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Knob & Tube Wiring vs Insurance

Posted in Articles of Interest

For many years owners of homes, and/or potential home owners have had difficulty in obtaining insurance for homes that contain knob and tube wiring. Most insurance companies will not insure these homes, and those who do will usually attach a premium ranging from a 25% to 100% or more increase. 

Knob & Tube WiringThe truth of the matter is that knob & tube wiring is rarely the problem. The problem usually lies with the additionally installed amateur wiring. Due to the fact that most older homes have fewer receptacles and lights then we require for our modern lifestyles, many people have added their own. And, often these additions are not installed professionally, they are installed by the unqualified weekend handyman. It is not uncommon to see extension cords or speaker wire used to run electricity to a new outlet! This is usually where the problem lies.

Many people fear electricians will not work with knob and tube wiring, or fear they will be charged higher rates. The fact is many electricians prefer the knob and tube method to work with when renovating due to it’s visual advantages of clearly marked, separated wire, and the secure method of fastening. It is very simple to work with, and generally there are no extra surcharges.

The Knob and Tube wiring method is not the problem, consequently the additional receptacles required and installed by unqualified amateurs are the problem; and this is the concern of the insurance companies. Our home inspection will identify knob and tube wiring, and we will give you suggestions on how to handle any issues that may arise. You do have options. From a technical perspective, in most cases, he original knob and tube wiring does not have to be changed, only the additional amateur wiring need be corrected and checked by a hydro or insurance representative. However, most insurance companies will not insure homes with knob & tube wiring, therefore forcing homeowners to change this wiring to modern woring.

Resources:  Knob and tube wiring.