Can homeowners insurance be canceled for storm claims? Where to go for coverage?

Insurance companies must follow numerous regulations when nonrenewing a homeowners insurance policy. For example, the insurer must send the policyholder written notice outlining the specific reason for discontinuing coverage. Loss experience, even if negligence is not involved, is a valid nonrenewal reason. The notice has to identify the cancellation date. A sixty-day notice is necessary if coverage has been in place for five or more years. The requirement is thirty days for policies less than five years old.

You have several options upon receiving a nonrenewal notice. Start with asking the insurer to reconsider. The company might agree to renew the policy if you take a higher deductible, are a long-time customer with supporting policies, or agree to make coverage changes.

Next, explore options with other insurers. Hundreds of carriers market homeowners insurance and eligibility rules vary. Be upfront about your situation.

Finally, ask an agent about the Illinois FAIR Plan if you cannot get homeowners insurance from traditional companies. The FAIR Plan is an assocaition that functions like an insurance company. You need to be nonrenewed or denied homeowenrs insurance to be eligible for the FAIR Plan. The house has to meet basic fire, loss prevention, and safety standards. Vacant or unoccupied properties and those in other states are not eligible for the FAIR Plan. Re-evaluate your options in the traitional homeowenrs insurance market as your claim record improves.