From August 31st 2013, all ICANN accredited registrars and their resellers are bound to the new "Expired Registration Recovery Policy" (ERRP). This policy helps to protect domain holders and ensures that they understand what is going on on their domain names shortly before their expiration dates.
The new policy applies for gTLDs only: this covers extensions like .com, .info and .travel, but also all new gTLDs that will be introduced in the coming years. ccTLDs like .co.uk, .us and .eu are not affected.
Notifications to domain holders
ICANN requires two new e-mails to be sent before the expiration date of a domain: the first e-mail approximately one month before, the second e-mail approximately one week before. This e-mail informs the domain holder about the upcoming expiration date of the domain. The e-mails tell the domain holder to consult his hosting provider if more information is required.
If the domain expires, a third e-mail is sent, again pointing to the hosting provider if the domain needs to be reactivated.
You can prevent those e-mails from being sent by renewing the domain more than a month before it's expiration date. A domain with a generic extension can be renewed up to a period of 10 years.