New Home Insurance Nightmare

It’s amazing, the things I’m learning from this whole home-buying experience.

It’s also amazing – and kinda disheartening – the extent to which my view that “Too little, out there, is rooted in logic” is being confirmed. Sigh.

So, we’ve been trying to find a company for home owners’ insurance. Our lack of happiness with our current home renter’s / auto insurance company was recently punctuated with their refusal to even quote for insuring the new house, so it looks like we’ll be moving on.

Problem is, apparently it is MUCH more difficult to insure a house than we were counting on. Let me explain.

Apparently, most companies will drive by your house before quoting, and use the exterior of the home to make a snap judgment as to the insurability of the house. This is the first area where we are running in to problems. The house is by NO means a wreck… but it is being judged by the fact that the paint on the exterior trim is peeling. I mean, to the extent that it was cited as the reason that our current company refuses to insure it.

Another problem with buying a foreclosure house as-is, with no information on/from the previous owners is that we have no idea how old the roof is (even though it’s in great shape!), or how old the wiring is (even though it passed inspection, etc). That right there is being used as enough reason to refuse insurance… again, completely regardless of the fact that it’s all in great shape.

We’ve managed to figure out how to determine the age of the wiring, so that’s good… but all attempts to figure out the age of the roof have been met with failure. You would think that the company holding the previous mortgage would have some idea of the age of the roof, right? Helpful as always, TCF has NO idea. Huh. I would have assumed that age of the roof would be something that factors in to the mortgage, as much as it does into insurance. Right? Am I making some huge jump in logical thinking here? Like I’ve mentioned… I’m new to all of this!

We did manage to find one company willing to provide a quote. Rather than this being good news, however, it’s just resulted in more frustration.

Basically, this company has quoted us almost $200/month – 3 month minimum contract – to insure the house as “vacant”. It’s that expensive because it’s currently vacant, which puts it in a higher risk category.

Well, we’re only going to have it as technically vacant for one week before moving in. We’ll have most of our tools moved in during the first day of ownership, and be in there all day, every day, that week, only returning to our current home to sleep. That should be good enough to write a 3 month contract for it being occupied, right?


Well, how about considering it vacant for 1 week, and switching it to occupied on moving day?

No. 3 month minimum.

Oh. Well what about writing a contract starting our move in day, as occupied?

No. It’s not occupied NOW, and that’s all that matters to them.

Well, geez… almost $200 a month is awfully steep… we’re having a crazy high tech security system set up on closing day. That’s supposed to entitle us to a step discount, right?

No. That doesn’t apply to vacant houses.

The kicker? Let’s say we agree to these predatory prices. We pay almost $600 for 3 months of insurance, then get a new policy in 3 months time, when we will then be considered to be living in an “occupied” house. Here’s the thing – where we’re forced to get “vacant house” insurance… NONE of our possessions in the house will be insured! 3 months with NO insurance on our stuff?

Uh, yeah. That’s not gonna happen.

Soooo… yeah. Any suggestions?

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3 thoughts on “New Home Insurance Nightmare

  1. Yes, instead of checking with individual companies find an insurance broker whose job it should be to source the policy for you. Try Paragon Underwriters at 800-727-0001.

  2. Holy Cow Marie! We have Traveler’s and had our own issues that warrant a whole other discussion. Sounds like we need to meet for coffee! DM me and let’s set up a time, since we’re going to be neighbors and all . . .

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