Getting homeowner’s insurance is not as easy as calling your local agent, requesting a quote, and submitting payment for all homeowners. There is a number of reasons why a standard home insurance company would deny an applicant for coverage. Some standard home insurance companies will not cover vacant homes that will remain vacant for over 6 months. Other home insurance companies will deny applicants when they own an older high-risk home or when the client has a long list of prior claims. For homeowners who cannot qualify for standard insurance, hard-to-place home insurance is the only other alternative.
What is Hard-to-place Home Insurance?
Insurance companies who offer hard-to-place home insurance are typically substandard insurance companies that offer coverage to high-risk clients. In most cases, homes that are vacant, under extensive renovation, or old and lacking updates will need to be covered by the special type of insurance program. Some clients, like those who have a history of non-payment and those who have several claims, may also find that a standard home insurance company will not cover them. Contrary to popular belief, hard-to-place insurance is offered by a variety of different companies. These special risk policies may be more difficult to find, but with the right information finding a special risk policy does not have to be a time consuming chore.
Where to Find Hard-to-place Home Insurance
You should always apply for standard insurance with several of the big name insurers before you start shopping for hard-to-place insurance. If you find that you do not meet the underwriting requirements of any of the standard insurers in your area, it is time to start your search for a special risk policy. Keep in mind that there are several insurers in the special risk industry. These insurers may not be big brand name insurers, but they are highly more likely to approve you when the odds of you filing a claim are high. Here are a few ways to find a special risk insurer:
* Contact Insurance Brokers
Insurance brokers are independent agents that act as the middle man between an insurance company and an applicant. Unlike captive agents, an insurance broker represents the consumer and not the insurance company. They have built strong relationships with insurers and know their underwriting guidelines. Most brokers have a relationship with 2 or 3 hard-to-place companies and can refer you to the best match.
* Your Mortgage Company
If you have a mortgage on the home, chances are the mortgage company can refer a hard-to-place insurer to you. The mortgage company requires that you carry coverage on the home to protect their interests in the property. They may be able to give you phone numbers or website addresses to companies that will likely cover your home.
It is very frustrating to receive a notice of cancellation from your current home insurer. While you are given 10 to 30 days to find new coverage, the fact that your insurer will not accept your application or renew your policy can be very upsetting. Take time to find reputable special risk companies, and get the coverage you need.