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Nancy Humphrey's Blog

By Nancy Humphrey | Agent in Pensacola, FL

Do You Have Aluminum Wiring In Your Home??


If you have aluminum wiring in your Florida home, get ready to control your blood pressure!!!!

There have been only a few companies that would write homeowner's insurance coverage on a home with this type of wiring.  Now none of them want to write anymore.  To add further insult to homeowners, our insurer of last resort, Citizens Insurance, will no longer write coverage on homes with aluminum wiring.  So, if I wanted to sell my Scenic Heights home and I have a buyer who wants to buy it, well where will this buyer get insurance?  My only option to sell is rewire my home in copper wiring.   That would run me approximately $7000, plus any repairs needed to the drywall in the home.

There are thousands of Pensacola homes with this type of wiring.  This is ludicrous!  We need to make our voices heard.

My insurance agent, Bobby Emmons of Thompson Walden Insurance, is investigating this and who we need to protest to.  As I get more information, I will share names, phone numbers and email addresses.

Thanks,

Nancy Humphrey, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Pensacola
7140 N. 9th Avenue
Pensacola, FL  32504
850.206.5526  Nancy's cell
Web:  www.nancysellspensacola.com



Comments

By Edie Skillen,  Sat Jun 26 2010, 06:55
This will be effective July 1, 2010. So now the seller will take yet another loss. It could easily cost the seller $10,000.00. There are alot of homes that will fall in this category. Can we say overkill??

Edie Skillen
Legendary Sales, Inc
Pensacola, FL
850-982-5419
http://www.edieskillen.com
By Bettye Krieter,  Sun Jul 25 2010, 07:06
I am a home owner in Satellite Beach, Florida. I have been caught up in this nightmare. My current carrier, United Casualty and Property is not renewing me because I live on a barrier island. My agent has been working to place me with another carrier. We had Frontline lined up, had the 4-point and wind mitagation inspections. Because I have aluminum wiring in my house I find that I am uninsurable. Citizens, at first, said they would insure if wiring was changed out using the Copalum Crip connection--at an astronautical price!! Now, Citizens says as of 1 Aug, they will not insure even with change out. I say again, this is a nightmare! I am wondering if you have any fix to this situation or any words of encouragement to pass along.

Bettye Krieter
321-777-0818
bkrieter@cfl.rr.com
By Scott Miller - REALTOR®,  Sun Jul 25 2010, 07:27
Real estate keeps getting more and more difficult. What a nightmare. I didn't think it could get any worse after the Chinese Drywall debacle which will be going on for the next 10-20 years, too.

Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
By Greg Rettig,  Thu Sep 9 2010, 10:55
Tapco w/ Lloyd's of London is now apparently able to place coverage for homes with aluminum wiring. Call my friend Billy Hale at Hiles McLeod if you have more questions... 850-432-9912.
By Big Al,  Fri Sep 24 2010, 09:28
I have the same problem as Bettye Krieter.
I purchased my home Dec 23, 2009 and home had aluminum wiring and had a leak in the roof. Prior to closing the bank said they would put the $3500 in escrow to make sure the roof was fixed and we were able to close. At closing our first insurance company said it ( AL wiring) wasn't an issue but a month AFTER closing we were cancelled and had to go to Citizens, all was fine. WRONG! They said we needed to pigtail the AL wire to copper. We did and paid $1000 to have it done, now the SOB's want to cancel us? It's like trying to hit a moving target????

I'm thinking of suing my first insurance company because they took my bargaining chip away by not letting me know about the aluminum wiring issue up front! EVERY INSURANCE COMPANY I'VE ASKED FOR A QUOTE ASKS IF YOU HAVE ALUMINUM WIRING FIRST. If you have it they tell you they cannot get you coverage. >:(
By Nancy Humphrey,  Fri Sep 24 2010, 11:46
Thanks for the information on Tapco (Lloyd's of London). I had another person recommend them yesterday. I will certainly check into this source and let you all know what I find out. Otherwise, it's becoming more and more of a nightmare. I just spoke with another realtor yesterday about this. Her seller has aluminum wiring and cannot afford to replace it at this time. She had an offer on her house and because the buyer couldn't find insurance, the deal fell through and now the seller had to take the house off the market!

