State Farm Insurance vs knob & tube wiring

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I contacted a State Farm Insurance agent today to find out how that company deals with homes that have K&T wiring. The replies they gave me were exactly as I would have expected. Unfortunately, they were not willing to give me the specific documents they read to me regarding this issue. The essence of the document is that they want to know the percentage of K&T wiring in the house, the condition of the K&T, and if it is adequate for the loads that are on the wiring. There are notes indicating that they want certified electrical inspectors or licensed electricians to make this determination, depending upon the percentage of K&T in the building. Clearly they have an issue with K&T , and the issue is primarily its age. They take a number of factors in to determine if they will insure a house with this type of wiring, but there is NO blanket denial due to K&T
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Sounds very reasonable to me.
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RBM (remove this) wrote:

State Farm Insures our home and never did the agent ask about knob and tube wiring. Our home is 80 years old and we do have k&t, but only for three ceiling lights and two outdoor porch lights. The remaining electric is up to date. But never did State Farm ask about our wiring. We live in a very small town if that makes a difference. Many old homes around.
-Felder
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Just so you know the K&T insurance issue is true heres a paste from another board discussing it. I have NO connection with anything there, and put some of this up as a reference to insurance rules today!
As you can see insurance has become picky recently....
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Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings Posted by Jerry_in_OC_MD (My Page) on Tue, Nov 8, 05 at 16:55
We had the home inspection on the 1920 "Dutch Colonial Revival" that we
are in the process of purchasing. The Inspector had a lot of concerns about the knob and tube wiring in the house. Some, but not all of the electric is updated. He recommended
that we (or preferably the seller) have the wiring inspected and safety
tested by an licensed electrician before we take possession of the house.
He mentioned that it might be tough to get a homeowners policy with the
electric in it's current state. Has anyone else had difficulty getting an insurance policy for their home because of knob-and-tube?
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Follow-Up Postings: RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by homemaker (My Page) on Tue, Nov 8, 05 at 18:11
Here in Ontario, if you have an existing policy, most insurers will cover a newly purchased home with knob & tube wiring, and give you 30-60 days to disconnect and replace it. This is a fairly recent change, for a couple of years, it was nigh on impossible to get insurance for any house with knob & tube unless it was with a high risk company.
First time home buyers are having more luck these days, but it often means wearing out your dialing finger. Having an electrical certificate
stating that the wiring is safe and adequate and also advising what percentage of the wiring is knob & tube may help.
If you have home insurance now, check with your current broker to see how your company deals with knob & tube issues.
Hope this helps.
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by joed (My Page) on Tue, Nov 8, 05 at 19:00
Here in Ontario I know of at least one person who was forced to replace
their K&T or their insurance would not renew.
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by homemaker (My Page) on Tue, Nov 8, 05 at 21:49
I should have been clearer. Most insurers here will not take on a home with knob & tube, or keep an existing property with K & T unless it is disconnected and replaced within 30-60 days. The only exceptions I know of have been elderly folks who really don't use much power and tend to have no computers, VCR's, microwaves, and who live much more simply than those of us with all kinds of fancy appliances and toys. Electrician's letters advising that the wiring is safe and adequate for the senior have satisfied many insurance companies. Makes it tough for those buying the house if it's sold though.
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by bas157 (My Page) on Tue, Nov 8, 05 at 22:06
When I bought my house, USAA (insurance company) wanted to see the home
inspection report, which pictured some knob and tube wiring. They wanted it replaced until I showed them better pictures which clearly show the wiring was just a few pieces and the knobs, obviously hooked up.
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by kennf (My Page) on Wed, Nov 9, 05 at 14:21
Other than insurance, the other problem with K&T is that you aren't supposed to insulate over it. So if you want to insulate the attic better than 1920s standards, you may be out of luck.
