to deter theft and provide early detection of a fire.
- Keep tree limbs trimmed back away from your home and other buildings.
- If you have a trampoline or a swimming pool, make sure they are in a fenced yard with a locked gate.
- Do not leave candles burning or the dryer or stove on while you are not home.
- Don’t start the washing machine before you leave.
- If you are going on a vacation, have a family member, friend or neighbor check on your home regularly.
- Check with your insurance agent before completing any major renovations or making changes to your home and property.
- Look at this checklist from Better Homes and Gardens for monthly and seasonal maintenance guidelines.
What do I do if My Insurance is Already Cancelling?
As always, if your insurance is getting cancelled, call RCI Insurance. Unlike some companies, we have multiple companies that we can write insurance with. Our agents are knowledgeable and typically able to provide the coverage you need. We also have high risk insurance companies who may be able to provide coverage if you are getting cancelled.