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How to cancel your home insurance

If you want to cancel your home insurance policy, check for charges and whether you're entitled to a refund.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 21 December 2021  | 3 mins read

Can I cancel my home insurance?

Yes, you can cancel your home insurance policy at any time.

Check the conditions of your policy for its cancellation terms and refund policy, though. You may be charged a fee.

Key points

  • You can cancel your policy at any time by contacting your insurer
  • Auto-renewing your insurance could mean that you don’t have the right level of cover
  • Cancelling your direct debit without notifying your provider won’t end your policy
  • Watch out for exit fees if you want to cancel your policy before your renewal date

How to cancel your home insurance

It usually only takes a simple phone call to your insurer to cancel your policy. You can choose whether it will be effective immediately or from a certain date (it can’t be backdated). Make sure you have your policy number to hand before picking up the phone.

Some insurers may request that you put the cancellation in writing and others will allow you to do it online. It just depends on the insurer and policy, so always check. After the cancellation has been confirmed with your insurer, you can contact your bank to cancel the direct debit payments.

Cancelling your payments without telling your insurer will not end your policy. You’ll still be liable for the premiums and may be chased for payments.

When can I cancel my home insurance policy?

As mentioned above, you can cancel your policy at any time, but here are some reasons why you might want to do so:

You’re moving house

If you’re moving into a property that’s already insured (perhaps you’re moving in with a friend or partner), you can cancel your policy and receive a pro-rata amount refunded to you, depending on how long the policy has left to run. You may have to pay a cancellation fee.

If you’re moving, and need cover for your new property, you can ask for your policy to be moved to your new home.

There may be an increase (or decrease) in the amount you pay. This will depend on your new postcode and the size and rebuild cost of your new home.

Moving house can be a good time to shop around to see if you could get a cheaper policy. If you do, you can ask to cancel your old one, receive a pro-rata refund and pay any cancellation fee that’s due.

It’s worth calculating if it’s cheaper in the long run to keep your current policy running until you need to renew or pay an exit fee and start a new policy.

You’ve changed your mind

All insurance products have a cooling-off period - usually around 14 days after you’ve received your documentation. Within this time you can cancel your policy without question. 

You should get a full refund on your payment, minus a small amount for however many days into the 14-day period the policy has been running. 

You may also get charged an arrangement or admin fee for cancelling, though not all providers ask for this payment.

You’ve found a cheaper policy

If you’ve come across a cheaper policy, you might want to cancel your current one. Before doing this, though, it’s wise to work out exactly how much you’ll be saving when you consider any cancellation fees.

Again, after doing the sums, you may find it works out better to let the policy run, then to cancel.

You're getting a poor service

If you’re unhappy with the service your insurer is providing you can cancel at any time. Watch out for an exit fee, though. 

Be sure you have alternative cover in place immediately from your cancellation date.

Will I get a refund if I cancel after the cooling-off period?

As long as you haven’t made any claims during the policy term, most insurers will refund you on a pro-rata basis if you cancel after the cooling off period. So, for example, if you’ve paid upfront for the year and you’re five months into a policy when you cancel, you’ll receive a seven month refund.

You’ll probably have to pay a cancellation fee, too, calculated according to the terms and conditions of your policy. Typically the cancellation fee is less than £50. Check your policy’s terms and conditions for how much your insurer charges.

In some cases, the cancellation fee will be higher during the first year of the policy because insurers want to recover the cost of setting up the policy.

If you think your insurer’s cancellation fees are too high, are unhappy with the refund you’ve been offered, or if you’re cancelling your policy because of a mistake or poor service on your insurer’s part, you can lodge a complaint with them.

If you’re dissatisfied with their reply, you can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Will I lose my no claims discount (NCD) if I cancel my home insurance policy?

You won’t lose the NCD you’ve built up. However, you won’t earn a further NCD, as you won’t have completed a full claim-free year if you cancel part way though.

Will my policy add-ons also be cancelled?

All optional extras you’ve bought will be cancelled at the same time as your main policy. 

If your cancellation falls within the cooling-off period, you'll usually be fully refunded. If the cancellation was made after the cooling-off period, you may be charged in full for the policy add-ons.

Can I cancel my policy if I’ve auto-renewed?

Your insurer will contact you, usually at least 21 days before your policy is due to renew, to let you know the price that'll apply for the year to come.

If you want to cancel the cover, you should let your insurer know before the renewal date.

However, if you’ve missed your reminder or have forgotten about it, you still have a cooling-off period (usually around 14 days from your renewal date) where you can cancel.

Can my insurer cancel my policy?

Yes, insurers have the right to cancel your policy.

Reasons for cancelling your policy might include:

  • You haven’t given them correct information
  • You’ve missed payments
  • You’ve made too many claims
  • You haven’t maintained your property well
  • You haven’t kept your insurer informed of important changes in your circumstances.

Companies will usually give you at least seven days’ notice of cancellation in writing, unless fraud has been detected in which case they can cancel the policy immediately.

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