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Old 06-25-2012, 12:52 AM
 
1 posts, read 5,258 times
Reputation: 15
Question Can't find insurance company to insure home with aluminum wiring

I am buying a house built in 1970 and completely renovated in 2012. Much to my dismay, the seller did not replace the aluminum wiring. I love everything else about the house! I've been househunting for well over a year, and during that period the Austin market went from a buyer's market to a seller's market. Inventory is low, and it's nearly impossible to find a fully updated 3/2 in the neighborhood I'm looking in. This house meets all my criteria--except for the aluminum wiring.

I have contacted an electrician certified to do Copalum pigtailing, and I've decided to do it (at a cost of $4,000--ouch!). But I am having a hard time finding an insurance company that will cover a house with aluminum wiring--even if I go ahead with the pigtailing. Can anybody recommend an insurance carrier who will insure a home with aluminum wiring? Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:15 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle, originally from SF Bay Area
13,661 posts, read 15,649,832 times
Reputation: 9020
I'd be suspicious of any insurance company that would insure a home with aluminum wiring unless they charged 2-3 times as much for the premiums, and I wouldn't want to live there. I would also be wary of a home that was completely renovated but didn't change out the wiring, most likely that means they had no permits for the work done, as most cities/counties would require that for any permit work. If you like the home that much you should look into a complete rewire and try to get the seller to pay at least part, and wrap the rest into the loan.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
3,001 posts, read 3,690,931 times
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$4000 should be enough for a complete rewire, not just pigtailing.
I wouldn't live in a house with aluminum wiring, pigtailed or not.
A complete rewire isn't that big of a deal, nor should it cost much more than $4k unless this house is huge.
A fully renovated home should be easy to re-wire - you can color match the paint.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
24,829 posts, read 30,109,705 times
Reputation: 35911
You do realize that a home with aluminum wiring is not "fully updated"? Good Lord, a decent electrical system would be the first thing I'd be looking for, not the last.

You found yourself a pig with lipstick on it.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
16,136 posts, read 29,204,015 times
Reputation: 11870
VERY likely no permits were pulled. When I did my renovation, the electrical inspector noticed something outside of his scope and flagged it. The final flagged the chimney vent top even though the furnace inspector had passed it. Had to raise it another foot to get final passed.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:04 AM
 
6 posts, read 32,639 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
You do realize that a home with aluminum wiring is not "fully updated"? Good Lord, a decent electrical system would be the first thing I'd be looking for, not the last.

You found yourself a pig with lipstick on it.
Could not have said it better myself. Not replacing aluminum wiring on a complete renovation is a huge red flag for other potential problems with the quality of the work done.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Austin
4,261 posts, read 7,709,970 times
Reputation: 3261
Since no one has offered a solution, here's one, ask the sellers who the house is currently insured with. Usually, since they already have coverage on the property, the company will continue to ensure with a new owner.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Location: San Diego, Ca
740 posts, read 1,006,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcphc View Post
Could not have said it better myself. Not replacing aluminum wiring on a complete renovation is a huge red flag for other potential problems with the quality of the work done.
I agree. I wouldn't touch a home with Aluminum wiring.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:55 PM
 
10,022 posts, read 10,778,467 times
Reputation: 8974
You state:

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhomeaustin View Post
I am buying a house built in 1970 and completely renovated in 2012. Much to my dismay, the seller did not replace the aluminum wiring.
Well then it's not really completely renovated is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhomeaustin View Post
I am having a hard time finding an insurance company that will cover a house with aluminum wiring--even if I go ahead with the pigtailing. Can anybody recommend an insurance carrier who will insure a home with aluminum wiring? Thanks!
Who are the sellers using for insurance? I am not surprised that you are having trouble finding insurance. A house with aluminum wiring is 55 times more likely to have a fire than a house with copper wiring.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
24,829 posts, read 30,109,705 times
Reputation: 35911
Forgive me, I missed the part where you'd already bought the house. Hope you find someone that will insure you.

And do consider rewiring, not pigtailing. Perhaps an insurance company would be a little more amenable if it knew the aluminum wire was being pulled out completely.
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