The most popular landing page on our website (almost 2 to 1 when compared to our Home Page) is my blog post from December of 2017 regarding Knob & Tube wiring (see blog).
In it, I describe the major problems with this form of wiring, and why insurance companies refuse to issue new policies for homes that have it (Note: existing policyholders are grandfathered. I am not aware of any companies that are cancelling homes they currently insure which are wired with Knob & Tube).
Unfortunately, the insurance industry has become even more draconian. It just keeps getting more difficult to find coverage for a home with Knob & Tube wiring.
This is a major issue for much of Northeast Ohio. Communities such as Lyndhurst, Mayfield, Willowick, Willoughby, and so many more, have homes built before 1965 that still have it.
Since writing the original blog post, I have been on a quest to find a company that will provide some access to coverage.
After many years of searching, my efforts have finally paid off. There’s now hope for many. Particularly, if your home was built after 1955.
I have established an outstanding relationship with a major carrier which now allows me to pursue coverage for a limited number of homes with Knob & Tube wiring as long as they have the following characteristics:
- The home must be built after 1955.
- It must have 100 amp electrical service with approved circuit breakers.
- Electrical wiring feeding the major appliances and kitchen need to be upgraded to romex, or other form of modern wiring.
- The home must be your primary residence…no rental properties.
Essentially, any home built after 1955 that has reduced the exposure down to a limited number of circuits feeding a few bedrooms and lights, can be considered.
The key characteristic which allows for this exception, is the type of coating on the Knob & Tube wiring.
Before 1955, most Knob & Tube wiring had a cloth coating (or even worse, a varnished cloth coating). As this wiring aged over the years, the coating dried out, becoming flammable.
However, later versions of the wiring were manufactured with an asphalt injected coating. It has a black, rubber like appearance and maintains it pliability (see photo).It is this type of wiring that I have been able to get approval on a “case by case” basis.
If this describes your home, or the home you are considering for purchase, please contact us.
The first thing we will do is quote your homeowners insurance with the assumption that it meets all underwriting requirements. If the rates and coverage are acceptable to you, we will personally visit your home and inspect the wiring before binding coverage.
This is important. It is a requirement that photos of the Knob & Tube wiring, and our circuit breaker panel are provided (along with photos of the exterior of the home) to our underwriter.
If approved, we can complete an application and put your new policy in force.
Please keep in mind; this accommodation is for the best homes of its kind. This means well maintained houses that meet all other underwriting requirements, including updates to the roof and furnace.
The bottom line: if you live in Lake, Geauga, or Cuyahoga Counties, here in Ohio, and your home meets the parameters above; give us a call. We’re here to help!
Regis Coustillac, CIC