You would think since we are being forced to upgrade our wiring (very expensive), there might be a program to help co-op the expense, however, I've heard of nothing. Anybody know of any sources that could help the homeowner?
By Jp,  Tue Sep 28 2010, 04:53
My Pensacola Realtor advised me of this 'Insurance Nightmare' aluminum wiring fact last week. My house was built in 1972 and has aluminum wiring. Last week, my Gulf Power Meter short circuited and caused a 200 amp service panel short circuit which in turn fried my AC System Capacitor and Clothes Dryer circuit. Excellent Customer Service calls by Gulf Power, Scapin Electric, and Quiqley AC. No cost to me whatsoever. This is the 3rd Gulf Power Meter to short circuit in less than 15 years. Old subdivision and original transformer here in Ridgefield 2. Brand new meter box, meter, 200 amp service panel with aluminum alloy circuit breakers and service bars. New Gulf Power aluminum underground wiring replaced about 4 years ago. Hmmmmm ??? Aluminum? Aluminum Alloy? Yup. 2010. Go figure.

So, in response to this I went to Home Depot to shop for a new 100 Amp Interior Service Panel to replace my 38 year old service panel. The local professional estimate was $750 and about a one day job. Guess what. ALL the new service panels have aluminum contact circuit breakers that attach to aluminum 120vac service bars. Wow. Go figure. The Home Depot Rep explained how ALL of the Commercial and Residential Service Panels and Circuit Breakers used aluminum alloy extensively. Copper is too expensive. Copper wiring in your post 1980 home working now with brand new aluminum alloy circuit breakers and service panels? Who would have guessed? Insurers refusing to underwrite new policies on our pre-1980 NW Florida homes because of aluminum wiring? We are being forced to decide between rewiring for about $15,000 with new Aluminum Alloy Service Panels and Circuit Breakers to replace our Aluminum Service Panels and Aluminum Alloy Circuit Breakers? Pretty sure that explanation is right next to the word 'Insanity' in the dictionary.

The estimate I got from a local provider to rewire my home, 1700sqft 3/2/2, was $10,000 and another $2-3,000 to repair the sheet rock damage. Repainting the entire interior was 'strongly recommended'. So, 4 years ago my house appraised for $275,000. Today it is worth about $170K. Maybe. I am receiving professional advice to rewire the aluminum circuits, remodel the kitchen and bathrooms, relandscape, and repair all the damage and repaint the interior from the rewiring job, and then be prepared to accept $150,000 IF an offer even comes along.

Do the math and you can see where the professional advice to 'invest' about $35,000 in order to sell at a paper loss of about $160,000 prior to closing costs defies rational logic.

If I could just get every Seller in NW Florida to pull their homes off the market I'll be we'd get one heckuva rebound in prices overnight.

Supply and Demand. It's that simple....

So, as a Pensacola Native Son I have decided that the most prudent course of action is to take care of my home and believe what the scientists and engineers have to say about aluminum wiring. It is as safe as copper as long as you don't exceed the circuit amp values by sheer acts of stupidity. I.E. plugging in about a dozen appliances to one socket and overheating the circuit. Do that and you will understand the limits of aluminum vs. copper. Copper wires simply handle that type of stupid behavior a little better.

My neighbors did exactly that about 5 years ago. Their house caught fire, burned to the ground due to no water in the Ferry Pass fire hydrants, and then moved in to their brand new 'copper wire' home 8 months later.

For the record I have decided NOT to replace my 38 year old aluminum service panel with a new aluminum alloy service panel. It works just fine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you are looking for someone to blame start in Tallahassee where our elected officials work with the Insurance Industry and be sure to vote in November.

Home Sweet Home.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Tue Sep 28 2010, 15:59
More and more, the word is getting out about this nightmare for homeowners. Many are unable to sell because they cannot afford to rewire right now...that includes me, too. Please pass the word along. Citizens Insurance, the insurer of "last" resort needs to change their ruling to cover our homes again. Get this...you can get insurance on a gulf front beach home (we all know the cost to replace these properties), but you cannot get coverage on a mere home worth less than $200,000 if it has aluminum wiring. Go figure!
By Holly Lovett,  Fri Oct 1 2010, 07:50
I am working with Channel 3 News here in Pensacola to run a story on this problem... if you have a nightmare to share - local homeowner, scalded buyer or agent, please call or email me at 850-554-0694 or hollylovett@kw.com and I'll give you the reporter's contact information. She called me yesterday & is ready to run with this!! Holly Lovett
By Local Insurance Agent - Rodney Quinn,  Wed Oct 6 2010, 08:55
This problem is a little deeper than most people believe. It's true that Citizens Property did accept aluminum wiring as long as there were copalum connectors for a short time. Other carriers also advised they would accept aluminum wiring if it was used on the major appliances only. They've changed their position on this matter also.

There are two ways to address this problem from an insurance standpoint: 1) Write an HO-8 with Lloyd's of London through TAPCO. 2) Write the home as a builder's risk and convert it to a standard homeowner's policy once the wiring has been updated.

