Buyer Beware: The Hidden Dangers of Knob and Tube Wiring in Older Homes and How It Affects House Insurance
The answer to the question ‘How much is home insurance in Toronto?” can be complicated, especially if you are purchasing an older home as there may be hidden dangers lurking in the walls. The most common of these is knob and tube wiring, which can be extremely dangerous if not properly maintained and can affect your house insurance.
It is essential to be cautious when purchasing an older home and to consider potential hidden expenses due to outdated techniques and systems such as our example of knob and tube (K&T) wiring, which can significantly impact your house insurance.
What is Knob and Tube?
K&T wiring was a popular method in the early 1900s, where long wires were surrounded by black rubber cloth and wound around white ceramic knobs at essential connection points. These wires are not grounded, creating safety hazards for homes today. This type of wiring can cause wire damage, fire hazards, overloads, power surges, and make any modifications hazardous. When buying an older home, it’s vital to check for K&T wiring beforehand or hire a contractor to determine if your home uses K&T wiring. The presence of Knob & Tube could affect your home insurance quote but more importantly you want to ensure that your family is safe.
Home Insurance and K&T Wiring
Some insurance companies may insure homes with K&T wiring, while others may not and will require owners to upgrade the electrical system before providing homeowner insurance. Insurance for K&T wired homes may come at a higher cost due to increased risks and liabilities.
What Do You Do If You Find K&T Wiring?
If you discover K&T wiring, it would be wise to have the wiring inspected. Sometimes a home will have traces of K&T wiring but will have already had the wiring upgraded, leaving the K&T remains as just dead wires. Insurance companies will not cover the costs of switching out the electrical system but may require the wiring to be redone to continue insurance coverage.
It’s essential to note that most insurance policies, such as a builder’s risk policy or renovation policy, won’t cover the costs of replacing a K&T wiring system. These policies are designed to ensure that losses due to fire, theft, vandalism, or other natural disaster claims are covered. Most standard policies will not cover extensive renovations or complete rebuilds of a home or the K&T wiring within it.
Should I Let My Insurance Provider Know?
Always inform your insurance company of new developments or discoveries. The potential increase in your homeowner insurance policy cost should not outweigh the importance of protecting yourself and others in case of an incident.
If you find K&T wiring in your home, talk to your friendly neighborhood-style team at All-Risks Danforth for a home insurance quote and to determine the next steps, and replace the wiring as soon as possible to avoid catastrophic events that may occur. Remember, staying informed and proactive is the key to keeping your home and loved ones safe, as well as securing the best possible home insurance coverage for your needs.