What Happens To Your Mortgage If Your Home Insurance Is Canceled?


Enter your ZIP code to get started

Shield

Free. Simple. Secure.

Banner image
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byLukas Velunta
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byLukas Velunta

Updated: May 22, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

If your home insurance gets canceled and you fail to renew it or find adequate coverage, your mortgage terms may be breached — this can lead to penalties or your mortgage being recalled. Mortgage lenders typically require home insurance to protect their collateral (your home), and without it, you put yourself at risk of costly expenses if your home gets damaged due to fires or vandalism. By understanding what happens to your mortgage if your homeowners insurance gets canceled, you can avoid significant financial implications.

Key Takeaways

uninsured icon

Failing to maintain homeowners insurance can breach your mortgage terms, resulting in penalties, mortgage recall and potential financial challenges.

bigHouseRent icon

Without coverage, lenders may impose lender- or force-placed insurance, which is a costly alternative to standard home insurance policies.

homeInsurance icon

Taking proactive measures such as timely premium payments, regular maintenance and accurate information provision can prevent policy cancellations.

What Happens To Your Mortgage If Your Homeowners Insurance Gets Canceled?

A canceled homeowner's insurance policy that is not renewed or replaced may violate your mortgage terms, resulting in penalties or even mortgage recall. Mortgage lenders typically require home insurance to safeguard their collateral, or your home, and prevent any significant financial impact in case of a covered peril.

Take a look at the potential implications to your mortgage if your home insurance gets canceled:

  • Penalties or Fines: Failing to maintain homeowners insurance can result in penalties or fines. These can be quite costly and add to your overall expenses. Lenders will also require you to obtain insurance coverage again promptly to rectify this breach.
  • Recalled Mortgage: In the worst-case scenario, if you do not address the insurance lapse promptly, your mortgage could be recalled. This means that your lender demands full repayment of the mortgage amount immediately. This can be financially devastating, because you would need to come up with the entire mortgage balance on short notice, potentially forcing you to sell your home or face foreclosure.
  • Lender-Placed Insurance: To protect their interests, mortgage lenders may take action to ensure that the property, serving as collateral for the loan, remains insured. They may do this through force-placed or lender-placed insurance. This is typically more expensive than what you could obtain independently.

Understanding Lender-Placed or Force-Placed Insurance

Lender-placed or force-placed insurance is a policy that your mortgage lender purchases on your behalf to protect their interest in your property. This type of insurance is implemented when the homeowner's insurance policy lapses, is canceled or is deemed insufficient by the lender. The coverage typically focuses on protecting the structure of the home, which is the lender's collateral, rather than personal belongings or liability coverage.

mglogo icon
MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

View lender-placed insurance as a temporary solution. This type of insurance is often more limited in coverage compared to a policy you might select on your own. Although it ensures that there is some insurance in place, it may not cover all the risks that a standard policy would.

As a homeowner, you have the option to replace force-placed insurance with a policy of your own choosing. This is often more cost-effective and allows you to tailor the coverage to better suit your needs. Once you have secured your own insurance, you should inform your lender immediately so that the force-placed policy can be canceled, which will remove the additional charges from your mortgage payments. This proactive step can save you money and provide you with more comprehensive coverage.

How Much Does Lender-Placed Insurance Cost?

Lender-placed insurance usually costs more than standard homeowners insurance policies, mainly because insurers see a greater risk when there's been a lapse in coverage. Additionally, because these policies are selected and purchased by the lender, not the homeowner, they tend to lack the competitive pricing seen in policies actively shopped for by individuals. The exact price of lender-placed insurance can differ, depending on things like the value of the home, where it's located and how much coverage the lender thinks is needed.

Who Pays for Lender-Placed Insurance?

The cost of the lender-placed insurance is ultimately borne by the homeowner. This additional expense is usually added to the monthly mortgage payment, which means that if your lender has to purchase a force-placed insurance policy, you can expect an increase in your regular mortgage payments.

Reasons Your Homeowners Insurance May Get Canceled

A home insurance policy can be canceled for several reasons: lack of payment, misrepresentation of your property and more. By understanding the potential reasons for home insurance policy cancellation, you can avoid lapses in coverage that could leave you financially vulnerable in case of damage or loss. It also enables you to maintain a good insurance history, which is essential for securing favorable terms and rates in future policies.

Here are some key factors to consider:

    loanCon icon

    Non-Payment

    Failure to pay your insurance premiums on time can result in policy cancellation. It's crucial to keep up with your payments to maintain coverage.

    earthquake icon

    High-Risk Property

    If your home is considered high-risk due to factors like its location in a flood-prone area or a history of frequent claims, your insurer may cancel your policy.

    houseRebuild icon

    Non-Compliance

    Not meeting the insurer's requirements or failing to make necessary repairs to address safety hazards can lead to policy cancellation.

    financialPlanning icon

    Misrepresentation

    Providing inaccurate or incomplete information when applying for coverage can result in policy cancellation if the insurer discovers discrepancies.

    lenderTransparency icon

    Criminal Activity

    Engaging in criminal activities on your property, such as running illegal businesses or drug-related offenses, can lead to policy cancellation.

    pin icon

    Insurance Company Changes

    Sometimes, an insurer may decide to stop offering coverage in your area or change its underwriting guidelines, which could lead to the cancellation of existing policies.

    calendar icon

    Non-Renewal

    In some cases, your insurer may choose not to renew your policy at the end of the term, leaving you in need of finding new coverage.

How to Prevent Your Homeowners Insurance From Getting Canceled

Preventing your homeowners insurance from getting canceled involves taking proactive measures to maintain good standing with your insurance provider. By being proactive and responsible, you can significantly reduce the risk of your homeowners insurance getting canceled and maintain the protection you need for your home and belongings.

Here are some steps to help prevent policy cancellations:

1
Pay Premiums on Time:

Set up reminders or automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date. Make sure you have prepared the amount beforehand.

2
Perform Regular Maintenance

Keep your home in good condition by performing regular maintenance and addressing any safety hazards promptly. This reduces the risk of claims that could lead to cancellation.

3
Review Your Policy

Understand your coverage limits and the terms and conditions of your policy. Ensure that you meet all the requirements and coverage obligations specified in your contract.

4
Provide Accurate Information

Accurate and up-to-date information should be provided to your insurance company when applying for coverage or making changes to your policy.

5
Communicate Changes

Notify your insurer of any significant changes to your home, such as renovations or additions, to ensure your coverage remains adequate.

6
Bundle Policies

Consider bundling your homeowners insurance with other policies, such as auto insurance, to qualify for discounts and demonstrate your loyalty to the insurer.

7
Shop Around

If you receive notice of a policy non-renewal or cancellation, explore other insurance options to secure coverage before your existing policy expires.

8
Maintain a Good Claims Policy

Limit the number of claims you file, especially for minor damages, as a high claims history can increase the likelihood of policy cancellation.

FAQ

Homeowners insurance plays a vital role in protecting your home and financial well-being, along with maintaining your mortgage requirements. Get a better understanding of what happens to your mortgage if your homeowners insurance is cancelled through our answers to some frequently asked questions.

Is it necessary to have mortgage insurance?
What happens if your home insurance gets canceled or you cancel it?

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.