Questions and Answers
A. The Iowa FAIR Plan Association is an insurance association created by the insurance industry to provide coverage on properties that do not qualify for insurance in the standard insurance market.
Q: I just received a cancellation from my insurance company and they told me to contact the Iowa FAIR Plan Association.
A. Your insurance policy was not written through the Iowa FAIR Plan Association. If you look at the top of the Notice of Cancellation form you should be able to determine which insurance company sent it to you. You should contact your agent, whose name should also appear on the Notice, or contact the company for information about the Notice of Cancellation.
Q: Why did the insurance company put the Iowa FAIR Plan Association’s name on my Notice of Cancellation?
A. Insurance companies writing property insurance in Iowa are required to put the Iowa FAIR Plan’s name and phone number on all Notices of Cancellation that are sent out. The Notices of Cancellation indicate that you should contact the Iowa FAIR Plan if you can’t find insurance coverage elsewhere but unfortunately it doesn’t tell you that the Plan cannot sell a policy to you directly. You will have to contact a licensed insurance agent to help you apply for coverage through the Iowa FAIR Plan.
Q: Why is the Iowa FAIR Plan Association’s phone number often the only one on the Notice of Cancellation?
A. Insurance companies are not required to put their phone number on the Notice of Cancellation. Please understand that the Iowa FAIR Plan Association does not have access to your policy information, so we will not be able to help you with regard to questions about your policy with another company or to help you with your cancellation with another company. If you do not have contact information for your company we suggest you contact your agent (if you have one), call Information, research online, or use some other method to locate a number for the company. In many cases you may be able to take some action to keep from being cancelled. In most cases your best chance of finding out what you need to do will be your agent (if you have one).
Q: If I have been cancelled by my insurance company do I have to go to the Iowa FAIR Plan Association for replacement coverage?
A. Not necessarily. It probably depends on the reason for the cancellation. If you are being cancelled for nonpayment of premium you should be able to get the policy reinstated if you are able to make a premium payment within the grace period provided. If you are being cancelled for another reason you may or may not be able to get the policy reinstated and/or you may not be able to find replacement coverage through another standard company. Your best chance of finding similar replacement coverage will be to contact a licensed agent who represents a number of companies. Your local phonebook and/or online searches are excellent resources for this.
Q: Why would I want to take time to “shop around” rather than just buy a policy from the Iowa FAIR Plan Association?
A. The Iowa FAIR Plan Association (Plan) should be considered a last resort when seeking property insurance coverage. The Plan’s policies generally provide less coverage than most standard market companies while charging a higher premium for that reduced coverage. If you had a Homeowners policy with a standard company you probably had much more coverage than you will get with a Plan Homeowners policy. In some cases, even though you had a Homeowners policy with another company you may not qualify for a Homeowners policy through the Plan, so you may end up with a Dwelling Property policy instead. The Dwelling Property policy does not offer coverage as broad as a Homeowners policy, and there is no liability coverage under the Dwelling Property policy. In almost all cases your best chance to obtain the broadest coverage possible at the lowest premium is going to be through standard market insurance companies rather than the Plan.
A. It is virtually impossible to compare premiums between what you’ve had in the past and what the Plan can offer without a complete quote. The only way to know for sure is for you to contact a licensed insurance agent and have him/her help you through the application process so we can provide you with an accurate quote.
A. Since the Iowa FAIR Plan Association (Plan) only provides insurance to individuals who do not qualify for coverage in the voluntary insurance markets some agents may not have had to use our services and may not be familiar with what we do. In most cases if you give your agent our name and phone number they will gladly contact us on your behalf. Although any agent licensed in Iowa can write a policy through the Plan they are under no obligation to do so. If your agent feels this is something he/she is not interested in doing you will simply have to find a different agent to assist you. If you make a diligent effort to find an agent to help you and are unable to do so contact the Plan and we will try to find an agent to help you.
Q. How difficult is it for an agent to sign up to write coverage through the Iowa FAIR Plan Association?
A. Agents are not under contract with the Iowa FAIR Plan Association (Plan). As long as an agent is licensed to write property insurance in Iowa he/she can write a policy through the Plan. The interested agent should contact the Plan to get the proper forms and information necessary to request coverage for you. The Plan will be happy to discuss preliminary eligibility, offer assistance, and provide a premium quote.