The current California and Westcoast housing market has a low-inventory of existing homes for sale.  This causes a lot of homes to be offered in “as-is” condition where they are sold without repairs being made prior to the sale.  Apparently, in this “hot” housing market caring about these small issues is frowned upon by the selling and buying agents.

Recently, we have noticed new homeowners inspections in the insurance market have spiked the number of cancellation notices going out to many new home insurance clients.

Even if you have lived in the house for a while, below are some tips to help prevent a cancellation from coming in post-inspection from the house insurance company. 

Side note, this is in regards to working or being insured under a preferred carrier with preferred underwriting guidelines.  This means that properties must reflect pride of ownership, are well maintained and don’t have issues like debris spread around the property, inoperable vehicles parked on the property, etc.   – There are non-standard or specialty carriers that will accept, in exchange for higher premiums or lesser coverage, properties that don’t meet the above mentioned requirements.

To avoid these issues for our clients we always ask more questions prior to binding coverage, it definitely helps address some of these issues and it will certainly save our clients a lot of time and money after the closing of the new property.

Here are the Top 6 inspection issues that we are seeing: (These are especially prevalent in new business DIC – Difference in Conditions policies.)

  1. Roofs
  • Roofs long past their time with no aggregate left on the asphalt shingles.
  • Roofs with mis-match patch-work that is evident.
  • Wood Shingle and rolled composition roofs that are looking tired.  
  1. Paint
  • Paint missing or flaking off from Facia, Eves and walls.
  • Faded paint on cracked stucco.
  1. Trees
  • Trees with limbs overhanging the residence.
  • Trees with limbs in contact with the structure or roof
  1. Exterior Wall Damage
  • Irrigation damage to a wall.
  • Neglected wood facia on walls with no updated stain or paint.
  • No paint on Stucco where windows were replaced or updated.
  • Major cracked stucco on walls.
  1. Personal Property Scattered About
  • Appliances on patios or side-yards.
  • Left over construction material from job sites scattered or piled around the property.
  • Metal Storage Containers (Shipping Containers, etc.) around the property.
  1. Trampolines, Treehouses and Pets
  • Trampolines are Eligible for some homeowners insurance if a net is installed.
  • Treehouses & Ziplines are Ineligible in most homeowners insurance.
  • Aggressive dogs found on the property during inspection.
  • Exotic animals found on the property during inspection.
  • Farm animals on the property when most house insurance companies will not cover a home with any farming exposure.

Once the inspection is completed and the carrier is notified of anything that is deemed dangerous, a possible liability, soon to be a loss or needs repairs, then you will be notified and given 30-60 or 90 days to correct or obtain new insurance. At which point you might not be fully covered on your new house insurance policy. So it is recommended that you always do the following when shopping for homeowners insurance coverage:

  • Ask questions about what’s covered and what NOT covered..
  • Provide full disclosure to your agent or broker of who will live in the household and what you plan on doing to the home and in or around the property.
  • Request guarantees / promises in writing.

Do all this before cancelling your current coverage and or taking on new insurance that could end up leaving you to fend for yourself after the inspection.

If you are looking for quality home insurance with top preferred carriers like Travelers, Harford, Nationwide, Kemper, Safeco, Mapfre, MetLife, Guard, Stillwater (formerly Fidelity) or specialty carriers like Aegis, Pacific Specialty & American Modern – then we are the brokerage you want to be working with! We directly represent all these carriers listed above and can help you narrow down the search to the top 3 carries that will offer you the Best Combination of Coverage and Pricing.

Call or Text (209)207-0577

post written by: Domingo Ramos, Insurance Broker, proudly licensed to transact insurance in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Michigan. – domingo@tcsib.com

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