Your home in Florida is the single most important investment you’ve ever made. It’s where you’ve watched your children grow up, hosted the annual family Christmas party, and the place where you’ve made enough memories to last you two lifetimes. Throughout all of these years, you’ve paid your homeowner’s insurance, taking nothing in return, yet nothing for granted. You’ve been the picture-perfect homeowner, on paper anyway. You may have let your grass grow out a little bit too long that one summer, but I’m not judging.
So, you’ve been the exemplary homeowner for all of these decades, and only recently you’ve received a letter in your mailbox from your homeowner's insurance company stating that they’ve decided to not renew your policy. That cold sweat and sudden anxiety you’re feeling have been shared with thousands of loyal homeowners just like you across the state of Florida. Now what?
RoofCrafters has been repairing and replacing roofs for nearly 3 decades in the state of Florida, and we know how tricky and oftentimes disheartening these ever-changing laws and regulations can be. They’re surprising and confusing, and to the average homeowner, they’re hard to make sense of. So, let’s take it one step at a time together.
If you’re reading this article, likely, you’ve likely recently received a non-renewal notice from your homeowner's insurance company. It’s a good thing you’re here because, in this article, you’ll learn what exactly that non-renewal notice means, why you may have received it, and what to do next. Let’s get started!
What Is a Non-Renewal Notice from an Insurance Carrier?
If you’ve received a non-renewal notice, it’s essentially a statement from your homeowner’s insurance carrier that they do not intend to offer you a chance to renew your policy after the current one expires. In recent months, Florida’s property insurance market has been chaotically shifting, and many insurers have been issuing non-renewals to once-loyal homeowners like you.
Typically, if an insurer does send out a non-renewal notice, they’re usually required to do so at least 30 days before the expiration of the homeowner's coverage, unless you’ve missed a payment or committed fraud on your application. However, Florida homeowners have been seeing a common theme in receiving their non-renewal notices 120 days in advance to the end of their coverage period, depending on the insurer.
If you’ve received a non-renewal notice recently and believe you have been wrongly denied, don’t lose all hope just yet. You can attempt to contest the non-renewal, although in this case, you’ll more than likely need to prove that your home is not in a high-risk area, which is difficult when living in hurricane-prone areas of Florida.
Why Did I Receive a Non-Renewal Notice for My Roof?
So, why exactly did you receive a non-renewal notice? There are several different reasons, however the most common among homeowners across the state of Florida include:
Failed roof inspection
Age and condition of your roof
Don’t panic just yet. Read the notice and understand the reason why your company is choosing to not renew your policy. If it’s for a roof-related issue, have it addressed as soon as possible. Even if you believe the issue is minor and easily fixable, complying does not mean that your insurer will change their decision. It’s best to act quickly, understand your options, and speak with an insurance representative or a public adjuster within the following days or months after you’ve received your notice before your policy expires, and it becomes an emergency.
Failed Roof Inspection
If your policy isn’t renewed because your roof failed its most recent inspection, it doesn’t hurt to make the proper updates as soon as possible. This doesn’t guarantee that your insurer will reverse their decision to not renew your policy, however, it's important to have a properly functioning roof if you must seek coverage elsewhere.
Roof inspections provide homeowners with the opportunity to fix problems before they’re out of control, such as a small leak, or brittle shingles, so that they’re able to maintain their insurance policies. When these changes aren’t made, and the homeowner deliberately lets the functionality of their roof decline, the insurer oftentimes has no other choice but to revoke their policy for future coverage.
That being said, it’s incredibly important to heed the suggestions made by your contractor after a routine roof inspection, which every homeowner should receive byyearly. In the meantime, be sure to perform routine maintenance on your roof. This will keep your roof healthy, and hopefully, help you to avoid any non-renewal notices in the future.
As all Florida residents know, the weather in the so-called “Sunshine State” tends to get out of control. With merciless summer storms and fall hurricanes, some areas are hit worse than others, especially on the coast. If your policy isn’t renewed due to risk management, or “catastrophic risk exposure”, this essentially means that your current carrier has decided that insuring your home is no longer profitable - the risk is too high.
Although this seems unfair, it’s sadly a legitimate reason you could’ve received a non-renewal notice. The acts of Mother Nature are not your responsibility nor your fault, but when an insurance company bites off more than it can chew and becomes over-extended throughout Florida, it sometimes decides to reduce its policy count. Guess who gets cut first? That’s right, those homes that dwell in high-risk areas.
Age or Condition of Your Roof
Lately, the age and condition of the roof in question seem to be the big kahuna of all reasons insurers are choosing to not renew their client's policies. If the letter you received states that your policy will not be renewed due to the age and condition of your roof, then your roof does not meet the current criteria that your carrier desires.
Within the past few months, insurance carriers in Florida have become extremely meticulous when it comes to the ages and conditions of the roofs they cover, and many of these carriers have even tightened their guidelines. Some carriers have an age-triggered non-renewal, which in most cases seems to be set at 15 years. If your roof is 15 years or older, that may be a reason why you’ve received a non-renewal notice.
How To Proceed After Receiving a Non-Renewal Notice?
First and foremost, I want you to know that receiving a non-renewal notice is not the end of the world. It’s alarming and disconcerting, but it’s not a reason to panic. Knowledge is power, so as long as you read the fine print, understand why your policy will not be renewed, and reach out to the proper personnel to help you handle the process, you’ll be right as rain. Well, not too much rain that you’d be considered high-risk, of course. Too soon?
If you’ve received a non-renewal notice due to a roofing-related issue that can be resolved with a repair or replacement, schedule an inspection with RoofCrafters as soon as possible. RoofCrafters is a GAF-certified contractor and is among the 2% of Master Elite contractors nationwide. Being a Master Elite Certified contractor means that we offer elite warranties, too. Depending on the choice of material, GAF warranties last anywhere from 20 to 50 years, and in some cases up to a lifetime.
Drop RoofCrafters a line and we’ll hook you up with the most sought-after roofing warranties in the industry, and make sure you avoid receiving a non-renewal notice before the lifespan of your roof has come to an end ever again. In the meantime, be sure to browse through the extensive resources located in our learning center. I recommend reading, “Senate Bill 76: Effects on Homeowners and The Roofing Industry”so that you can better understand the recent changes made to roofing laws in your state.
My name is Kevin Mills, and I am the lead estimator for RoofCrafters’ Tampa division. I’m originally from Michigan, and I enjoy hunting, fishing, and spending any free time outdoors. What I’m most passionate about, though, is helping business owners and homeowners alike achieve their roofing goals, all while providing a seamless customer journey.