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Can you cancel your home insurance policy after auto-renewal?

Vidhu Bajaj avatar
Vidhu Bajaj
- 4 min read
Can you cancel your home insurance policy after auto-renewal?

Homeowners often choose automatic policy renewals as a way to prevent coverage gaps. Auto-renewals streamline the process of purchasing insurance online, eliminating the need to fill out extensive application forms and manually input payment details. Yet, while this convenience is appealing, adopting a "set and forget" approach to your home insurance policy might come at a high price.

Insurance providers regularly advertise attractive discounts for new policyholders. At a time when home insurance premiums are rapidly rising, periodically reviewing your coverage and shopping around for better deals could help save you money.

Is it possible to cancel your home insurance coverage after auto-renewing it?

You can generally cancel your home insurance policy anytime, though some insurers might impose a cancellation fee. Insurers typically contact you a couple of weeks before renewal to verify if you want to continue the coverage. This can serve as a reminder to compare your options and find a better deal. However, cancellation is still possible if you auto-renew your policy and later change your mind.

All insurance products typically have a cooling-off period of about 14-21 days from purchase or renewal. You can opt out of the policy during this period without questions. Should you choose to do so, most insurers will refund your premium after deducting a small amount for the days the coverage was active. Additionally, some insurers may charge an admin fee for cancellation. It's advisable to carefully read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for all the necessary details.

What happens if you cancel your home insurance after the cooling-off period?

Most insurance policies provide you with a cooling-off period to reconsider your decision. But it's still possible to cancel your policy after the cooling-off period has expired. 

You can typically cancel your home insurance policy whenever you choose. Whether you change your mind, find a cheaper policy, or aren't satisfied with the service, cancellation is always an option. But remember to purchase an alternative cover to ensure your home is protected at all times.

Most insurers will reimburse you proportionally if you cancel after the cooling-off period but haven't made claims within the policy term. However, there might be an early cancellation fee charged by some insurers. Insurers will also deduct any non-refundable government charges from the premium before transferring it back to you. Note that most insurers are unlikely to offer a refund if you claimed the policy.

How can you cancel your home insurance?

Cancelling a home insurance policy is generally straightforward. Most insurers allow online or phone cancellations. But consider following it up with a written notice to avoid any confusion. You could email or fax your insurer to explain the cancellation request. Regardless of the method you choose, you'll likely need the following details when you contact the insurer for cancellation: 

  • Policyholder's name
  • Date of birth
  • Contact number
  • Your postal address
  • Your signature

After notifying the insurer, you can expect to receive a written confirmation of the cancellation from your insurer through email or post. Remember to cancel any auto-debit instructions you might have set up with your bank.

What happens to your no-claim bonus when you cancel a home insurance policy?

A no-claim bonus offers discounts for claim-free insurance periods. While often associated with car insurance, some home insurers provide this bonus, too. You shouldn't have made any claims on your home insurance policy for a specified time to qualify. For instance, some insurers may offer up to a 30% discount if you haven't claimed in five years. But what happens to your no-claim bonus when you switch insurers? 

The answer depends on the new insurer's rules.

If the new insurer offers a no-claim bonus, you might be able to transfer the discount by proving your no-claims history from the previous insurer through a certificate or renewal letter. 

Remember that not all home insurers provide no-claim bonuses, and different insurance providers might have different rules for their no-claim discounts. So, it's a good idea to read the PDS and check with your insurer to know exactly how their no-claim bonus works for home insurance.

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Product database updated 21 May, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.