Home > Home Insurance > What Happens if You Don’t Have Home Insurance?

What Happens if You Don’t Have Home Insurance?

Updated Dec 15, 2022

Updated Dec 15, 2022

Home > Home Insurance > What Happens if You Don’t Have Home Insurance?

Home insurance protects homeowners if a natural disaster, fire, flood, or other event wrecks their home. If you don’t have home insurance or your policy lapses, you could lose your home and belongings when facing one of these terrible disasters. 

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance protects your property, house, and personal belongings in the case of sudden physical loss. Many policies also provide coverage for medical bills or replacement costs if you damage someone else’s property or injure someone on your property. 

Here are the main types of homeowners insurance coverage: 

  • Personal property: Property insurance protects you if your personal belongings are damaged. For example, if a thief breaks into your home or a tornado destroys it, your insurance provider will reimburse you for the cost of replacing your belongings and restoring your home. 
  • Loss of use: If your home is inhabitable due to covered events, your policy will pay for living expenses, like a temporary hotel room or rental home, while you’re unable to live in your home.
  • Liability: Liability coverage protects you if you’re responsible for injuring someone or damaging their personal belongings. This coverage includes the cost of additional expenses, like legal fees, that you may incur if someone sues you.
  • Medical payments to guests: If someone is injured on your property, homeowners insurance will pay for their medical bills. 
  • Property damage: Home insurance can protect your home, anything built into it, such as the HVAC system, plumbing, roof, and electrical systems, and structures on your property, like sheds or fences. 

Is Home Insurance a Legal Requirement?

Home insurance is not legally required. However, most homeowners have it to protect their finances and belongings. Many companies with a financial interest in your home, such as a mortgage lender or home equity loan holder, will require it. This requirement results from lenders wanting to protect their investment in your home, even if it burns down or is damaged by a tornado, hurricane, or other disasters. A company with a financial interest may require flood insurance or earthquake coverage if you live in a high-risk area prone to these disasters. 

If you purchase a condo, you may be required to buy home insurance because you’re purchasing a financial stake in a larger entity. 

In short, if you don’t have home insurance, you won’t get into legal problems with the government. However, you may default on a mortgage agreement or contract with a third-party mortgage company helping you finance your home. 

What Happens if I Don’t Have Home Insurance?

Here are some of the biggest scenarios that could happen if you don’t have home insurance: 

Difficulty Selling Your Home

This is an incident that many of us wouldn’t think home insurance would affect. However, most real estate agents will not take you as a client if you don’t have homeowners insurance. If you don’t have homeowners insurance and your home is destroyed during the selling process, your realtor would lose the opportunity for a commission and have no home to sell. 

You can sell your own home. However, marketing your home and knowing all the details about how to sell your home while meeting regulatory requirements is multifaceted and best left to professionals. 

A Natural Disaster or Event Destroys Your Home

In the first quarter of 2022, the median home price in the United States was $428,700. If a house fire or natural disaster suddenly destroyed your home, you’d lose the value of your home and be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in rebuilding costs. 

Flood insurance is an undervalued home insurance among homeowners who don’t have waterfront properties. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover floods, and only 30% of homes in flood zones have ample coverage. If you live in a flood zone, don’t hesitate to get this additional coverage for your home. 

Most of us don’t have this kind of money, so not having home insurance can put you in a precarious situation if you suddenly lose your belongings and home. 

Your Home Is Robbed

If you don’t have home insurance and your home is burglarized or vandalized, you’ll be responsible for replacing all your belongings. Depending on what you own and the size of your home, this can cost many thousands of dollars, an out-of-pocket financial loss many of us would struggle to come back from. 

Someone Is Injured on Your Property

Suppose you have a friend over, and they trip and fall, breaking their leg and racking up substantial medical bills. They could sue you for the cost of those medical bills and more. 

Likewise, if your child has a friend over and falls down the stairs or slips on the trampoline in the backyard, the friend’s parents could sue you for neglecting to supervise their child on your property. 

Regardless of the incident, a homeowners insurance policy protects you if you’re sued after someone is injured on your property. Liability protection is crucial because all your belongings, home, businesses, and car can be used as leverage in the case of a lawsuit, putting them at risk if you lose. 

Your Lender Defaults Your Loan

If you cancel your homeowners insurance policy or the policy lapses, your insurance agency will notify your mortgage lender. If this violates your mortgage agreement, your lender may send your loan into default or force you to purchase a more expensive policy, also known as lender-placed or force-placed insurance. A more expensive, new insurance policy will increase your additional living expenses due to the higher premium, making this an undesirable situation for homeowners. 

This event also causes your credit score to take a significant hit and increases your risk of losing your home in foreclosure. 

You Won’t Be Able To Secure Financing

If you’re a homebuyer thinking about skipping purchasing a home insurance policy, think again. If you’re planning on going through with homeownership without home insurance, know that securing financing for your home will be nearly impossible. 

The majority of lenders require important documents, including proof of homeowners insurance. Without insurance, your lender will almost always deny you financing. 

Getting the Right Amount of Home Insurance for Your Home

Many homes with home insurance don’t have enough coverage for their value. When shopping for home insurance for your new home, gather a handful of insurance quotes and speak with an insurance agent about their policy details. Consider the value of your home and personal belongings and if you live in a natural disaster-prone area when choosing between policies and home insurance coverage limits. 

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