Dear Harry: I had a homeowner's insurance policy with the same company for more than 15 years. In July, (exactly halfway through the current policy year) they canceled. I never had a claim, so I could not understand the reason. My broker had no answer, either. He had no trouble replacing the policy. I then got a refund for less than half the premium, so I called the broker and the company. The company person said that in a cancellation, you got back a refund based on a "short rate" (for a period less than a year) rather than proportionately. The broker since died so I couldn't get an answer from him. What goes on here? I didn't cancel; they did.

What Harry says: You are 100 percent correct! If the policyholder cancels, the company will refund the unearned premium based on the short rate for the time the policy was in effect. If the company cancels, it is obliged to refund the unearned premium proportionately. Sometimes insurance companies cancel policies for reasons totally unrelated to the individual policyholder's record. They do have that right. Try one more call to the company. If that fails, contact the Insurance Department at 215-560-2630. They will help you. *

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130.