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Old 08-23-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


is this strange?

our house is ALREADY insured for more than enough, including the material inside material (tv, couch etc.). i think they're just out to get more money. they called in the past about life insurance and all these questions about our car insurance to "see if we have enough coverage". we declined everything. sheesh..

but now they want to know about our house insurance.

we've lived in our house for 5 years. its an older house. home insurance company has requested an inspection to check "the roof, wiring and plumbing".

but i can supply receipts showing new roof. we had an electrician certify safe wiring when we moved in (a requirement of the same insurance companY!) and the plumbing can be proven modern through our own home inspection report which we had done when we moved in.

but they still want to inspect...

this can only go one of two ways:
1) rates go up because house has "nice" stuff that needs more coverage. for example, large wooden moldings, plaster crown molding.

2) they find something they don't like and give "30 days to comply". like i need a longer to-do list!

it is written in the policy that they can inspect the house any time. i'm thinking of getting a new insurance company instead. one that doesn't harass me.

what do you think?

Knucklez

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Old 08-23-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


This is your policy, so only you would know if this is in your agreement with the insurance company.
Personally, I've never come accross this issue before. I've never heard of an insurance company even inspecting a house prior to writing a policy on it. Which seems odd if you think about it. Mortgage companies inspect the house prior to giving you the loan to see if it's worth the selling price.
Look over your policy and check it out. You can always go with another company if you don't want them to inspect, just don't be surprised if this is something all the companies are starting to verify the worth of a property.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


In many years and many houses - both residence and income, I have never encountered this or heard of it... I have had insurance agents do a pass by and take a picture for the files and to verify there really is a house there I suppose - but never entering the property or a detailed inspection of any level.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


I got a questionnaire a few weeks ago from our home insurance company. They said in the instructions that it was to make sure I was covered for replacement value not appraised value. But among the questions were a few that made me suspicious about their real intent. One was did I have any knob and tube wiring and another was how many trees around the house would damage if they fell. So, here I am waiting for the other shoe to fall Nothing good is going to come of this.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:50 PM   #5
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


Knob & tube is standard question in some cases
Many insurance companies will not insure knob & tube houses any more

I know very few houses that do not have trees near them
--mostly newer houses where they buldozed the whole area
So that IMO is kinda stupid

My last house they sent someone to look at the house from the outside
But since I bought it for $23,600 & it was appraised at $70k they wanted to check the house

I think in many cases Insurance companies will have someone check out the house from the outside. I have never been asked to view the inside of the house
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:55 PM   #6
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


I have several thoughts and observations about this issue.

On things like knob-and-tube wiring, or other older electrical apparatus in general, they would have a vested interest in knowing the condition of your electrical system.

As an electrical contractor, I can tell you that many older houses that have knob-and-tube wiring have more fire hazards present than a newer home would have. More than likely, there may be old fuse boxes still in use, and loose connections, bad splices, etc. Also, there is a 90+% chance that there are 30 Amp fuses installed where there should be 15 Amp ones.

Over the years, I have changed out dozens if not hundreds of service panels. In all those years, I can count on one hand the number of them that had the correct size fuse installed on all the circuits. Most of the rest of them had all 30's since they don't blow as often or easily as 15's or 20's.

I have replaced fuse boxes with breaker panels for customers who got notices of 50% surcharges from their insurance company if they didn't upgrade.

The point here is you want the insurance company to pay for restoring your house in case it burns down. They have a right to know if your house is more likely to burn down due to substandard wiring, or other hazards.

Same concept for other things: Large trees that can fall over and cause extensive damage to your roof, smash your car, etc.

We had a trampoline in our back yard, and steps for the side door without railings. I got a letter from the insurance company advising me we had to install a fence due to the "attractive nuisance" being in our yard. Since my kids had grown and flown the coop, I took down the trampoline instead of paying for a fence around my yard.

As for the side door, we ended up having to install a railing there. In the end, I am sort of glad, since I have had to grab that railing a time or 2 since then to prevent from falling. Again, the insurance company knows where costs from claims can be minimized.

So before you jump ship over something like this, consider that most if not all new policies will require similar hoops to jump through, and you may lose any discounts due to being a long-time customer.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:59 PM   #7
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


Is this really a request for an inspection or just their attempt to upsell you?

