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I did an inspection on a ranch style home in March of this year. The client has contacted me saying his home owners insurance is cancelling the policy for two reasons.

1) Lack of handrail at the front stoop steps.

2) Roof condition.

On the handrail issue, there is only 2 risers. As we all know, there is no requirement for handrail in this instance.

On the roof condition, I reviewed my report. There was a minor shingle damage repair called for near the chimney. The overall shingle condition was such that I estimated the remaining life to be at least 5 years. However, it's a light grey colored roof and upon reviewing the pictures I can see there is the typical discoloration caused by the blackish algae we frequently see.

I'm wondering who made these calls, what their credentials are and why specifically they called these two items out.

Have any of you dealt with this sort of thing? The client is asking me to write a letter in hopes that his insurance company will reconsider.

What are your recommendations in a case like this?

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I had a recent experience at my own home with an inspector sent out by my homeowner's insurance company and was astounded by her incompetence. I'm guessing there's no bar, no standard, training or meaningful cert required. Anyone can do it.

As homeowner, I kept my mouth shut and profited from this experience.

John, if this is a big deal to your client and if they ask you to, you could help by rebuking the claims of the insurance. If you do well and document stuff, the insurance will likely become aware of a liability flag going up before their eyes...and reconsider.

Marc

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...........depending upon the vendor providing inspections for that insurance company, the inspector was most likely paid less than $20 for that service - and you know, you get what you pay for! There's quite a bit of activity from a small group of insurance inspectors over on IN - it makes for interesting reading......Greg

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Insurance inspectors are useless.

Allstate threatened to cancel my homeowners for missing siding (the required gap between wood clapboards and a low slope roof) and a deteriorated wood bulkhead door over my basement stairs that my 3 year old knows is too scary to stand on.

I told my agent that if they canceled my homeowners that I would be pulling all my business from their office and advising all of my family members insured through them to do the same. Problem solved.

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...........depending upon the vendor providing inspections for that insurance company, the inspector was most likely paid less than $20 for that service - and you know, you get what you pay for! There's quite a bit of activity from a small group of insurance inspectors over on IN - it makes for interesting reading......Greg

I've read that post. It may have been way less than $20.

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This stuff is determined by actuarial statisticians, not people with building knowledge. Anything can tilt the situation in ways that are totally screwy.

A while back, I was talking with a customer who is a division director (or some such title) with State Farm. He said they use stuff like this to structure growth. Too much biz coming in, don't write galvanized pipe or older roofing. Too little, write anything.

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My new neighbor directly across the street replaced his roof covering right after moving in about 4 months ago. He said his prospective homeowners insurance company condemned it and wouldn't issue a policy unless he replaced it. He was upset when I told him I watched it go up from my front door with my own eyes 9 years ago.

Marc

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Folks don't realize that the individual homeowners and auto policy that we all have are not the largest source of income for insurance companies. They make most of their money from investments and commercial loans. Homeowner coverage cost them money so if they can lessen their risk and payouts the more money they have to invest. It's a numbers game! Every so often they purge what they feel are higher risk.

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