Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Our house is “uninsurable”


Nevermind coal in our stockings – we got a letter in the mail on Christmas Eve telling us our homeowners insurance policy was being canceled.

Merry Christmas to you too, Met Life.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was. They did the inspection over a month ago. No agent called with concerns, so I thought we were in the clear. Instead, they’ve let us know they’re cancelling the policy on January 22nd. The reasons they gave are as follows:

  • Presence of knob and tube wiring
  • Overall condition and maintenance of the house
  • Crumbling chimney and foundation
  • Paint peeling on back annex & broken window needs replacing

I tried to argue our case, but the rep said there is no way they will insure us until the knob and tube wiring is completely replaced. This means the whole house would need to be rewired in less than a month.

I’m working on getting a policy through a different company – even if we do get the wiring done, I don’t want to be involved with Met anymore. Teague called up an electrician friend who is coming by the house on Wednesday to give us an estimate. I don’t know if we can afford to rewire the house right now, all at once like that….. our original plan was to do it little by little as we tackled each room. Growl. One more frustrating obstacle……. but, it could be worse, right? We could have been hit by a tsunami.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Jennifer had this to say on 12.27.04:

My old house has some knob and tube wiring, and State Farm didn’t have a problem with it. At least, not yet, and they did come and inspect, etc.

Good luck finding someone else! :(

mindy had this to say on 12.27.04:

Thanks Jennifer – maybe we’ll try State Farm. My parents’ house had knob and tube, and they never had a problem. Maybe Met is just pickier than other companies…. one can hope, right?

Kristin had this to say on 12.27.04:

We also have State Farm. Our electrical and plumbing were updated in the early ’70s, but no one from State Farm even came out to check. They just took our word for it. It’s expensive as all get out, but hey, you do what you gotta do.

merideth had this to say on 12.27.04:

Liberty Mutual and USAA (if you have the government connection) also do not have problems with knob and tube. USAA recommends that we replace our wiring in 2-3 years and Lib Mut had a big nuthin to say about it. (And Lib was waaaaay cheaper than State FArm for us). We just switched to usaa because we found out that they HAVE to cover us even though we’re gay. Take THAT stupid government. But i digress…maybe try Lib Mut?

Jenne had this to say on 12.27.04:

We have State Farm here, too. The previous owner had State Farm so we decided to stick with them.
They seem pretty good. Our porch railing isn’t up to code, we have an old fuse box, instead of a nice breaker box, and who knows what else, but they’ve still stood behind us.
I’m sorry to hear about the electricity. :(
We need to upgrade our 2 prong outlets to 3 prong, someday. I had an electrician here a couple months ago for an estimate to replace the fuse box w/ a breaker box, and to move a 220 outlet for the dryer…he wanted $2,000! Yikes!
I can lives with the dryer on the other side of the laundry room! And fuse boxes aren’t all bad, I guess. *sigh*

richelle had this to say on 12.28.04:

Also try Amica if they cover your state. That’s who we have and we didn’t have any problems at all. And we’re not even planning to replace the random bits of K&T left at this point. In fact, they didn’t even ask.

mindy had this to say on 12.28.04:

haha – Meredith, way to stick it to the man.

Thanks for all your suggestions, I’ve been calling around town and am waiting for quotes and responses. I’m anxious to hear what the electrician says when he comes tommorrow. I would love to switch the wiring over since I’m sure ours is not the safest, but I’m fearing the massive price tag. I will keep you updated!

John Murden had this to say on 12.28.04:

We were unable to get insurance through USAA because of our knob&tube (or because we’re straight?!?)(or maybe because our house is older?). State Farm eventually covered us, though they never asked about our wiring…

mindy had this to say on 12.29.04:

Well, it turns out State Farm is twice as expensive as most other companies I’ve called – AllState gave me a good quote, so I’m thinking of trying them. Anyone had any experiences with them?