Many times insurance companies mask the upsell with things like "reviews", "updates", etc.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:36 PM   #8
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


Here are the major defects that cause my home inspection clients here in Chicago to have problems when they attempt to obtain or renew property insurance: A Visual Guide to Identifying Potential Homeowner's Insurance Problems - - Paragon Home Inspections Evanston / Chicago / Skokie / Wilmette / Morton Grove / Glenview / Northbrook / Illinois

I’m paid to be suspicious…


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Old 08-23-2009, 03:11 PM   #9
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


The other possibility is that the "inspector" is a dumb kid, who simply is going to try to sell you more insurance.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:23 PM   #10
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


Believe it or not, this is a good thing. You don't want them coming back later after a problem and saying, "we aren't covering this". It is their job to come out and see what they are insuring. They have no idea what some people do to their homes, especially now with all the DIYers and homeowners who go for the lowest bid. Contractors are to blame also, not all do good work. It's good to see an insurance company actually doing their job.

I just got new insurance and increased everything (put on addition 1/3 size of the house last year, new windows, new siding, new roof, new AC, new doors, new furnace, finished pole barn, retaining walls, cement patios, almost everything........Of course my insurance increased, but my coverage increased more than the premiums.

Don't look at it as a scam. You can change insurance anytime you want to. I switched just because the company I had was paying horrible prices on insurance work we do.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:47 PM   #11
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


when we bought this house, agent, (new agent for me) said that the insurance company would be sending someone out to look. Never did get a date and time. About 9 months later, company sent a letter, new roof or no new renewal, they had someone drive by. Of course put on a new roof.
side note, at the time of sale, had a home inspection, need new roof, agent said it looks fine from the picture on the web, sold me the policy. Seems a big thing with the ins. companys today is what kind of dog you have.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:48 PM   #12
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


wow, thanks for all the feedback.

i hear you about the knob and tube.. that is a significant risk. so much so, that the insurance company required an electrical inspection at time of home purchase to ensure it was not installed.

but anything else? sheesh... its no more or less than any other house. but only I get inspected? F-that. totally unfair.

as for trees and questionnaire? i would say "sorry, i am not an arborist, i can not answer any legally binding questions about trees. you may hire at YOUR OWN EXPENSE if you want more answers.. but i won't let you/them on my property"

MJW - good point. i think that is a good reason to allow an inspection. but at the same time, the companies insure LOTS of other people without asking for inspections.. so its still unfair practice. still, you have swayed my opinion a bit. so maybe i'll wait until it is convenient for me and allow them in. .... if i get results i don't like then i can switch insurance companies. they *might* inspect too, but it can't be any worse.

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Old 08-23-2009, 07:17 PM   #13
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


I got a similar notice from State Farm several months ago. They wanted to do an inspection of my home, but only the exterior. In a call to my agent is was explained to me that a "random" selection process drew my policy for review and that special attention would be paid to my roof. I was not happy and explained to my agent that the roof was a 15 year old cedar shake piece of junk and they didn't need to make a trip out to tell me that. I also reminded him that they knew that when we wrote the policy and that they would lose my business immediately if changes were made to the terms and conditions of the policy or my deductibles or coverage amounts. Sure enough, they came out and climbed around on my roof and looked the exterior of the house over. I made sure I closed the blinds in every window to prevent them from seeing inside. My rates didn't increase and I never heard a word from them.

If they wanted to come inside and look things over I think I'd let them know that they could find another guy to insure.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:23 PM   #14
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


See now I'd tell them that they couldn't walk on my roof as they might damage it
And if they fell I wasn't sure my homeowners policy would cover it

Seriously, you want to look at my roof its either a big bucket truck or a helicopter
No climbing allowed
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:37 PM   #15
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house insurance company wants to inspect my house!


You guys are missing the point. Wouldn't you like to see what you are insuring if you were them? Hiding things from your insurance company can only lead to trouble.

What would you have to hide anyhow?

Like I said, you are better off letting them see everything now, rather than when you need them to cover something and they say :nope we don;t cover that.

I had a potential client who was denied a roof hail claim because of the shingles used. I blamed the insurance company for not checking it out before they insured it. If the homeowner didn't allow them to come out, then it's the homeowners fault. Don't be "that guy" who was trying to hide things to save a few bucks, and then get denied a multi-thousand dollar claim because of it.

They can't sell you insurance on your word. If they did, they would be even farther in debt than they are now.

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