If you have an older or unique home, your insurer may request to have an insurance appraisal completed on your house.
These appraisals are arranged through the insurance company, which will cost you nothing. You may wonder why the insurance company is spending all that money for a peek at your interior design skills. Ultimately, the insurance company wants to ensure they know what they are insuring and that you are getting the best coverage for your home.
So what is the appraiser looking at when they come to your home?
- The Roof: The roof’s condition in a home can cause many hassles. A roof could quickly turn into significant water damage costing $10,000 or more. The appraiser will take a peek at your roof, let you know of any areas of concern, and give you an idea of your roof’s life expectancy.
- Wood Stoves: If your home has a wood stove, some specific code considerations will need to be met. Often houses have had their woodstove installed when the building codes were less stringent. Many homeowners need to update their stoves or move their stoves altogether. The appraiser will let you know if you need to do that in your home.
- The Presence of Oil Tanks: The appraiser will peek at any oil tanks on the property to ensure they are up to date. Oil spills from older tanks are costly and have substantial environmental impacts. One family in the Gorge area recently spent their savings (over $30,000) cleaning up a terrible mess when their older oil tank ruptured and contaminated the land and river near their home.
- Electrical and Power: The appraiser will check to make sure that you don’t have any hidden knob & tube wiring. The old-style knob-and-tube method of running power cables is susceptible to arcing and causing fires. They’ll also ensure you run the correct electrical amperage for your household’s needs.
- Plumbing and Septic: The appraiser will check your pipes for cracks or leaks and look at the material used for the plumbing lines. Some older materials have a shorter life expectancy, and none of us want a sewer line to back up.
- Liability & Claims: The appraiser will look around your home and property to see any areas that may cause a potential liability claim. If there are stairs without handrails or pools without fences, the appraiser will point those items out and recommend making your home safer.
- Replacement Value of the Home: Some homes just don’t fit into the home evaluation calculator we use to determine your home’s rebuilding value. Appraisers are experts in these homes and will come up with a far more accurate rebuilding value for your home. Some homes increase in building value after the appraisal is completed, but others go down, and the cost of your policy decreases, which means more money in your pocket.
Most insurance policies require that if an appraisal is requested, it must be completed. However, you will never get a stranger knocking on your door telling you they need to complete an assessment (if that happens, please call 911). Your agent will always call or e-mail you first to let you know an appraiser will contact you shortly. You can then arrange an appointment time that works best for you and your family, directly with the appraisal company.
Get Your House Insurance Quote Online
Once you feel that your house is in insurable shape and you wish to compare some house insurance quotes, jump over to our ‘online house insurance quote form,’ and in 10 minutes, you’ll have multiple quotes to look over. Once you do that, we will be happy to scan them over with you and help determine which would be the best fit for your unique situation.
Get started with our online quote comparison tool.