In speaking to electricians and home builders, the cost to re-wire a house ranges from $3,000 to $8,000. Of course, to close a deal with aluminum wiring, the real estate contract needs to delineate who pays for the upgrade.

Here's the problem: This nightmare lends itself to older homes (35-40 years or older) which require a 4 point inspection. Otherwise, an insurance agent, a realtor and/or insurance carrier would not know the type of wiring installed. Per the homebuilders, newer homes are built with aluminum wiring. (problem, problem)

Sounds like the problem is "old" aluminum wiring opposed to "new" aluminum wiring. Unless a carrier changes their underwriting guidelines to accept aluminum wiring in some form, the problem will become larger than we care to know.

Rodney Quinn
Quinn Insurance and Investments, LLC 850-494-2267
By Nancy Humphrey,  Wed Oct 6 2010, 13:10
Rodney, thanks for your updates. I will be checking with the local builders I know, as I have heard of no builders using aluminum wiring in today's newer homes!! The problem with HO-8 or surplus lines policies is that most lenders will not accept this type of insurance coverage. Each lender may be different and it will be up to the buyer to find out what type of policy they need. Recent example - within the last two weeks a house on my street lost a buyer because they could not find insurance, especially "affordable" insurance. The sellers could not afford to rewire, so they had to take their house off the market.

As far as the copalum connectors, no one from Citizens or my local agent even asked about this when insuring my home. Of course, my home is not yet 30 years old and I was not required to have a 4-point inspection.

Rodney, do you have statistics on actual claims from aluminum wiring fires? I've asked for this information from the Florida Insurance Commission office and they do not seem to have anything concrete to furnish.

Thanks for your input...keep us posted!
By Nancy Humphrey,  Fri Oct 8 2010, 07:35
Mickey...from my understanding in talking with different insurance agents here in Pensacola, even those type of connectors will not be acceptable. I believe at one time they were, but no longer. You might ask to see the underwriting guidelines or call other agencies to verify this information. Good luck!
By Tom Joachimi,  Fri Oct 8 2010, 16:20
I HAVE BEEN AN ELECTRICAN IN THIS AREA FOR MANY YEARS. I AM A MASTER ELECTRICAN AND AN INSTRUCTOR AT PJC. I TEACH THE MEN THE NATIONAL ELECTRIC CODE TO PREPARE THEM TOTAKE THEIR MASTER AND JOURNEYMAN TEST. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE SMALL ALUMINUM WIRES THE WERE USED TO POWER THE OUTLETS AND SWITCHES HAVE CAUSED FIRES IN THE PAST. THE LARGE ALUMINUM WIRES THAT ARE USED TO POWER THE NOW ARE APPROVED FOR THE PURPOSE BY THE NATIONAL ELECTRIC CODE. THESE WIRES HAVE NOT CAUSED THE PROBLEMS THAT THE SMALL WIRES WERE CAUSING. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE MADE A BLANKET STATEMENT ABOUT ALUMINUM WIRE. I NOW WORK AT AN ELECTRICAL SUPPLY STORE. WE SELL THE LARGE ALUMINUM WIRE TO ALL THE ELECTRICAL COMPANIES THAT WIRE THE NEW HOUSES. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE STATEMENT WAS ABOUT HOUSES BUILT BEFORE 1980. WHAT ABOUT HOUSES THAT ARE BEING BUILT TODAY? IS THIS GOING TO EFFECT THESE NEW HOUSES? THE INSURANCE COMPANIES NEED TO MAKE A STATEMENT AS TO WHAT WIRES THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. THE HOUSING INDUSTRY HAS SUFFERED ALOT DUE TO THE NEW 2008 CODES FOR TAMPER RESISTANT OUTLETS AND THE ARC FAULT BREAKERS. I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ABOUT HOW THEY MADE THEIR DECISION. I AGREE WITH NANCY HUMPHREY THE WE NEED TO SEE THE UNDERWRITING GUIDELINES. WHAT NEXT?
By Tes Hobbs,  Mon Oct 11 2010, 20:45
I've been on the phone all day today researching the 8/1/10 "state mandate" that homes with aluminum wiring are "uninsurable." This is across the board, all insurance companies, including Citizens, all houses with aluminum wiring, not just the older ones. No insurance companies in Florida will write a new policy for those houses effec. 8/1/10. Also, something most people don't know yet, but when it comes time to renew your policy, you will receive a cancellation notice. We got this info directly from Citizens Ins. today. We have a 1973 house with aluminum wiring. We bought it 18 months ago and didn't know about the aluminum wiring until 60 days after the closing. Our house was supposedly "totally renovated" when we bought it, but they lied and didn't put in new wiring. We were told by the Board of Realtors that there was nothing that could be done about the seller not disclosing the aluminum wiring. However, effec. 8/1/10, sellers are required to disclose aluminum wiring and also to disclose that the house is "uninsurable." Citizens informed us today that we'll be notified in writing in Febuary that our insurance will be cancelled effective 3/1/11 when it is supposed to be renewed. Last year we paid $1,000 to put alumacon-connectors thru-out our house. Now that is not acceptable. (teshobbs@aol.com)
By Tes Hobbs,  Mon Oct 11 2010, 20:54
Just wanted to mention that we got a quote to rewire our 1575 sq ft house "to bring it up to current codes" per the "state mandate." The estimate is $8,000 to $10,000 for the electrical, plus the cost of replacing the drywall that has to be torn out and then the cost to repaint the interior of our house. We were also told we'll have to move out of our house for at least one month for the work to be done. So all told we're talking close to $15,000. We are new retirees on a fixed income and don't have that kind of money available. Electricians and contractors require payment in full, not monthly payments. Also, we can't get a "home improvement loan" because our house is now considered "uninsurable" because of the aluminum wiring. We were also told our house now has "zero value." We bought the house 18 mos. ago for $217,000. (teshobbs@aol.com)
By Tes Hobbs,  Mon Oct 11 2010, 21:10
As I already said, I've been at this all day today. I called Gov. Crists' office and was told that Crist signed this "law." Actually, it's a "mandate" but pretty much the same thing. I was also told, rather flippantly, that "a laws a law" and that "if you don't comply and bring the house up to current codes, then you'll just have to be uninsured." I was also told that Alex Sink, the State Fire Marshall, who is now running for Governor, signed this "mandate" too. I emailed her but have not received a response. Of course, I don't expect a response from her. I hope this info is helpful to all those affected by this new "mandate."
By Mikeandrobin,  Fri Oct 15 2010, 18:35
My mother in law had a stroke in Feb and is in a nursing home. We remodeled the 1972 house in Niceville and have it up for sale. Today our realtor called and told us the issue with aluminum wiring and that the house is apparently un-insurable. We are at a complete loss as what to do, there just isn't $10K available for us to fix this. How can they do this, especially at this time of depressed housing? We just went from having to sell cheap to not being able to sell (or insure) at all.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat Oct 16 2010, 22:52
Yes, and the stories continue to build folks. I don't think our politicians realize what is brewing across our fine state, do you?

