The important thing to remember is you can not insure something that you do not have an insurable interest in. If you do not own the home, then you have no need for the insurance, thus no insurable interest.
Some companies may charge a minimum earned premium. What this means is if the contract specifically states you must pay a certain amount regardless of whether you needed the policy or not you will not get your money back. Not many policies do this but they do exist expecially for hard to insure homes. Even with that being said you may still be able to argue the insurable interest rule.
Best thing to do is ask your insurance agent upfront. I will say almost all policies will refund your money if you never take possession of the property.
P.S. We are insurance agents and we can help.... more