Consumer Alert: Take Action When Insurance Company Identifies a Hazard on
Commissioner Teresa Miller is issuing this consumer alert following
a review of consumer complaints received by the Insurance Department showed that
consumers have had their homeowner’s insurance cancelled or non-renewed, after
not taking action when an insurance company identifies a hazard on their
property. Commissioner Miller wants consumers to be informed of the need to
respond to such requests so that they do not accidentally lose the coverage
they need to protect their homes.
Insurance companies may ask homeowners to take reasonable
measures to lower risks on a property when issuing a policy, or if a change to
that property substantially increases risk.
For instance, if a homeowner installs a deck which is significantly
above the surrounding ground level, the insurer may require the homeowner to
put up a railing to lower the chances of someone’s falling off that deck. The insurer must allow a reasonable amount of
time for this work to be done, and take into consideration the season of the
year (such outside work could be difficult during the winter).
However, the homeowner does have the responsibility to take
this reasonable action to lower the risk the insurer has on this property. A homeowner’s failure to do so is a legal
reason for the insurer to cancel or non-renew the coverage on that property.
For more information on homeowners’ insurance, visit www.insurance.pa.gov, and click on Home
under Insurance Coverage Resources, or call our Consumer Services Bureau at