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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

What is a non-renewal insurance notice and why do Iowa homeowners get them?

"You don't want to be one of those people that's known for a lot of claims, that may raise an eyebrow," Scott Holeman with the Insurance Information Institute said.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Insurance Division has received a few complaints from residents claiming their homeowner's insurance policy was not being renewed.

All insurance companies must state in their contracts the possibilities of not renewing someone's policy and set a time period for when the customer would receive the non-renewal notice in advance of the expiration of the policy.

Jared Kirby, the Deputy Insurance Commissioner with the IID said a customer's policy not being renewed by their insurance company is legal. 

With a non-renewal, several factors come into play, and with the August 2020 derecho, a person could receive this type of notice because of a company no longer doing business in that area.

He also said another reason could be a change in risks to the property or because of a customer's claim history.

"You don't want to be one of those people that's known for a lot of claims, that may raise an eyebrow," Scott Holeman with the Insurance Information Institute, said. "You want to manage your risks and do all you can to mitigate your risk."

If a home has something small like windows being broken, it might be better to pay for those out of pocket and avoid making a claim, according to Holeman.

That way, when something severe happens to the home and a person must file a claim, the homeowner's reputation is intact and they are still in good standing with the insurance company.

When a person does receive a non-renewal letter, it is important to reach out to an insurance company.  

"The best course of action is communication to their insurance agent to let the insurance agent explain what dynamics led to this," Kirby said.

Iowans can reach out to their agency for extra clarification, and after that it may be time to look for more homeowner's coverage.

Individuals can find a list of agents and companies here. Another option is looking on iowafairplan.com for plans that might suit your needs.

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