Tes...when you bought your home, did you have a home inspection done? If so, the type/condition of wiring would have been in your report. At the time you bought your home, aluminum wiring was not the issue that it is today, so the seller would have had no reason to make a separate disclosure. This is extremely frustrating to you, especially trying to get a home improvement loan. Please do not give up in contacting our legislators! This is total craziness!
By Leslie Jones,  Mon Oct 18 2010, 12:35
There is no mandate stating that FL insurance companies can not insure aluminum wiring - it is up to the individual company. I have a buyer that just got insurance. We were in an uproar after reading this blog and thinking we could not get insurance - all to find out it was not true.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Mon Oct 18 2010, 13:41
Leslie,
Thanks for your update. My information came straight from buyers and sellers who were attempting to get insurance, as well as quite a few insurance agencies! After talking with the Florida Insurance Commissioner's office regarding this issue, I was told that surplus lines would be an option (more expensive and not regulated by the state). Hopefully, after reading your post, there are some companies writing regular homeowner's insurance?? If so, please advise the name of the company so that I can pass this information along. Also, please let me know what type of policy your client received. Was it an HO-3 or an HO-8? There is a difference in premium and coverage. I am looking forward to hearing about this company! Thanks!
By Jeni,  Tue Nov 16 2010, 09:03
To Leslie Jones, what insurance carrier did your buyer use? I currently have a home in Fort Walton Beach up for sale and I have found only one carrier (Gulf Coast Insurance who use TAPCO which is pricey) but they will write a policy on homes with aluminum wiring.

The reason TAPCO can write a policy is because they are a brokerage service. This is they the pricing they offered me(based on the info I provided on the home)
3 months = $802.44
6 months = 1522.05
1 year contract $3.044.10
You can do a month to month but must rewrite the contract each time. TAPCO will reimburse the homeowners if they sell their homes less 25% (but only on policies 6months or longer, 3 months is nonrefundable).

We have sent a letter to Congressman Miller and I have been calling Gov. Crists office.

