Insurance refused

Having insurance refused by an insurer is a serious issue and can happen for a number of reasons.

You may have an insurance renewal or mid-term change declined for reasons that are out of your control but you must still disclose the full reasons for the renewal being declined to any new insurer.

We’ve listed a few reasons why you could be looking for a new insurer following special terms being imposed, punitive renewal premiums or not offered renewal.

Property Construction

Standard home insurers often cannot provide cover for property that is constructed of non-standard materials. You may have a thatched roof, timber framed property, it may be a listed property, be of historical interest, have unique or unusual features, flat felt roof, an EPDM roof, non-standard construction flat roof, modern eco roof, 100% flat roof or even a property with a grass roof. The roof needs to be in good condition as no insurance will provide cover if it is not structurally sound, good condition and watertight. A specialist insurance will likely be required if you have a property on non-standard construction and this could be a reason your current insurer has declined to insure you.

The construction of a barn conversion property needs to be disclosed carefully to your insurer with particular attention given to the foundations of the property. Barns were not designed to be lived in and often the old foundations are not sufficient. The conversion of the property from a barn to a house often necessitates the property being underpinned and this also needs specialist insurance.

Subsidence, heave and landslip

If your property has been underpinned or has suffered from subsidence, heave or landslip it can cause you to have your insurance renewal declined. A specialist insurer will be required in this situation if you are to stand any chance of obtaining the best cover for the future. Each case is different and insurance underwriters will need the full information prior to offering you an insurance quote for a property previously affected by subsidence or underpinning. A recent structural survey report is often helpful to underwriters. If you are taking out a mortgage on the property the lenders will often insist on cover being provided for subsidence, heave and landslip. If a quotation is obtained to include this cover then you need to watch the level of excess applied for this cover as the lender may insist of £1,000 for example, and the insurer may quote to include the cover but subject to an excess of £2,500.


Any convictions that regarded as spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act do not require disclosure to the insurer. You must answer truthfully when asked if you have any convictions or prosecutions pending when applying for new insurance or at renewal of your existing policy however. Full information must be provided to the insurer and depending on their underwriting criteria, may offer you insurance or may decline. Specialist insurers offer cover for people with criminal conviction or with prosecutions pending. Don’t be tempted to hide the conviction, even if you pay a little more for cover. Remember, you are only buying insurance to cover you in the event of a claim and the policy needs to operate if you do need to claim. An insurer will likely find out if you have not disclosed a conviction and your claim may be declined or your policy cancelled and your premiums returned to you in some circumstances.

Insurance refused due to business, trade or occupation

Your insurance renewal may be declined due to your occupation. The reasons for this differ depending on the type of insurance you are looking for. There are occupations such as long haul airline pilot, airline cabin crew, HM armed forces, professional sports people such as professional footballer, tv presenters, musicians, roadies and journalist. For home insurance, the reasons for this could be the long periods of time you may spend away from home, the property may be just a ‘bolt hole’ that you may visit occasionally. The fact the property is not lived in as a ‘normal’ home affects the insurance and can mean you insurance is declined due to your chosen profession. A specialist insurer will be able to help.

Unoccupied home, empty property, second home or holiday home

Another common reason why insurance could be refused is the fact your property could be unoccupied, empty, and be a second home or a holiday home. Most standard insurers will not offer comprehensive cover, or cover at all for property that falls into this category. Your job can mean that you work overseas for most of the year, if this is the case then a standard home insurance policy will not be suitable. Online quotes are available for this type of property with insurers that can provide empty property insurance.

Not offered renewal due to previous claims?

Insurers want to make money from most clients they cover and if you have had a number of claims this will affect your premium. If no claims bonus is a feature on your insurance then you will lose it making the premium increase. Also, insurers may impose special terms such as increasing the excess. For example, if you have a motor policy and the expensive alloy wheels keep getting stolen then the insurers will likely either exclude cover the theft of components unless the whole vehicle is stolen, increase the policy excess in respect of theft or decline to offer renewal altogether.

In respect of home insurance, if you have lost your laptop computer on the train more than once, don’t expect your insurer to want to pick up the tab so expect an exclusion of cover or a renewal declined.

Your property may be at significant risk of certain events such as storm, theft, malicious damage, flooding, and this too could be a reason you are not offered a renewal. All is not lost, cover can often still be arranged but either restricted or the risk of a recurrence significantly reduced or removed and your property is then a ‘normal’ insurance risk. This still needs careful underwriting but if you use the right broker a solution is usually available.

Poor credit history, bankrupt or insolvent

If you have had your insurance renewal declined due to adverse financial history then you will likely need to locate a specialist insurer that can offer you suitable cover. Do not despair, it needn’t cost a fortune and there is no reason why many people cannot find insurance cover.

Can Bickers Insurance Services Ltd help?

Bickers Insurance Services are happy to provide quotations for property based insurance cover for clients who have had their renewal declined by their insurer or this having been declined mid-term for a change in circumstances part way through the policy year. We do not provide any motor insurance, other providers are available for this. Quotes for home insurance, landlords, empty property, and renovation property are available, please give us a call to discuss your requirements.

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