Homeowners insurance provides protection against theft and damage for your house and personal property. If your homeowners insurance policy lapses, however, you'll find yourself unprotected and will have to cover the cost of disaster recovery out of your own pocket. To make matters worse, some insurance providers charge higher rates or won't insure you at all if you've been without homeowners insurance for too long. This doesn't mean that you can't get homeowners insurance of course -- just that you might have to do some extra searching before you buy a new policy.
Call or visit your former insurance provider and ask if you can get your policy reinstated. So long as your old policy was closed in good standing and not because of excessive claims or unpaid bills your provider may be willing to insure you again under the same policy terms. Be aware that your insurance rate may increase or you may have to pay a reinstatement fee due to the time that has passed since you were last insured.
Visit other insurance providers and shop around for a new homeowners insurance policy if your former insurer won't reinstate your old policy or wants to charge you an excessive rate for coverage. Ask for quotes from each insurer you visit, making sure that each knows of your lapse in coverage as this will most likely affect the rates you are quoted. Ask for the terms and coverage associated with each quote to make sure that you aren't being charged too much for the insurance the quotes would provide.
Compare rate quotes to find the insurer that offers you the best deal on your homeowners insurance coverage. Take not only the price of each quote into consideration but also the terms and policy components so that you don't choose a policy based on its price only to find out that it offers very little in the way of actual coverage.
Visit the insurance agency that you received your best quote from and talk to the agent who offered the quote. Reference the quoted terms and price when applying for homeowners insurance, making sure that the terms and coverage offered doesn't change between the quote and the actual policy. The price may change slightly based on your credit score and claim history, but make sure that you are comfortable with any changes before accepting the new policy.
Remove any "force placed" insurance that may have been added to your mortgage by the mortgage lender. Visit the lender with proof of your new homeowners insurance policy and ask that the forced insurance be removed from your mortgage. Not all mortgage lenders force place insurance if your personal insurance lapses, but those that do add the cost of the insurance to your mortgage payment or the total amount that you owe on the loan. Once you are insured again they should remove it when asked.
Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.