Cancelling home insurance

You can jump ship from your home insurance early, but it might not be free.

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Whether you’re fed up with your home insurance or you’re moving to a new place, you can cancel your policy at any point. However, leaving early can come with exit and admin charges.

Can I cancel my home insurance policy at any time?

Yes. You simply need to get in touch with your home insurance provider and tell it which day you want your deal to end. Make sure your new policy starts on that day too though, as you don’t want a lapse in coverage.

How to let your insurance company know you’re cancelling

Once you’ve made the decision to cancel the next step to take is to either call, email or write a letter to your insurer. Make sure you include the following bits of information when you request your policy is cancelled:

  • Your name
  • Your policy number
  • The address of the insured property
  • The date you wish the policy to end

You’ll want proof of your cancellation so, if calling, ask the insurer if it can send you an email or letter confirming that you’ve left.

You’ll also need to contact your mortgage lender if you have a mortgage for your home. Simply let it know you’re cancelling your current deal and say when your new policy starts and which insurer it’s with.

Are there any cancellation fees?

If you leave within the cooling-off period then no. However, after the first 14 days you’ll probably be hit with a cancellation fee.

The size of this charge will depend on the insurer, so it’s a good idea to ask your provider what you’re liable to pay before you actually jump ship.

How you purchased your insurance will play a key role in calculating how much money you will be charged for leaving too.

  • If you pay monthly. After cancelling your policy, you may be billed for any penalty fees.
  • If you pay annually. If you’ve paid for the insurance in a lump sum at the outset, you’ll typically receive a refund for the time you didn’t use on the policy. However, the exit fee and any discount you receive will be deducted from any cash the insurer returns and you’ll be billed for any outstanding payments too.

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Are there any downsides to cancelling a home insurance policy early?

Cancellation charges are the obvious downside, but there are a few other reasons you might opt against leaving early:

  • Going without coverage. It’s vital you make sure your new deal begins the same day your old one ends or you could be left seriously out of pocket should anything bad happen.
  • Lost discounts. When weighing up the benefits of leaving, make sure you take any home insurance discounts you’re currently receiving into account. Will your new insurer give you discounted rates?
  • Ending up with a worse policy. Really do your homework if your main reason for cancelling is to find better rates elsewhere. While other providers might seem to offer better home insurance deals, look at the small print to see what risks it will protect you against. Maybe the policy won’t be as comprehensive as the one you have? And take a look at some online reviews to make sure your new insurer is reputable and trustworthy.

Can I just wait for my policy to lapse?

Yes. Let your insurer know you don’t want to renew your deal. However, it’s vital you get a new policy lined up and ready to start on the end date of your current agreement. In short though, here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. At least 30 days before your policy is due to end the insurer will get in touch about a new insurance deal.
  2. Get in touch to tell the insurer you don’t want to renew.
  3. Find a new insurance deal which offers you the cover you need and sign up.
  4. When your old deal is a couple of days away from ending, call the insurer up and make sure it’s not going to renew.

Can I transfer my policy to someone else?

Unfortunately no. Your home insurance policy is tailor-made, with the premiums calculated on factors that are specific to you.

For instance your claims history, pet and how you use your home will also be taken into account when working out your insurance costs.

Should you sell or give your property away as a gift, the new owners will need to find their own policy.

Can I transfer my policy to another home?

In some cases, yes. However, you may be charged an administration fee and your premiums are likely to change. They could well go down, if you’re moving to an area with lower levels of crime for instance.

Yet they could well go up, so it might be a good idea to shop around and see if other insurers can offer you a better deal.

Ultimately, you’ll have to sit down and do some sums, working out whether changing insurer is really worth it once any cancellation fees are taken into account.

What are the alternatives to cancelling my home insurance?

Some people will have no choice but to cancel, if they’re moving abroad perhaps. But others might be able to get a better deal and reduce their premiums by:

  • Talking to your insurer. Call your insurer’s customer services team and say you’ve found a better deal elsewhere. In some instances the provider might agree to match it.
  • Increasing your excess. This is the amount you contribute out of your own pocket towards any claim you make, before the insurer starts paying out. Agreeing to a higher excess will mean a lower premium.
  • Adjusting your coverage. You could ask your insurer to lower your level of coverage. Doing away with extras like emergency cover could lower your premiums, but do make sure you don’t leave yourself underinsured.
  • Looking for discounts. Keep your eyes peeled for any discounts your insurer offers. For example, if your car insurance policy is set to expire, see if your home insurer offers a discount to any customers who protect their home and cars under one policy?

Bottom line

If you want to you can cancel your home insurance whenever you like, but you need to weigh up any cancellation fees and lost discount charges.

You’ll need to shop around and compare home insurance policies before sitting down and getting the calculator out, to see if switching is really worth it.

Frequently asked questions about cancelling home insurance

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