After a recent accident claim was resolved, we received a nonrenewal notice from our insurance company. In the letter it says that our insurer will decline to renew our automobile insurance at the end of the term because:
You've had 4 or more claims [...] within the previous 36 months
In researching this, I have discovered that it is typical for companies to not renew a policy if you are "high risk" driver (which we are not, I reviewed all the criteria and we meet none of them) or if you have 3 at-fault accidents in the past 3 years. Two of our claims were "comprehensive" (although one of them was "glass" replacement only), and one of the accidents was not at fault, meaning that we did not reach this threshold.
I called the insurer's underwriting department and they did not give me any additional info. I suspect (but cannot prove) that it may be related to the size of the last claim, which wound up being about twice the original estimate, at the body shop "provided" by the insurance company itself. (i.e. I just went with a shop pre-approved and "recommended" by them.) This was the only substantial claim, the others were all in the low four figures or less. I should also note that all the "accidents" were single car, with the last one being a large unseen rock on an unpaved road which bumped the underside of the vehicle, causing a surprisingly large amount of damage which was not immediately obvious. From my research on this it is exceedingly difficult to go after anyone in such a case even if it wasn't the driver's fault that an unpaved road held such a disguised and difficult to see obstacle when there were no other witnesses. And when you hit what seems like a hard bump and everything seems fine for the next 50 miles it is rather hard to go back and even identify where the accident took place.
On the notice it says that I have the right to ask my state's department of insurance to review the non-renewal which I must do within 10 days "of receipt" of the non-renewal notice. However, when I go to their web site it tells a different story. According to it, an insurer can issue a non renewal for practically any reason except my location or membership in a protected class, and I can only submit a complaint if I believe they violated the law. Even then, I have to submit written documentation detailing correspondence and show them how the reason they gave me was "wrong" - whatever that means, but the way it is worded makes it sound like it has to be that the reason they give is incorrect.
I have been with my current insurance company for close to 20 years, at almost 10 years on the current policy with only bad luck on claims in the last 3 years. I really have no desire to use any other company as they have always exceeded my expectations of customer service, and if you look at the total amount I have paid in premiums over those 20 years versus what they have paid out, they are not really behind. I get my insurance directly, i.e. not through an agent and am concerned about no longer being able to get insurance that will fit into my budget as a result of not being able to stay with them. I have on a few occasions shopped around and have found other companies to be at least 20% higher, and when I tried shopping with my current home insurance agent to see if I could bundle to get a lower rate they weren't able to get close to my rate.
I am at a bit of a loss as to how I can appeal this given the contradictory statements from the insurance company itself (which suggests I can) and the state (which suggests I cannot), or how I should really proceed in order to protect my personal finances.