Lisa Zeimetz had this to say on 01.02.05:

Hi, we are renovating our Victorian home also,(Karl & Lisa’s Victorian Home: and we own a State Farm agency in DeKalb, IL. Met, I have to say wasn’t playing fair. Usually, if a company has a problem with a home, but it’s obvious it’s being rehabilitated, there’s a “rehab letter” that the company will send out giving you a year to update the areas the underwriter expressed concern over. Love your site! :)

mindy had this to say on 01.03.05:

Lisa –

Thanks for the info. I thought that was pretty unfair also, and was more upset when I found out they wouldn’t budge on the 22nd date AT ALL. We had an electrician over and he signed on to help us get the wiring switched over, but he’s moonlighting so it’s doubtful it will be completed the 22nd. A rehab letter would have been the perfect solution for us. In a year, they won’t even recognize the place!

Sonja had this to say on 05.08.06:

I bought a old house (1927) in N.C.
I upgraded most of the electricity to accomodate a gas pack, refrig, washer, dryer, diswasher but still have some K & T for outlets and overhead lighting. USAA refused to insure me unless I have all of the K & T replaced. This strikes me as funny as my electrician indicates that it is safer than the wiring in use today. I usually highly commend USAA, but this experience has left me with a bad taste. They were totally rude and down right nasty.

Verne had this to say on 09.22.06:

An inspector (the agent) came to look at the house.

He told me I’d have to rewire my entire 1900 victorian home and enclose the porch 45 days after taking possession.

They also told me the ancient coal furnace in the basement could still be used.

A lot of rewiring was done in the 70’s with this house so only a minuscule amount of the old wiring existed- it wasn’t knob and tube but the old cloth type inside an armored cable.

The coal furnace turmed out to be unsuable due to decay/rust.

I cancelled by auto insurance and got policy’s from other people.

Kathy had this to say on 08.29.07:

Our house is 60 years old. Its the house I grew up in, in the country, home to me. My mother died 7 years ago we decided to keep the house. We finally got the deed changed to our name a couple of months ago, went to get the homeowners changed to our name after paying it for the past 7 years and the agent had to come take pictures of the fuse box, the heater and the outside of the house. Fuse box and heater fine, back of our house not fine. This is State Farm. Our agent says we will have to have it fixed or they will more than likely drop the policy (I had just been paying my parents bill) I got an estimate tonight and was told it would cost anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000. We’re poor. The only option I see now is not having any insurance.

joan had this to say on 10.28.07:

Just wondering if you were ever able to get the insurance you need. We are about to buy a foreclosure house (over 100 years old- had some mold issue but mostly taken care of- and wondering if we will have problems getting it insured. We don’t mind having exclusions as long as it can be insured so that it can be financed and bought/sold– we are out on a limb for financing to retain this for our kids who have 2 houses to sell before they can finance this one– but it will need to be financed.
Your situation is of interest to us and we were wondering what happened with your insurance. Did it affect your financing or do you not have financing on your place?
Sincerely, jj

Amanda had this to say on 11.28.07:

Hello! I am soo glad to see that I am not experiencing this alone. (Not glad that you have to put up with this crud too.) I am trying to purchase a 100 year old house that needs some serious love. I love this house because it gives me the oportunity to put a ton of “sweat equity” into it. It really needs to be painted, one of the first things I intended to do. Unfortunatly, State Farm has already denied me. I thought I was going to be ok with another insurance agency until I got the phone call today informing me that unless I had a down payment reciept with a painter, they were going to canc my policy!! I am devistated, and looking for another route. I can’t afford to pay someone 40% in labor to paint my house when I can do it myself! There has to be another way around it with me being sooo close to my goal.

Susan had this to say on 10.31.09:

My mother-in-law signed over her house to my husband in a “quick claim deed,” so when she passed away, the house would become his. Well, sometimes we wish we never got involved b/c she never did any repairs on it and it is now uninsurable and we can’t sell it the way it is! What should we do? The real estate agent said that she never saw a house in that bad a shape in her entire career. It needs help. It has a fuse box, which needs to be turned into a circuit breaker box, all of the windows need to be replaced, the ceilings a buckling, and the list goes on. I just don’t know what to do..

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