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by Vermonster (My Page) on Wed, Nov 9, 05 at 14:45
We were unable to get homeowners insurance with knob and tube energized. Agreed to de-energize circuit and update. Policy is through Vermont Mutual. VT
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by NancyLouise (My Page) on Thu, Nov 10, 05 at 8:01
We have a 100 year old home. When we recently switched insurance companies, during the inspection one of the first questions the inspector asked was if there was any K & T wiring. Luckily there wasn't. It is a very real safety concern. I believe it may be more difficult to get insurance because of it. Perhaps you can have monies taken off the asking price of the home to get the home's wiring up to code. It can't hurt to ask. NancyLouise
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by Mom1993 (My Page) on Thu, Nov 10, 05 at 15:00
We own a 1920's house, had all original K&T wiring. Amica (who we have used for 15 years) wouldn't insure the house - Fireman's fund would. We
are replacing almost all of the original electrical...Good luck!
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by athomein1914 (My Page) on Fri, Nov 11, 05 at 20:36
Our house was almost entirely knob & tube when purchased and we had no trouble insuring. (Allstate) We've since rewired to code and insulated the attic. There was zero insulation when we purchased our home.
Another insurance issue we've run into is insuring for replacement of the historic home we have as opposed to a flat rate per square foot. I find there is tremendous variation among insurance companies, and among
policies, and every so often I call around to update myself and my home. You can insure beyond the "standard" to protect your not-so-standard home.
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by terryr (My Page) on Sun, Nov 13, 05 at 16:44
We have Grange Insurance on an 1896 house. They didn't ask us about knob & tube, only about fuses vs. circuit breaker. We had 90 days to upgrade to a CB.
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RE: Homeowners Insurance and Knob-and-Tube Wiring... clip this post email this post what is this? see most clipped and recent clippings
Posted by Bella_Design (My Page) on Mon, Nov 14, 05 at 23:23
I have a 1918 house in TN. It has some K&T in it as well. The main breaker had two 100 amp fuses in it and was able to insure it with the condition that I replace the fuse box with a circuit breaker, but none of the wiring was a problem. The thing I had the most problem with was that it is partially asbestos sided. Try Erie Insurance if they are available in your area.
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Beyond the issue of wether and at what cost someone CAN get homeowners insurance.........
Wonder what percentage of shoppers would just ignore the home to avoid the issue? for many buyers it may well scare them away?
my realtor said 90% of buyers TODAY want a home in move in condition, later they will modify as needed. plus most purchase the most expensive home they can afford leaving little money for things like rewiring.
all things to think about when one decides to sell a home.....
Of course the OP home is really low cost but it will be interesting to see how the selling goes.....
I wish him only the best.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Depends on the market & the buyers.....a house in my neighborhood (about 1700 sqft 3bd/2ba)
has been "re-done" inside & out (supposedly) by the previous two owners...it sold for $862k
I assumed that ALL the K&T had been replaced and ALL the drain & fresh water plumbing had bee replaced...
wrong! Two weeks after move in, I kept seeing plumbing trucks there.....the new bath drain plumbing had been just atttached to the old stuff
bottom line..... in spite of the high price they stll needed to have the drain plumbing replaced AND a new house to sewer connection...they also replaced the fresh water supply (street to house)
They wanted an old house with the charm factor so that in spite of any comments on the inspection report they still bought the place (after a short bidding war)
while I was in the basement giving them my 2cents on their plumbing situation I noticed that only the kitchen & new bedroom had new NM ....I was shocked to see the rest of the house is still K&T!
luckily my new neighbors are DINK's so they have $'s for rework when they need it
I have K&T in my house as well but the wire is in amazifng shape...I recently moved an outlet & pulled the wire from the wall just check the condition. The stuff looked & felt great....nothing like the condition one sees in a swtich box.
My goal is to remove all & replace with THHN/THWN in flex or emt. Already have a modern Square D QO main panel & subs...so its just a matter of time. :)
cheers Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