READY TO GO TO THE NEWS MEDIA and NEWPAPER with this one as alot of people in the state of FL is unaware of this. I spoke to Gulf Power this morning and had no idea this was happening and wants to know more about the mandate. Has anyone seen a copy of this and how do I get a copy?

Jennifer Willis,
850 368 4037
315 982 3931
By Central Florida,  Fri Dec 31 2010, 17:51
What's the latest greatest situation on aluminum wiring in regards to finding reasonable home owners insurance? Several weeks ago I talked with several insurance agents to include an inspection agency that does four point inspections on older homes and they pretty much told me that my aluminum wired house was not able to be insured. We did find one insurance company that was willing to do a four point inspection on our home and consider providing coverage at a increased cost which was over double for what we're currently paying. If this is the situation how come the State Insurance Commissioners Office hasn't chimed in a grandfathered these aluminum wired homes built in the mid 60s to early 70s. These houses were all up to code when they were built and just a few years ago most of these older homes passed their buyer's inspection with flying colors. Insurance companies as a whole have the consumer at a total disadvantage. If it's not aluminum wiring it is dry wall from china or gray pvc plumbing in your home. Who knows what the next big thing is going to be in regards to not getting your home insured or having your annual premium go through the roof. In my opinion we has Floridians get raked over the coals more than most States when it comes to getting gouged by the insurance companies. The State Of Florida seriously needs to get involved an get a handle of the situation so people can buy, sell and just flat out insure their homes. Your going to see more folks who have the luxury of having paid off their homes not purchase any insurance and just take their chances.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Mon Jan 3 2011, 12:16
Hello folks and Happy New Year! It seems there haven't been any updates on the aluminum wiring issue. Personally, I am getting quotes to totally rewire my home...in the near future. Thankfully, my current carrier renewed our policy in November, 2010, so I have another year of coverage. If anyone has any new information, please post it here!
By Tim,  Thu Jan 6 2011, 16:00
I bought my 1,385 sq. foot house 15 years ago. Years later (about 5 years), I found out I have aluminum wiring throughout my house. It didn't seem to matter much then because I had it checked to make sure it was poperly installed and terminated (yes, I know aluminum wiring can be or become dangerous) and still no signs of any danger (I periodically check the most used recepticles and switches). There were no questions asking if I had aluminum wiring by my insurance company. Well, today is a different story. I'm literally afraid of what is happening...insurance premium more than doubling to $3,250 yearly making my mortgage payment go up by $300. If someone out there knows something or someone I don't, please post a comment here. Thank you very much.
By Selectricity,  Fri Jan 21 2011, 17:45
Hello my name is Dustin with Selectricity. I personnaly have re-wired at least 15 houses with aluminum. We leave the larger stranded aluminum wiring for the appliances. Like Tom mentioned above, we wire new houses with the larger wire all the time. When we re-wire a house we do not damage the sheet rock . If we do it is very minor damage. You need to make sure you are clear with the contractor you choose about the wall and ceiling damage. Otherwise you could end up with well over 2 thousand in wall and ceiling repair.
Unfortunately Insurance companies do not want to take any risk these days. This will continue to be a issue until someone agrees to insure a house with aluminum wiring.
By Schneekalt,  Sat Jan 29 2011, 10:13
I am just now finding out about this aluminum wiring issue, as well. My 1,100-sq ft home in East Pensacola Heights was built in 1972. I knew it had aluminum wiring when I bought it four years ago, but there was no issue then with getting insurance, which i have through Citizens. But from reading one of the earlier posts, it sounds as if I am about to be dropped this year.
My wife and I were planning to put our home up for sale later this year because we have to move out of state because of our jobs. And now this.
I am going to be putting in a call to our legislators who make up the Northwest Florida Legislative Delegation, and I would hope anyone else reading this blog would please consider doing the same:

--State Senator Greg Evers -- Tallahassee office, (850) 487-5000; District office, (850) 689-0556; e-mail: Greg@gregevers.com
--State Representative Clay Ford -- Tallahassee office, (850) 488-0895; District Office, (850) 595-5550; or e-mail: Clay@clayford.us
--Rep. Clay Ingram -- Tallahassee office, (850) 488-8278; District Office, (850) 494-7330
--Rep. Doug Broxson -- Tallahassee office, (850) 488-8188; District Office, (850) 916-5436
--Senator Don Gaetz -- District office, (850) 897-5747; Senate VOIP: 40400; Toll Free: 1-866-450-4366; Tallahassee Office, (850) 487-5009.

