Roof Mold Can Result in Insurance Cancellation
One thing most homeowners don’t expect when securing home insurance a notice in the mail stating that they may face home insurance cancellation within a specific number of days due to roof mold. But this type of notification has become a reality for some homeowners.
A recent story reported by WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Mich. revealed that having roof mold or other roof issues could result in a loss of coverage.
Bob Foppe, a homeowner in Michigan, was one of those individuals who received a notice from his homeowners insurance company, notifying him that he had undesired dark streaks on his roof.
How did his company know about the streaks on his roof? “They came a day I wasn’t home, took some pictures,” Foppe told WXYZ-TV. In the insurance company’s investigation, it determined that there was mold and algae staining on his roof and on the vinyl siding on the shady side of the house.
The insurer shared in the letter that if he did not have his roof cleaned, it would cancel his policy. Unable to avoid the potential consequences, he took the steps to have the roof mold removed from his home.
Experts in the roofing industry say that insurance companies are taking steps like these to ensure they won’t have to pay a claim down the line, which could cost them anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for roof replacement.
By threatening home insurance cancellation for dirty roofs, mold and more, that might cost the policyholder about $500 in cleaning costs, insurers can avoid the high price of a claim.
Home Insurance Cancellation and Company Rights
It may seem that insurance companies don’t have the right to come to a residence and examine the property when policyholders are not there, then make determinations that could result in homeowners paying hundreds of dollars in roof cleaning services or other costly adjustments.
But in actuality, home insurance companies have the right to make these cancellations, particularly in the beginning of a policy term.
Insurance companies have a 60-day grace period after a policy is issued, which gives insurers the right to cancel any policy for any reason. The insurer, however, is required to give the homeowner 30 days’ notice of a home insurance cancellation, unless the cancellation is related to a homeowner’s failure to pay a premium or the discovery of lies on an application.
But the rights of home insurers don’t end there. After the 60-day window, a company can still cancel a policy during the term for reasons spelled out in a homeowner’s policy. These conditions are set by the insurers and can vary from company to company.
This means, it’s up to homeowners to learn more about what home insurance companies expect of them to avoid feeling the embarrassment of receiving a notice of cancellation in the mail.
3 More Cancellation Reasons From Home Insurance Companies
A home insurance policy can be cancelled thanks to roof mold, but there are other reasons that home insurance companies could send a home insurance cancellation letter. Here are three that might surprise homeowners:
1. Pit Bulls
Pit bulls are viewed by home insurance companies as one of a few dog breeds that could cause harm or injury to others. It’s well known that dog bites account for approximately one-third of homeowners insurance claims, which means companies are paying a pretty penny for the actions of these pets.
If insurers learn of a specific type of dog living in a home that could result a home insurance clam, under its liability protection clause it may choose to cancel the homeowner’s insurance policy.
2. Uneven Sidewalk
Another reason an insurer might cancel a policy is a homeowner’s uneven sidewalk. While it may seem that homeowners are not responsible for managing the sidewalk in front of their homes — they are. If a passerby trips on the sidewalk and is injured, the homeowner may be liable and the home insurance company may have to pay a claim.
It’s for this reason that insurers opt to force homeowners to fix their uneven sidewalks, or face the consequence of a cancelled policy.
3. Uneven Steps or Unsecured Handrails
As with an uneven sidewalk, uneven or cracked steps and shaky handrails can be dangerous to individuals attempting to enter the home. Insurance companies don’t want to have to pay liability costs associated with injuries, and may first insist that owners make repairs to steps and handrails preemptively.
While home insurance companies were created to serve the financial needs of their customers, they wouldn’t be able to turn a profit if they constantly shell out settlement dollars. To ensure they protect their own interests, they often closely monitor the upkeep of their policyholders’ homes.
To avoid being sideswiped by an unexpected home insurance cancellation letter, it’s good to examine cancellation clauses listed in the “conditions” or “cancellation” section of home insurance policies. This way, homeowners can make sure their home is in tiptop condition, without paying for costly repairs required by home insurance companies.