[...BIG snip....]
But, while I didn't read every word, I did scan the tales, and it appears to be a minority that were actually rejected for K&T (I think I saw one). There were some that required a changeout of an old fuse box for a breaker, but certainly not a blanket proscription against insuring adequate K&T as you have been saying.
In another response, somebody else pointed out the same thing I've been trying to get you to realize on the subject of agents -- commerce in general is regulated by state laws/regulating bodies and those have different rules/laws that make assuming a specific policy in one state is uniform across the entire US simply not true. In the specifics of homeowners insurance, with the "veritable plethora" of underwriting entities available besides the majors, that one can't find an underwriter for a particular situation is really pretty small except for certain very widespread situations like building in a flood plain or similar.
Just chill, point out there _might_ be an issue raised at renewal or new policy time and realize the whole world doesn't look like your little corner of PA... :)
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READ AGAIN!! While most had at minimum to upgrade to circuit breakers new main entrance the vast majority couldnt even get insurance....... Or reported friends HAD to get rid of K&T
I could break it down while 2 or so had no trouble most did or knew someone who did.
You should at least try reading and digesting the paste so you can talk more intelligently about the issue...........
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You see Haller, what dpb, myself and others are unsuccessfully trying to impress upon you, is that YOU shouldn't make blanket statements like "Sate farm will NEVER insure a home purchased today with K&T I asked my agent.........."

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I have stae farm and a 1935 house. No electrical inspection- in fact no interior inspection at all
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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that's almost ALWAYS the case. If they look at all, it'll be on the outside just to verify a building exists.
--
Steve Barker


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I have stae farm and a 1935 house. No electrical inspection- in fact no interior inspection at all
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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I have stae farm and a 1935 house. No electrical inspection- in fact no interior inspection at all
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As is the case I'll bet in about 99% of policies written. They don't ask. You don't tell. No problem.
--
Steve Barker



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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

What state you're in may make at least as much difference.
Insurance is generally regulated at the state level, which means that an insurance company has rating and underwriting rules that apply in one state that may be quite different from those in a neighboring state, let alone the far side of the country.
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RBM wrote:

What do you want? That wiring is very old, but that in itself does not mean not safe. It was put in when codes were a lot weaker and when demands on wiring was far less than today. What they are asking for is exactly what any homeowner, perspective buyer or resident should want to know. Sounds like they got it right.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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On Tue, 5 Dec 2006 16:59:23 -0500, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

Just to share with you what I was told about K & T that also scares insurance companies. No Equipment ground. This means any modern (last several decades) applance has to have it's 'safety' design, defeated to plug in your outlets unless you install GFCI's on the circuits. Either way, insurance companies can be parinoid that someone will die.
Just telling you what I was told.
tom @ www.NoCostAds.com
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Either way, insurance companies can be parinoid that

WELL THINK ABOUT THIS! $100,000 policy perhaps 500 bucks.
lets imagine a house fire totaling building and thats common today few are home during working hours......
after the company covers basic costs how many 500 buck policies does it take to cover the replacement or major repair cost of a single house fire?
realize that 500 bucks probably covers the structure and all possesions.
probably 150 grand:(
I have a friend who had a house fire 135 grand structure only.........
there isnt a unlimited pot of money, insuring bad risks.... to cover the excess costs premiums have to go up:(
Who volunteers to pay more?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

Probably a bit more -- that $500 premium also includes Loss of Use coverage to cover your costs to rent elsewhere while the house is being rebuilt, it includes Separate Structures coverage for fences and outbuildings. A standard homeowners policy with $100,000 of dwelling coverage can cost the insurer $190,000 in payments for a total loss.
And that doesn't include their costs to investigate and settle the claim. That can be a real ordeal, figuring out the value of every item that was destroyed, investigating the cause of the loss, investigating who might be responsible (faulty wiring work, defective appliance, etc.)
Overall, a total loss of a $100,000 house could easily cost the insurer $200,000 or more. So yes, they do have an incentive to categorize risks and decide whether your $100,000 house should cost $500 to insure, or $750.
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org wrote:

With car insurance why insure a repeat DUI customer whn lots of regular safe drivers are available?
cover up K&T by saying you dont have it or disquising it by say getting it out of basement? have fire they likely deny the claim.........
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