Patricia Hanson has been with the insurance company for over a decade but in May it canceled her policy because of chipped paint and weeds.
If someone were to drive by and take a picture of Hanson’s home they may think it was in bad shape - but only if you took a picture. Otherwise, it would look like any other shabby white house - like, well, the White House. However, Hanson points out that what you’re seeing is renovation in progress. Many other Utah homeowners are doing the same thing, and she doesn’t understand why her insurance company has ditched her. And she's not even a Mormon.
Hanson has been planning the upgrades to her home for some time now, but before she had the chance to get them done her insurance company pulled the plug, cancelling her homeowner’s policy without any notice.
Hanson says she got a letter in may after making a payment to renew her policy. She was stunned that it was explaining the reasons for cancellation - that it could talk! The one paragraph letter sstated, "Peeling paint on all portions of the dwelling. Overgrown vegetation…peeling paint on garage siding, window sills missing paint."
Boldly springing into action, Hanson got on the phone and explained work was being done to fix it. So, how do we know? She explains.
“If you look around you will see that most of the paint is on the ground here because we've been power washing,” says Hanson. "The rest is on the house because that's the style I'm goin' for. I'm getting rid of this, all the grass, going to a zero-scape so this is all covered to kill any of the grass that was left. And this is going, too,” she said pointing to the chimney sweep.
Hanson’s insurance agent is out of town while his home is being renovated, but did say on the phone they do give advanced warning when cancelling a policy. He said he will re-instate Hanson when the fixes are made and find her other coverage in the meantime. Perhaps COBRA.
Brad Tibbitts with the Utah Insurance Department says he’s heard of cases like this but they’re uncommon.
“The insurance companies have the right to find out whether or not the house is in good enough shape to be eligible for the premium rates,” says Tibbitts. "I had my insurance cancelled just for the lawn jockeys I had after ninja insurance agents discovered them and the whole in my basement."
He says they have to give a client 30 days notice before cancellation. However, homeowners are not required to notify their insurance companies before remodeling or upgrade work but it's not a bad idea.
Would be just as good an idea to tell the insurance comes to leave their clients alone - if they want clients.