After owning a home for 18 years, my homeowner's insurance company notified
that they require a complete inspection of my house in order to continue my
insurance (I've never had a claim). They want to do a full exterior,
interior, and mechanicals inspection. I couldn't get an answer from them as
to what would happen if they didn't like something.
This is something I've never heard of. Anyone else have this experience?
Thanks in advance,
Yes. I've gotten a few notices like that on my main residence, and I did not
respond. Nothing ever happened. On another residence, covered by a different
insurer they came uninvited, and looked around the grounds but were not admitted
to the house. I know what you think. That's trespassing. Doesn't matter. Your
insurance policy no doubt gives them the right to "reasonable access for
inspections with proper notice". Go read it. They had sent one of those notices
that they wanted to come, and I didn't respond, hoping that it was a bluff like
the other ones. They found a few things they didn't like. Basically things like
deck railings that had been up to code when built, but were not up to current
code. I was given the choice of bringing thise things up to code, or not be
renewed. In retrospect, I should have complied as quickly as possible. I didn't.
This is a unique, Frank Lloyd Wright inspired custom built house that has been
featured many times in major magazines. I didn't like the idea of screwing with
the asthetics of the original design. Bringing it up to code without ruining the
historic looks would have cost a fortune, and it just wouldn't have been the
same. Now, to remain insured, they are going to want a full inspection of
everything, and that will uncover a ton of other things I'm sure they are not
going to like. It's going to cost a bundle by the time its all over.
I have friends who went thru insurance inspections, they HAD to
replace all their K&T wiring, tried getting a different company but no
one else would take them. It appears theres a credit bureau version,
home inspection bureau, once spotted no one wants you. He had to
replace porch and a bunch of other minor stuff. Bad sidewalk must be
repaired, front steps? no railing? MUST be added.
will spent about 10 grand upgrading home, was very mad but had NO
For such a house, you need a carrier out of the mainstream, or at
least a policy underwritten for the particular characteristics of the
house. Expecting adequate coverage for such a residence even if they
do underwrite it in case of loss is unreasonable -- average premiums
pay for average structures.
There are firms who do underwrite these sorts of things. Also, there
should be help from state and/or local agencies for historical
preservation which would be another first place to turn for sources
and other help.
Alternatively, given the money you're talking of spending, there's the
possibility to consider of putting that out and becoming self-insured.
Who said I was paying "average" premiums for an average house?
The main issue for me is the liability insurance, which I really have to have.
The insurance companies only care about risk. If they don't feel it's safe to
THEIR standards, they really don't care. If someone gets severely injured on the
property, a few hundred thousand isn't going to cover it.
Hire an independent inspector to refute the company claims. Maybe from
the next town. I've used this approach with "appraisers"; when selling
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
I had one of these a couple of years ago. The issue was more of an
"inventory" one. They wanted to be sure that was they were insuring
was what they were insuring. Very cursory inspection -- size,layout,
general nature of building. That was it. However, when I moved
recently and placed insurance with the same company, they were an
utter PITA about dogs and firearms. Really IGNORANT questions. I got a
little upset, needless to say.
IIRC, there's been a surge in lawsuits against homeowners who have dogs over
alleged attacks. Sounds like your company is trying to assess the risk that
you'll get sued and they'd have to defend against it.
Not sure why the firwrm sensitivity, but maybe they've had a problem there also.
They were really interested in what breed, if the dog bit, if it was
confined to the property, etc. I have a Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu mix that
weighs out at 18#. As to the firearms, they were concerned if children
were in the house (mine are grown), what ones I had (I basically said
they were legal to have, and more than that, it was really none of
their business), and if they were secured, whatever that might mean to
them. BTW, the dog is used for pet therapy work in nursing homes.
had another friend their roof needed replacing, they didnt have the
bucks homeowners cancelled. mortage company gave them forced place
insurance on structure only at 6 times cost of previous complete
cat knocked over lamp caused bad fire 135,000 bucks damage to
structure NO COVERAGE FOR CONTENTS at all.
it was a very bad thing and took over 2 years for them to get back in
their home, most of their fire damaged belongings are still in storage
5 years later.
insurance companies used to look at homeowners as cash cow, but
hurricanes and lawsuits over dogs, trip and fall on bad sidewalks and
everyone suing has them nervous and fussy about who they
Note, however, that they probably aren't asking what kind of guns you
have just to be nosy. Presumably, they have analyzed claims payments,
and determined that people with one kind of gun cost them more than
people with another kind of gun. If you don't want to tell them what
kind you have, they might play it safe, and assume the kind that costs
them the most, and charge you accordingly.
Yep. Even if there are no kids in the house, visitors can be an issue with
A lot of my extended family hunt and have hunting dogs - your dog isn't a
fighting breed, so just answer the questions (you *do* take safety precautions
with the guns, right?) and you'll be fine. Don't make problems for yourself.
I think a federal law should be created, all guns MUST have trigger
locks in place at all times.
So a kid gets a unsecured gun and shoots someone, the gun owner should
do 5 years mandatory sentence and lose everything.
soon things would be much safer, no more crying grandpas on tv about
their grandchild going to jail after using their gun to kill a
neighbor kid by accident.
I'll tell you what -- you first. Put trigger locks on all your guns, then put
a sign in your front yard advising all and sundry that you have them in place.
Hope nobody ever breaks into your house.
Why only five?
Oddly enough, this wasn't really much of a problem forty, or a hundred, years
ago, when gun ownership was more common and widespread.
Most easily preventable by education. The National Rifle Association is a
leader in this area, with their "Eddie the Eagle" safety program for
elementary-school kids. Eddie Eagle says, if you see a gun --
1) STOP! Don't touch it!
2) Leave the area.
3) Tell an adult.
As soon as my kids were old enough to understand, I made sure to tell them
that the guns are not toys, and never to be touched unsupervised -- and *also*
told them that *whenever* they got curious about how the guns worked, or
wanted to see or hold or touch one, all they needed to do was ask, and I'd get
one out of the [locked] cabinet so we could look at it *together*. That takes
the mystery out of it, and most of the allure of forbidden fruit, too. Once or
twice a year, they'd ask to look at them, and I always stopped whatever I was
doing to show them. My youngest (now nearly 16) still asks to look at the
handguns from time to time.
I further made a point of telling them that the guns on TV are not real guns,
and the guns in my cabinet *are* real guns, and real guns make things real
dead. I made sure they understood the difference, too, by taking them hunting
with me. Conveniently, where we lived at the time, we had a hay field right
outside the house, jamb full of rabbits. And they saw at a very early age
(like 3 or 4 years) that it's not like Elmer Fudd shooting Bugs Bunny: when
Dad shoots a rabbit, it's *dead*. It doesn't laugh, or jump up and ask "what's
up, Doc?". It's dead. It just lays there. And we pick it up, take it back to
the house, clean it, cut it up, cook it, and eat it.
It's all about education.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
This has more to do with changing standards of legal liability than with
changes in the insurance business. A hundred years ago, few juries
would find you liable if some idiot shot himself with your gun.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
Nanny-state refers to protecting us from ourselves, and I can give you
many examples of how I hate that. Seat-belt laws, helmet laws for
non-children, anti-smoking laws for bars, anti-transfat laws.
But it's already the obligation of the state to protect us from
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