Non-Renewal of your Homeowners Policy – What to Do?
You’ve received a notice from your insurance company telling you they no longer intend to insure your home. What do you need to do to make sure your insurance coverage is uninterrupted?
Non-Renewals Happen Frequently
Non-renewals happen more often then we think. Insurers often update their eligibility guidelines, or non-renew due to claims. More commonly, insurers change their brush fire mapping criteria, which result in large numbers of residents in a particular neighborhood receiving non-renewals and being forced to find replacement homeowners insurance.
In 1994, after the Northridge Earthquake, many insurers withdrew from the California homeowners insurance market, leaving hundreds of thousands of non-renewed homeowners to find replacement coverage.
Over 10 days in November 2008, our neighborhood of Yorba Linda, California was tragically affected by the 30,000 acre Freeway Complex Fire, which resulted in the destruction of 187 homes in Yorba Linda and 127 homes in Anaheim Hills. Over one-third of Yorba Linda’s residents were forced to evacuate, along with residents of Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills, Corona, Diamond Bar, and Brea.
More recently, the wildfires in 2018 resulted in 1.8 million acres burned across California causing over $12 billion in insurance claims. When a catastrophic event like a wildfire occurs, insurance companies will often move to change their guidelines to reduce their exposure to brush fires. The Freeway Complex Fire was very disruptive to homeowners in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills, as many homeowners received non-renewal notices and were forced to replace the insurance company they may have been insured with for many years. A similar problem occurred in 2018 in communities affected by the Camp Fire, Carr Fire, Woolsey Fire, and Mendocino Complex Fire, among many others.
The Advantage of an Independent Insurance Agent
Working with an independent insurance agent may prove to be a great option in this situation. Independent agents work with many insurance companies that have a wide range of eligibility, so they can usually locate an insurer to write your home, even when your current insurance agent cannot. We were able to assist many homeowners in our Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills area when they received non-renewals from their insurance companies as a result of the Freeway Complex Fire.
When speaking to an independent agent, provide them with the reason for the non-renewal notice that was provided by the insurance company. An efficient agent will ask for other insurance information to package the account for a multi-line discount. In some cases, bundling can bring a savings for all your insurance policies.
Once the agent has evaluated the dwelling cost with their carriers the broker will provide a few proposals along with an explanation of their differences and similarities and also comparing the proposals to the non-renewed policy.
Non-renewal notices can be alarming and confusing, but working with an independent insurance agent can make the overall transition painless.