Remember, the more of us who tell them about this serious problem, the more likely our legislators are to quickly do something about it.
By Eugene,  Sun Feb 6 2011, 13:16
What percentage of fires in Pensacola in the last 30 years have been attributed to aluminum wiring?
I have aluminum wiring and had it checked. We've never had an issue.
By Allan Erps,  Sun Feb 6 2011, 17:24
Interesting circumstances!
By Donna Gallegos,  Wed Feb 9 2011, 12:48
Schneekalt
Call around and ask about TAPCO Lords of London Insurance, MY co-associate just had them insure a home with aluminum wiring. Contact me if you need a company to contact
By Selectricity,  Wed Feb 23 2011, 17:05
I hate to say it, but I don't think its going away. I am a electrical contractor in Pensacola. It is all I can do just to convince the insurance companies that the large wiring is OK. We have continued rewiring houses and only replacing the smaller branch circuits which saves about two thousand dollars. So far none of my customers have had any problems after we get done.
There have probably been very few fires actually from aluminum wiring in Pensacola. About 30% of the homes we come across are improperly wired with aluminum. They have copper outlets on aluminum wire, and on top of that they have the wires doubled up on the screw terminals, not to mention the 6 or 7 junction boxes in the attic.. These are the houses that are a danger and have put a bad name on aluminum wiring. We have always done co/alr jobs for years where we repair all the connections and replace the devices with Co/alr rated devices. I have never once had a callback. If I could open a insurance company just to insure houses with aluminum wiring in Pensacola I would. Then I would make sure the houses had a licensed electrical contractor do a co/alr job. I could probably get rich. I doubt that after the co/alr job that any houses would ever have a fire.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Thu Feb 24 2011, 08:38
Thanks, Selectricity, for your comments on aluminum wiring. I agree that this is not going away and we just have to deal with it. When I get ready to rewire, I will give you guys a call!
By Tim,  Sat Mar 5 2011, 12:04
I just had my 1973 1,400 sq. ft. home's electrical system brought up to 2008 code including replacing the aluminum branch wiring (and a lot more). Zero sheet rock damage!!! I also just passed wind mitigation and 4-point inspections, but I still can't find homeowner's insurance for less than $1,500 a year. Sheez!!!
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat Mar 5 2011, 13:19
Older homes are getting more expensive to insure. If you live in Pensacola, try calling Bobby Emmons at Thompson Walden Insurance for a quote. Good luck!
By Mic,  Sun Mar 6 2011, 08:58
I have been an Electrician for 34 years, Masters Licence since 1988. The National Electrical Code and The National Fire Protection Agency, allowed the use of Aluminum branch wire from 1965 Until 1975. Now home owners are unable to acquire home owners Insurance if their home contains Aluminum Branch Wire.
If i were a smart lawyer, and by no means am I . I would say a case could be made against the NEC and NFPA for allowing the Aluminum wire to be used. They were the "Experts". More testing should have been done before making Al wire to be legally used.
And just a note to Jp above do not confuse the Cu/Al alloy with pure Aluminum. The alloy does not have the same expansion and contraction problem as does pure Aluminum, which when the connection is made to a dissimilar metal is what causes the over heating problem with Aluminum
By Tim,  Tue Mar 8 2011, 15:54
GOOD NEWS !!! All of the above posts scared me needlessly. I just got my house insured for $1,275. Of course, you have to meet their criteria as you would with any other insurance company. After asking me all his questions about my house and giving me my quote, I said "Wait a minute, I just spent $6,000 getting rid of my aluminum branch wiring and you didn't ask anything about that!". He responded that It's not a question they ask because it has no affect on wether or not we will insure your home or how much we will charge. Unbelievable! This is a long time, well known, reputable insurance company that has been recommended more than once. And the agent lives in Tallahassee! Forget everything you read in the above posts!!! This post should be at the top so it will be read.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Tue Mar 8 2011, 19:33
Tim...very interesting post. I would be curious to find out who your insurance agency is. Also, how old is your house...sounds like it didn't need a 4-point inspection. I am very suspicious when "no questions are asked." Most folks don't know what's covered/not covered unless they thoroughly read their policies and/or the insurance company's underwriting guidelines. I am happy you got coverage! Please share your insurance company name so others can check this out!!
By Tim,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 10:05
My house was built in 1975, The carrier is Liberty Mutual. I did need proof of a wind mitigation. Although he asked general questions about my roof, ac/heating unit etc., I did not need proof of a 4-point inspection.
By Freedom,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 11:52
Tim. I would say that you got very lucky but that has not been the norm in the last 6 months or so for buyers and sellers. My neighbor had three deals fall through because insurance would not cover the aluminum wires. They had to finally rewire to get the 4th buyer to sign the deal. I would like to know the agents name and phone number in order to give his info out to prospective buyers of my home.
By Freedom,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 11:58
Eugene.. you asked "What percentage of fires in Pensacola in the last 30 years have been attributed to aluminum wiring?"

