Homeowners insurance can protect you financially from fires, theft, and other events. It also protects your lender’s financial interest in the property. That’s why the terms of your mortgage require you to maintain adequate insurance coverage for the life of your loan. Choosing your homeowners insurance is up to you, as long as the provider is licensed and authorized to do business in your state, and the policy meets the property insurance requirements for your loan.
If your insurance ever lapses or we don’t receive proof of adequate coverage, Wells Fargo must purchase insurance on your behalf. This is called lender-placed insurance, and it has serious disadvantages compared with most insurance policies.
Here’s why it’s best to avoid lender-placed insurance:
- Cost. The premiums for lender-placed insurance are usually more expensive.
- Coverage. Unlike a typical homeowners policy, lender-placed insurance doesn’t cover the contents of your home or protect you from theft or personal liability.
If you have questions, need help finding a policy, or want to know how to cancel lender-placed insurance, please call us at 1-800-357-6675.
Frequently asked questions
What type of insurance do I need?
Your mortgage may require you to maintain one or more insurance policies, including:
- Homeowners insurance. Also referred to as hazard or fire insurance, this type of insurance provides protection in case of fire or other common disasters. Your homeowners insurance may also cover the contents of your home and provide personal liability coverage.
- Wind insurance. You need to insure your home against damage from wind and/or hail. These risks may be covered under your homeowners insurance policy or may require a separate wind policy, depending on the insurance provider you choose.
- Flood insurance. Federal law requires flood insurance for mortgaged properties located in special flood hazard areas, which are identified on flood maps produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
How much insurance do I need?
The terms of your mortgage require enough insurance to cover at least 100% of the estimated replacement cost for your home and any improvements to your property. However, that may not be enough to protect you financially. Ask your insurance agent if you also have enough coverage to protect you from personal liability for accidents that occur on your property, and to replace your personal property if it’s damaged, destroyed, or stolen.
Why does Wells Fargo Home Mortgage require at least 100% replacement cost coverage?
As your lender, Wells Fargo has a financial interest in the property, just like you do. We need to make sure that the home can be repaired or rebuilt if something happens to it. Replacement cost coverage ensures your home can be repaired to the original condition.
Can I just let my policy lapse and get a new one later to save money?
No. We monitor your loan to make sure you maintain continuous homeowners insurance coverage for the entire term of the loan, without letting it lapse for any period of time. Any lapse will result in lender-placed coverage.
What is lender-placed insurance?
If you fail to maintain the type and amount of insurance coverage required, Wells Fargo must obtain a policy on your behalf. This is called lender-placed insurance.
What’s the difference between lender-placed insurance and typical homeowners insurance?
Insurance you obtain through your insurance agent provides the best and most complete coverage. Lender-placed insurance can be much more expensive and covers only the structure — it doesn’t cover the contents of your home or protect you from personal liability.
Will Wells Fargo purchase lender-placed insurance without my knowledge?
No. If we find a problem with your insurance, we’ll send you a letter explaining what you need to do. If we don’t receive acceptable proof of insurance as requested in the letter, we’ll notify you and provide information on what you need to do.
How will I be billed for lender-placed insurance?
If Wells Fargo purchases lender-placed insurance on your behalf, we will increase your monthly mortgage payments to cover the cost of the premium we advanced.
Can I cancel lender-placed insurance?
Yes. When you provide proof of acceptable coverage, we’ll cancel the lender-placed policy and charge you only for the time it was in place.