Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Dumped (again)


GRRRR. Just when we start to get optimistic, in comes some mail to take the wind out of our sails. We’ve been dumped from our homeowners insurance policy for the second time. The local AllState agents don’t want us either.

Almighty house gods, can’t you cut us a break?

The first time we got dumped, our MetLife agent said it was mainly due to the knob and tube wiring. So we went on a rampage trying to clean that mess up, and have gotten a good chunk of it done. We went out and got a new policy through AllState, and have been working hard to make the place insurable. Unfortunately, we are only human, and only have so many hours of free time, so we didn’t do “enough”.

AllState is dumping us for numerous reasons, most of which center around the back part of the house. It’s understandable; it’s an eyesore, if not a safety hazard. They listed the peeling paint, rotted door, and crumbling foundation as major problems. Now, obviously, we aren’t using this part of the house. The door is drywalled over and the windows are nailed shut, so no one else is using this part of the house either – not even a stray cat. So I’m going to try to plead our case and explain to them that we plan to tear this section off, but won’t be able to do so until the weather is a wee bit warmer and less snowy.

I don’t have too much faith in AllState’s mercy, though; MetLife wouldn’t budge an inch on the knob and tube thing, so my fear is that AllState will be equally unbending. If that’s the case, we will be going to the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association. From what I gather, this agency has to insure us if we can’t find insurance elsewhere. It may not be great coverage, and on average it costs about 20% more than a policy from a voluntary insurance company, but it’ll keep us from defaulting on our mortgage. Always a good thing.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Lisa Zeimetz had this to say on 02.21.05:

I feel bad about your insurance situation. Since we are restoring our home also, but have the advantage to owning a State Farm agency, I’ll talk to my husband about any tips he might be able to recommend. Alot of times, the agent just doesn’t want to deal with it, but there are ways to get a property like your insured (we insure worse, trust me!), and you just have to know how to present it. I’ll post another comment if I find a way for you! :) Now we have a blog:

john m had this to say on 02.21.05:

That sucks! I wish I had something good and helpful to suggest, but y’all are blazing further down that path than we’ve had to go (thankfully).

Jane had this to say on 02.21.05:

I’m a new reader so I don’t know your background but do you have any military in your family? If you do try USAA insurance. They are great to work with.

Enjoyed your site. Nice to share the pain :-) and joy of house building/remodeling.

Suzanne had this to say on 02.21.05:

You might want to give your state’s insurance Dept. a call. The NY Insurance Dept. has a consumer division that will be able to tell you which insurers write what kind of business in your state, what is legal and not from insurers, and probably give you some advice on what you can do. Best of all they are impartial. Here is there link:

Hope this helps :-)

Derek had this to say on 02.21.05:

I can relate about the insurance companies. We had to get rid of all our knob and tube last year. Thankfully it was only half the house. It was in almost perfect condition too. They want us to get rid of our oil furnace too, since it’s so old. The agent told us the company would be in contact about the furnace. We haven’t heard anything from them in over a year, we’re still using our old oil furnace. For what these companies charge, it’s a joke. They’re just trying to recover all the money they lost on the stock market.

mindy had this to say on 02.21.05:

Lisa – Great blog! Love the stencils. Thanks for your help, I am thinking that preparing a little presentation for our agent (complete with photos of the areas in question and a plan for what we’ll do to fix them, when the weather permits). We’re also getting quotes for the chimney repair. That way, our agent knows we’re serious about fixing things.

Jane – We don’t have any military personell in the family, but that’s a good tip for others who might be in the same spot.

Suzanne – Thanks for the link, I’ll definitely give them a call! Again, also useful for others in our spot :)

Alex had this to say on 02.21.05:


My wife’s father is VP of an insurance agency, and he gave us some advice when we were looking to get our house insured. Many places simply don’t like old houses. Go to a few neighbors and ask who insures them. Many times, smaller home grown companies who are under a larger firm’s umbrella are good because they specialize in older houses and other nitch markets. Next, get a specific list of what is making the house uninsurable. Also, ask for a list of references, in other words, other people they insure. Then address the items one by one. If things like the paint peeling are on the list, and one of the references has peeling paint, site this specific situation. Also address the fact that cosmetic items, such as peeling paint, cannot limit the insurability of a structure. The only way it should affect things is if the paint is lead based. And you can simply state that to your knowledge it is not, and the ball will be in their court to test to determine if it is. Good luck. We are insured through a small local company that represents Erie Insurance Group. They have been great for us.

Kristin had this to say on 02.22.05:

Oh, honey! You two have worked so hard and got SO much accomplished in such a short amount of time. These insurance companies need to cut you a break!

Jess had this to say on 02.22.05:


Alex has some good points. I like his reference list idea. Do you have Farmer’s Insurance near you? They may be just a midwestern thing, I don’t know. Anyway, they insure a lot of homes where I am from that are old–like, old prarrie farmhouses. Peeling paint is the least of some of their problems. ;-)

Good luck with the insurance front. Let us know what happens.

Jenne had this to say on 02.22.05:

When I bought my house, it wasn’t up to code. But the first thing everyone said was, who insured the PO? That’s how I found my insurance. State Farm. The guy’s also my neighbor [ seriously. I’m not just quoting their slogan/jingle!]
I will try to send good house karma your way!

Kristen had this to say on 02.22.05:

I don’t know if they write policies in New York, but I have National Grange Mutual Insurance based in New Hampshire (I am in Rhode Island) and they never even sent an agent out. I have a 1926 bungalow that is in great shape, but they didn’t necessarily know that. Just a thought … Good luck.

Penny had this to say on 11.08.07:

I can relate to your insurance woo’s. We too are restoring a victorian house and I went in and paid $520.00 for the year and when I told the insurance company we weren’t living in the house they cancelled our policy and kept my money all happened in 2 days. Then to top it off after I paid them all this money they want us to pay more money for a different policy which is for a vacancy permit– $75.00/month!! So as it stands now no insurance but they keep sending us invoices to pay.

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