Storm risk is just one of many reasons insurance policies are canceled. For starters, insurance companies cancel policies because of late payments, pets, old roofs, and trees in the wrong place.
Worried that your homeowner’s insurance could be canceled one day? Well, you won’t be able to blame it on the hurricanes in 2022.
Why Insurance Companies Cancel Policies
There are many reasons why your insurance company might cancel your policy, such as not paying your premiums, the risk of wildfires in your area, not taking care of your home, or making too many claims. But there are also some unusual reasons, like certain dog breeds, snakes, electric vehicle hookups, and solar panels.
While an insurance company can’t typically cancel a single policy because of more storm damage, it could end up writing policies in a high-risk area like Miami-Dade County. Or it could stop writing policies altogether, as many have seen in Florida over the past year.
1. Water, Water Everywhere
Water damage is the most common type of loss, not just in Florida but everywhere. Anything to stop water damage then is critical. Steel braided hoses should be used for anything that has to do with water, like the fridge or the toilet. Insurance companies don’t want to see rubber hoses or water heaters that lack an overflow tank. Water heaters usually last about 10 years.
A high-tech water leak system can shut off the water when it detects unusual water patterns. This would reduce the chance of water leak damage. The device connects to the water supply mainline and links to a phone app. This technology can quickly tell you why water is running in a given area of your home at any given time. An alert for unusual water usage may be sent, and if there’s no response, the water will be turned off. This system can also find a leak in the toilet. This kind of technology is mainly meant to help you avoid having a loss in the first place, and you may get a discount on your policy.
2. In The Dog House
Your pets are just one of the strange things that can cause your policy to be canceled. If your dog hurts someone or causes damage to their property, your liability coverage on your home insurance policy should cover it. That is, unless your dog is a “restricted dog breed,” like a pit bull, Rottweiler, or Doberman, which has been banned in Miami-Dade County for over 30 years.
Breeds on the restricted lists vary by company and state. The Akita, the American pit bull terrier and pit bull, the Chow Chow, the German Shepherd, the Great Dane, the Rottweiler, the Siberian Husky, and the Wolf hybrid are all standard breeds that are likely to cause an insurance rate increase or cancellation. Several insurance companies do not have rules about what kind of dog you can have. You can do a simple DNA test if you’re unsure what breed your dog is. The amount of each breed could also be a factor.
3. Exotic Pet Problems
Many insurance companies won’t cover snakes like boa constrictors, venomous snakes (which are illegal in Florida), or even ferrets because they see them as a risk. Some insurance companies don’t cover people who own reptiles because they think it’s too risky.
Tell your insurance company if you have an exotic pet or a dangerous dog. Even if someone gets bitten once, your policy might not be canceled. However, if you never told the insurance company that you owned the dog, you would be responsible for all medical bills.
4. The Sun Is Setting on Solar Panels
A recent story from First Coast News in northern Florida said that some insurance companies are dropping Florida residents who want to put solar panels on their homes, and some are just dropping customers who already have solar panels.
According to that report, an insurance agent in St. Augustine said it might happen because of a clause in some contracts with Florida Power and Light that says, “you as a homeowner are responsible for paying for all of the damage caused by the panels.” One example is if a power surge from the panels hurts the grid or other homes.
The report also stated that home insurance companies deny coverage if the homeowner wants to sell the extra power their solar panels make back to the electric company. Net metering is the system’s name, and it is a common way for a homeowner with solar panels to use it.
5. Electric Cars Could Be Off The Grid
An article in The Balance stated that putting a charging station for your car in your garage or driveway could affect your home insurance. Some state laws require homeowners to have liability coverage for the charging equipment. The report said that some underwriters might want to see photos or documents showing the unit was installed correctly.
Before adding a charging station to your home, discuss any requirements with your home insurance agent. It would be best if you also got more comprehensive car insurance. Most of the time, hard-wired charging stations are considered part of your home. Depending on the type and cause of loss, the station will likely be covered. If the charger catches fire because of a problem with the home’s wiring, the homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the fire.
Pineapple Insurance is Here to Help
When you’re unsure about what’s covered by homeowners insurance, Pineapple Insurance is happy to answer any questions about what a policy covers. Contact us at 813-438-7240 or visit us at pineappleinsure.com, and we can review existing coverages for your home, flood, auto, or umbrella policies.