The answer is no one really can answer that question. I called the Fire Marshals office in Tallahassee and asked if there is data that breaks down Electrical fires; copper vs aluminum. Guess what there is not such data. All they record is the distribution or material first ignited.
By Freedom,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 12:04
Also Tim, did you just buy this house or did you renew a policy? If the later what was the cost of your insurance prior?
By Nancy Humphrey,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 12:25
FYI everyone....regarding Tim's earlier post about Liberty Mutual Insurance. I just got off the phone with their Tallahassee, Florida office. I specifically asked if they are writing homeowner's insurance coverage for any home with aluminum wiring. The person helping me verified and said NO...they are NOT writing coverage on any home with aluminum wiring. If you would like to call and verify, their number is: 850.521.0085.

I was excited thinking that maybe there was a regular carrier writing coverage; I used to have coverage with them. Sadly, this is not true:(
By Freedom,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 14:53
Then what the heck was he talking about?
By Nancy Humphrey,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 15:20
I'm not sure, but it may have been who he talked to at Liberty Mutual. The person I spoke with wasn't sure at first, so she put me on hold to verify the correct information. She did state that they do not write coverage for homes with aluminum wiring. I don't like all the confusion surrounding this issue. Bottom line is this...when Citizens Insurance, our insurer of "last resort" won't write coverage, then none of the other companies in Florida will write coverage, EXCEPT surplus lines. Surplus lines are not regulated by the State of Florida and the premiums are much, much more. This information was supplied to me by the Florida Insurance Commissioners Office.
By Freedom,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 19:01
I have been touch with my State Rep and sending an email at his request on this issue. Has anyone else done the same thing and what were the results of your communication?
By Tim,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 19:23
I bought the 1975 home in 1995 and homeowner's insurance was $400 with State Farm. After Erin and Opal, that price tripled. I switched to Nationwide for a lower rate then after Ivan, it went up again, where last year, I paid $1.500. When Nationwide decided not to renew my insurance when it expires this month, Royal Palm took over my policy for $3,300. After wind mitigation and removing aluminum branch wiring, it went down to $2,150. Then I got a quote in Feb. from Gulf Stream for $1,550. Finally, I got a quote from Liberty Mutual for $1,250. And I still insist that I was told they will insure homes with aluminum branch wiring and I was on a mission to spread what I thought was good news. Well, now I'm thinking I may have misunderstood something. If so, I owe everyone reading this a sincere apology. Wow! By the way, the electricians (Jim Martin Elec.) that rewired my home did so without ANY damage to the sheetrock or paneling! Even the wires that went horizontally (like under windows).That, I'll swear by and the county inspector and Van Deese (who did the wind mitigation and 4-point inspections) will verify. The inspector showed me pictures he took of sheetrock damage done by other electricians in other homes recently. Unbelievable!!! For $6,000, they brought the entire electrical system up to 2008 code (much more than just replacing aluminum wiring). It took them 7 working days and I was able to stay in my home.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Wed Mar 9 2011, 20:10
Tim...yes there is alot of misinformation floating around, even from the insurance companies. Thank you so much for your post! I have talked with some electricians who aren't aware of these changes. So, it's not surprising that everyone doesn't know the true situation. That is the point of this blog...to educate.

Do us all a favor....please post the phone number and email for Jim Martin Electric. It sounds like he did a great job at a reasonable price. People need to know about him!

Thank you!
By Freedom,  Thu Mar 10 2011, 07:20
after doing some research on this issue and having my blood pressure boil I have been in touch with my State Reps office. The staff member that I talked to has asked me to email him the information. I did that this morning.

On the States CFO web site they say that "most insurers have determined that homes wired with aluminum have an increased risk for fire. Most, it not all, insurers have submitted a change in their underwriting criteria to the OIR. "
SO i called the OIR in mississippi and they have not issues with aluminum wires, the same goes for Alabama. It is just FLORIDA....
The CFO website also states " Since there is currently no legislation in place preventing a company from excluding coverage to homes wired with aluminum, the OIR has no choice bot to approve the underwriting change."
I am sure that someone had to ask for statistical data, I called the State Fire Marshals office and they DO NOT track electrical fires by type (copper vs aluminum)Also, I have found is that in 2008 Citizens insurance was looking at a $223 million investment loss and if we remember the insurance companies wanted to not write ANY home owner polices after the 2004/2005 hurricane season....... its an assumption but, it would seem that this is an out for the insurance industry to help recover from the losses of 6 years ago.

