Companies have to provide sufficient notice and a reason.
DENVER - In the aftermath of recent wildfires such as the Marshall and East Troublesome fires, Coloradans are paying more attention to their homeowners insurance, focusing on all aspects of coverage, from premiums to rebuilding costs. However, some folks are encountering a different kind of problem - their homeowners’ insurance company has decided not to renew their policy for another year.
Non-renewal means the company refuses to renew a policy after it expires. Insurance companies are allowed to do this, provided they provide sufficient notice to the policyholder. In Colorado, insurance laws require the companies to provide notice at least 30 days before the renewal date. The company’s notice must provide a specific reason for the non-renewal.
Not having a policy renewed is very different from an insurance company canceling a policy. Cancellation is very rare and means that the company is stopping the coverage before the policy’s expiration date. Companies typically only cancel coverage if the policyholder stops paying premiums or if the company believes something illegal or fraudulent has occurred, such as a policyholder lying on an application. When you’re a new policyholder, there is also a limited period of time - 30 business days - in which your insurance company can cancel your policy for any reason.
However, even with the rare occurrences of cancellation, companies must provide a 30-day notice to the policyholder (10 days if canceling for non-payment of premium), and depending on the reason for cancellation, they may also provide a refund of a portion of premiums.
When a policy is not being renewed, the Division of Insurance (DOI) encourages people to shop for coverage from other companies. Just because one company changed their approach does not mean that all companies are doing the same thing.
However, if your homeowners’ insurance hasn’t been renewed, and the non-renewal seems inappropriate, the company did not provide you with sufficient notice, or you’re having difficulty finding other coverage, please contact the DOI’s Consumer Services team to ask questions and possibly file a formal complaint. While companies are allowed to non-renew policyholders, it may still be worth asking questions about the situation, getting clarification about what is and isn’t happening, and getting information about next steps from our team dedicated to answering consumers’ insurance questions. People who have had their homeowners’ insurance canceled mid-policy and believe the cancellation is incorrect can also contact the DOI’s Consumer Services team.
About the Division of Insurance:
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit doi.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 800-886-7675.