How to Find Home Insurance After You’ve Been Dropped
My insurer dropped me after I filed two water-damage claims in the past year, and I’m being turned down by other companies, too. What can I do to find coverage?
--Earl Shaffer, West Columbia, S.C.
SEE ALSO: Trim Your Home-Insurance Premiums
Insurance companies tend to be sticklers about water damage because it can lead to more-expensive problems, such as mold. But a few steps should help improve your chances of getting a policy.
Start by contacting an independent insurance agent who works with many companies and knows from experience which ones will cover someone with your home’s history (go to www.trustedchoice.com for local contacts).
"Most of the time, there’s some insurance company out there willing to sell the coverage as long as it gets the price it wants for the risk," says Steven Spiro, an independent agent in Valley Stream, N.Y.
Strengthen your case by showing insurers that you’ve fixed the problem. "To get companies to reconsider, show that all the necessary repairs and remediation, where possible, were done," says Spiro. Providing evidence that you’ve replaced old pipes or installed a new roof can make your home more attractive to insurers. You can also add a note to your CLUE Personal Property report explaining that the problem has been fixed, says Jeanne Salvatore, of the Insurance Information Institute (access your report at https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/).
An insurer may offer you coverage if you raise your deductible to $1,500 or more. Insurers also look favorably on customers who have both homeowners and auto insurance with them.
Got a question? Ask Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.