We all know buying a home is an exciting time, but it’s also stressful and hectic and can mean overlooking things like insurance.
Be sure to include insurance as one of your subjects when writing an offer. Overlooking this can sometimes mean incurring additional expenses to make the home insurable.
There are several things one needs to consider, especially when it comes to older homes.
- What kind of electrical system does it have? Fuses, knob and tube? Is the panel big enough to handle planned renovations? Any home with less than 100 amp service, knob and tube or aluminum wiring must have an electrical safety inspection report from a licensed electrician, and be brought up to current standards to be insurable.
- How about the water lines? Are they copper, plastic or something different? Dwellings with iron or galvanized plumbing (other than waste pipes) may require a plumbing inspection.
- Polybutylene (POLY-B) is often declined by insurance companies.
- Also, think about wood-burning stoves, fireplace inserts, and maybe a fuel tank leftover from an old heating system.
- Any home known to have had a drug lab or marijuana grow operation, legal or illegal, must have had all repairs done and an inspection passed by the City and submitted to the insurance company with photos for approval.
- Is it a heritage home? Some insurance companies do not insure these types of homes.
- Properties with two or more water or sewer backup losses within the last five years are often declined.
All of these important facts need to be considered before completing any home. Finally, be sure you leave at least a week for your insurance broker to organize and place protection. Most often, we can arrange it quickly, however, special circumstances may require longer… especially if there’s a mortgage on the property as nothing will happen until the bank has confirmed protection is in place.