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Cancelled home insurance

Finding out that a home insurance provider refuses to cover you can be a worry. While no one likes to be told no, it’s helpful to understand why and what the potential implications might be. 

Here’s what to do if you’ve had home insurance cancelled, refused or voided and how you can prevent this from happening in the future.

Finding out that a home insurance provider refuses to cover you can be a worry. While no one likes to be told no, it’s helpful to understand why and what the potential implications might be. 

Here’s what to do if you’ve had home insurance cancelled, refused or voided and how you can prevent this from happening in the future.

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Last Updated
12 APRIL 2024
6 min read
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Why would you be refused home insurance?

An insurance provider might refuse to quote you for home cover if they believe you or your property pose too much of a financial risk.

There are several reasons why your home insurance may be cancelled, voided or refused. Perhaps you haven’t kept up to date with your premiums or your claims are costing the provider too much money.

It could simply be that your circumstances have changed since you took out your policy and you no longer meet the provider’s underwriting criteria.

Some of the biggest risks, and most common reasons for home insurance refusal or cancellation, are:

1. Extensive claims history

A claims record showing multiple claims over a few years, or a single high-value pay-out, could be enough for your provider to decide they no longer want to cover you.

2. Subsidence

Some insurance providers won’t insure properties that have previously had subsidence issues. Others might charge you a higher premium or impose a higher excess, which you’ll have to pay towards any claim you make.

3. Disclosure issues

You may have failed to disclose something that an insurance provider considers important.

It could be that you didn’t reveal previous claims when you took out the policy, or you hadn’t declared having a lodger living with you. Any non-disclosures can invalidate your policy.

4. A change in circumstances

If you’ve had a conviction during the year, changed your job or had a change in your financial circumstances, an insurance provider may no longer want to insure you. They might think there’s a higher risk of you not paying your premiums.

5. Type of cover no longer offered

Insurance providers can change their minds about what types of risk they want to insure against. For example, some providers no longer offer flood cover following the impact of major floods. Others may have once insured a particular type of non-standard home but no longer wish to, based on their claims experience.

6. Building work

You could have your home insurance cancelled due to building work if you fail to tell your insurance provider about any major home improvements. That’s because they’re likely to affect the rebuild cost of your home and could pose security risks with tradespeople coming and going. 

It’s worth noting that each provider has its own criteria and way of calculating risk. So just because you’ve been turned down by one, doesn’t mean another will do the same.

What can void home insurance?

Your provider can void your home insurance policy if they believe you deliberately didn’t disclose important information – for example, you failed to let them know you’d started running a business from home or you left your house unoccupied for more than 30 days. 

Voided home insurance is slightly different to cancelled insurance in that it becomes invalid from the start date. This means it won’t cover any claims made during the policy term.

Cancelled home insurance policies are stopped before they were due to expire but, crucially, claims made before the cancellation date may still be paid.

What to do if you’ve been refused home insurance cover

A refusal to renew can make it more difficult to find home insurance cover elsewhere. So before you burn your bridges with your current provider, it’s worth doing the following:

  1. Contact your provider and ask them why your policy has been cancelled
  2. Try to resolve the issue and see if your cover can be reinstated
  3. If they still refuse but you feel they’re out of order, make a complaint in writing.
  4. If you think you’ve been treated unfairly, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman.

If, despite your efforts, your current insurance provider still refuses to renew your policy, all is not lost. Different providers have different underwriting guidelines, and some even offer specialist home insurance that might be better suited to your circumstances.

For example,you could apply for non-standard home insurance or home insurance for people with criminal convictions.

The key to finding a new insurance provider is to compare quotes. Luckily, Compare the Market can help you with that.

What does being refused home insurance mean for you?

Having a policy cancelled or declined by your insurance provider can make it tricky to find one with a new provider. And it’s not just your home insurance that can be affected.

Depending on why your policy’s been cancelled, it might make it difficult to find affordable car insurance too. While home insurance may not be a legal requirement, car insurance is mandatory.

Insurance providers routinely share information about policies and claims histories on a central database called CUE (the Claims and Underwriting Exchange). The database holds information on all your insurance records including home, car, travel, and personal injury policies.

Details of any past claims will stay on CUE for six years from when the claim was made, so other insurance providers can see if you’ve been refused cover.

This makes it all the more important to disclose any information that could affect your application for cover from another provider. It’s likely that your insurance will be more expensive, but at least you’ll be covered if something goes wrong.

Top tip

Take care to be as accurate as possible when filling out your insurance documents. Even a genuine mistake can be viewed as misrepresentation if the information you provide is incomplete or misleading because of carelessness.

How can I avoid my home insurance being refused or cancelled in the future?

Although some reasons for being denied home insurance are beyond your control, to prevent your policy being cancelled in the future you could:

  • Make sure all your payments are made in full and on time, so non-payment or late payment can’t be used as a reason not to renew
  • Be accurate and honest on every insurance application
  • Remember to disclose any changes to your circumstances that could affect your cover
  • Choose a specialist home insurance provider if you need a particular type of insurance, for example if your house has a thatched roof, is a listed building or is in a high flood risk area
  • Compare home insurance with us to find a range of quotes from insurance providers who could be happy to take you on.
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Frequently asked questions

Will I still be able to get cover if I’ve been refused home insurance?

While your options may be limited, it should be possible to find home insurance if you’ve been refused cover.

Depending on the reason for the cancellation, you may need to find a specialist provider who’ll better understand your situation, and can cover your home and contents at a reasonable price.

What kind of convictions could mean I’m refused home insurance?

Any type of criminal conviction could jeopardise your chances of getting both home insurance and car insurance – even minor offences.  A criminal conviction can be anything from a fine to a prison sentence. You must tell your insurance provider about:

  • Unspent convictions that are still active
  • Convictions that occur halfway through your insurance policy
  • Convictions of other members of your household.

Having a criminal conviction doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance, but you may need to look for a specialist provider.

What changes do I need to tell my insurance provider about?

You must tell your home insurance provider about any changes that could affect your cover. These include:

  • Taking in a lodger
  • Starting a business from home
  • Making structural changes – for example, an extension or loft conversion
  • Adding security features like a burglar alarm or door locks
  • Leaving the house empty for more than 30 consecutive days
  • Updating the valuation of your home contents
  • Changes to your circumstances; for example, a job change or criminal conviction.

Always let your insurance provider know about any changes, even if you’re unsure whether they’re relevant. It’s better to be honest than find yourself with a cancelled policy and no cover.

What are home insurance endorsements?

Endorsements are special terms imposed on your policy. A provider might not always decline your renewal or cancel your policy, but they might insist on adding an endorsement to continue to offer you cover.

This might mean an increased excess for situations that have resulted in numerous claims – for example, escape of water. They could even exclude certain elements of cover, like theft if there’s been a significant increase in break-ins in your area.

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Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

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