Can an insurance company cancel/not renew our policy because our home is older than 40?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 1, 2012

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Insurance Question from Worcester, MA

Asked on 05/01/2012

Can an insurance company cancel/not renew our policy because our home is older than 40? Our Homeowner's insurance is NOT renewing our policy due to the fact "Our home is over 40 years old." and demands that we update all of our electrical, plumbing, heating, roof, boiler, & hot water heater. Is this legal?

Answer given on May 02, 2012

While each state has its own rules and regulations regarding insurance restrictions and cancellations, it is possible that your company has the right to non-renew the policy due to the age of the home and a lack of updating. Older wiring and plumbing cause some major damages to homes and the insurance companies always ask about updating when the originally write the policy. If you have had insurance for a long time with this company, you should try to get them to make an exception for your insurance.You might be able to have a plumber and electrician come out and confirm that the home is in good condition and that repairs are not needed. You could also do this with a roofer and boiler inspection. If the roof is original, it is definitely time to get it replaced. The other areas may be adequate or may only need some minor updating. Again, check with the insurance company and see if they are willing to work with you on these issues.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: These answers are for general information purposes only and are provided by the person answering and AS IS. It has not necessarily been reviewed by the management staff of nor is it binding any insurance agent, broker, or other insurance professional or any attorney or insurance company. Insurance laws, regulations and practices vary from state to state and insurance policies and practices differ from company to company, by type of policy, by state and locality and by type of insurance. Tiny variations in the facts, policy language or a detail not set forth in a question often can change the outcome or a professional's conclusion. Although has confirmed that the answer(s) was/were provided for the account of an experienced insurance professional, that professional may not be licensed in the state referred to in the question, and may not be experienced or up to date in the subject area. Unlike the answers provided here, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you consult a licensed insurance professional in your area or retain a licensed attorney listed on to represent you.

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