DES MOINES, Iowa — After a summer of multiple storms leading to wind and hail damage, many Iowans are filing homeowners insurance claims to fix the damage. While insurance will pay to fix it, the claim could lead to someone losing their insurance.
Insurance companies can drop people in two ways, by canceling or choosing not to renew policies. There are several reasons why an insurance company could choose to cancel or not renew a policy. It depends on the terms of the individual policy as well as the amount of risk an insurance company wants to take on.
Iowa Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jared Kirby said one reason insurance companies could cancel or not renew a policy is because the holder files too many claims. Each company has its own guidelines for what constitutes too many claims so it’s important everyone checks with their insurer.
“If they identify damage, if a storm comes through, they contact their insurance agent and talk through with them what their options are,” he said. “One would be filing a claim. That will give the insurance company the options to come out and look at the damage, assess the damage, because the consumer may not actually be able to identify all the various things that are damaged.”
Kirby said people can also use a trusted contractor to get an assessment. They don’t have to file a claim after an assessment by an insurance company or private contractor.
He said if someone is not renewed or canceled, the insurance company will send them a notice 30 days before the policy ends. That should give them enough time to find new insurance. They can also file a complaint with the Iowa Division of Insurance if they feel they’ve been wrongly canceled or not renewed.
Kirby also advises people to shop around each year for new homeowners insurance, regardless of whether they made a claim, as rates often change.