How Do I Cancel My Home Insurance?

You can cancel your home insurance at any time, but there might be a penalty. Canceling a homeowners insurance policy mid-term sometimes results in what is known as short-rating. If the short-rate penalty for canceling a home insurance policy is more than 10 percent of your premium, wait to switch providers until your renewal period. Before you cancel, be sure to have a new policy lined up to avoid a lapse in coverage.

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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: Jul 15, 2021

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If you want to know if you can cancel your home insurance at any time, then note that the process can be smooth and seamless. However, before you decide to cancel home insurance, there are some things that you need to know.

If you’re canceling your home insurance because it’s too expensive, make sure you have new coverage lined up before you do. Compare rates now with free home insurance quotes.

Can I cancel my home insurance?

As a policy owner, you can cancel your home insurance at any time, especially if you sell your home or change companies. You need to keep the following in mind before you cancel home insurance:

  • When you cancel home insurance a refund of the unused insurance premium will be given, but some insurance carriers will “short rate” your home insurance policy. The term “short rate” is a penalty the insurance company imposes for not keeping your policy with the insurance carrier for the entire policy period. This should not deter you, however, if you have a quote on a home insurance policy that is at substantial savings. Ask your present home insurance policy company how much your short rate penalty amounts to and how much of the unused premium you will receive back.
  • There may be an additional fee or penalty for canceling the policy. You may find that even with the penalty, the savings you are getting by changing your home insurance is more than worth it! If the short rate penalty is more than 10% of your policy’s premium or more than what you are saving by switching, you may be better putting off canceling your home insurance policy until your policy renewal date. Essentially, this will allow you to cancel your homeowner’s insurance “flat” and avoid the short rate penalty. Your new home insurance policy will start when the other ends.
  • You will be without home insurance coverage if your policy is canceled. This may not be a bad thing if you have relocated to a temporary living arrangement, but you should have some policy to protect your property even if you are not in a home. If you cancel your home insurance, claims that happen after that cancelation date won’t be covered.

TIP: Check your home insurance policy for any information about return of premium, short rate conditions, or fees and other penalties that may apply. Understand the consequences of your action before you do anything.

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What should I do before I cancel my homeowners insurance?

You should make sure you have the home insurance coverage you need from a new policy before you cancel an old one. Shop for a new policy prior to cancelling your old one by comparing several quotes. Take the opportunity to actually make sure you are getting a better deal by making the change by looking at all aspects of the new insurance policy.

If the home insurance coverage is vastly different on the new plan, talk to your insurance agent or the insurance company representative and ask them to explain the difference. Do not leave yourself without some level of insurance to protect your home and belongings!

TIPS: Make sure you inform your mortgage lender of any changes to a home insurance policy. Typically a mortgage loan requires home insurance, and you need to keep the lender informed of any and all changes.

Cancel Your Home Insurance in Writing

Once you have established that canceling your home insurance is in your best interest, you should always put the cancellation in writing. Fax or mail a letter to your insurance agent or insurance company containing the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your policy number
  • The address of the home that is insured by the policy
  • Your contact number
  • The date you would like the cancellation of your home insurance to become effective and a statement that you would like to cancel the policy.
  • An address for them to send any unearned premium return.

TIP: The last point is especially important if you are canceling your home insurance when moving. The insurance company will need a forwarding address to send your refund. If your cancellation date is thirty days or more in the past, you may be required to show proof of insurance to make sure that you are indeed entitled to that amount of unearned premium.

What if I’m switching companies?

If you are switching companies because of rates or any other issue, make sure you shop around, do your research, and sign up for the new policy before you cancel.

Canceling is the same whether you are switching or just don’t need the coverage anymore, but when switching companies you need to be sure there is no lapse.

Canceling your home insurance can be easy. If you are not selling your home, make sure you have replacement coverage in place before you cancel. If you are thinking about canceling your home insurance, and need to find a new policy, click here to get a free quote today

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