It is true that aluminum wires do pose a fire risk but then again so does copper. As long as people over load circuits and not maintain their home...... fire department will have a job regardless of what wire material is used.

I suggest that everyone that has a vested interest in this write and call your state rep. Over load their phone banks. The can not ignore us for ever......... Remember the septic tank inspection they passed.... enough people created a STINK about that and had it put on hold........ Please everyone be proactive and push Tallahassee on this and wake them up..
By Nancy Humphrey,  Thu Mar 10 2011, 08:59
Thank you for your research and post!
By Tim,  Wed Mar 16 2011, 12:12
Aluminum Branch Wiring
IE #008-11 – March 16, 2011
______________________________________________________

Effective 8/1/2010 and as announced in Agent Technical Bulletin #005-10, the Uninsurable Properties section of the personal residential Rules of Practice was amended to clarify that potentially hazardous electrical conditions include properties with aluminum branch wiring circuits.

The rule change was to address concerns related to the original installation (1965-1972) of single-strand aluminum/solid aluminum wiring connected to the lower branch circuits (receptacles, switches, lights and small appliances). Homes with aluminum main service wires and heavier 240 volt circuits that feed major appliances (e.g., dryers, ranges, air conditioners) are eligible for coverage with Citizens.

Citizens has continued to research an acceptable remediation/repair for homes with aluminum branch wiring and currently accepts homes meeting at least one of the following conditions:
· The home has been rewired completely with copper wiring.
· All aluminum-to-copper connections (e.g., light fixtures, fan fixtures, outlets and switches) have been repaired via the COPALUM crimp method.
· All aluminum-to-copper connections (e.g., light fixtures, fan fixtures, outlets and switches) have been repaired via the AlumiConn® connector method.

Note: In all cases of aluminum branch wiring, Citizens requires that all aluminum branch circuit wire connections to the service panel must have been inspected and repaired as necessary to ensure no corrosion/oxidation is present and all connections are tight, before Citizens can insure the home.

An application for a home that has all aluminum branch wiring circuit connections remediated using one of the methods above may be submitted unbound to Citizens Underwriting for review. To establish eligibility for coverage, documentation from a Florida-licensed electrician confirming that all aluminum-to-copper connections have been repaired via the COPALUM crimp method or the AlumiConn connector method must be submitted. In addition, the property must meet all other eligibility requirements.
__________________________________________________

Agents and Customer Service Representatives may submit underwriting questions via the Contact Us option on our website. You should receive a response within two business days.

This e-mail is not spam. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation communicates by e-mail. You received this e-mail because you are an appointed agent with Citizens or we received a request to add your address to our e-mail distribution list. If you are an appointed agent, removing your name from the distribution list requires termination of your appointment. To have your appointment terminated, contact Agent Administration at agents@citizensfla.com or 800.737.5822. If you are not an appointed agent or if you received this message in error, you can unsubscribe via our website.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
http://www.citizensfla.com

Liberty Mutual will insure you also...verified!
By Habib,  Thu Mar 17 2011, 00:00
The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!
By Chris,  Thu Mar 17 2011, 19:45
While it is encouraging that Citizens has clarified the conductors of concern and a few methods of repair, there will still be problems with the limited options they allow. There are also UL Listed receptacles, switches and wire nuts that could be used to replace the existing equipment that have been proven to be safe and reliable long term. There are quite a few connections where the COPALUM tool will not fit, and the large Alumiconn connectors will not always fit into existing electrical boxes. Citizens is basing its policies on outdated and ill-informed guidelines from the CPSC, who refuses to objectively evaluate the situation. If I were a homeowner who had to spend thousands of dollars to replace or "repair" my wiring needlessly, I would be looking into legal remedies.
By Orlandohomeowner,  Mon Apr 11 2011, 12:02
I have bought a home recently and it has aluminum wiring in the 50 amp breakers for the range and AC. Sawgrass Mutual found it after we closed and have cancelled me. I can only get one other carrier to write a policy besides citizens and the other carrier is significantly more. I have called eight electricians which have all told me this is crazy and the house is completely to code. Sawgrass agrees on that it is to code but won't cover the house. The electricians have stated they currently wire new homes this way. More and more new homes being wired this way due to the cost of copper. This is crazy and I am now out over $600 and furious.
By Selectricity,  Mon May 9 2011, 18:15
Nobody uses copper for the large feeder wires anymore. It is around $7 a foot. Who wants to spend that kind of money when aluminum is $2 a foot for the same amperage. My company Selectricity and Jim Martin are the only couple of companies that don't damage the sheetrock. We have done over 40 houses with the people still living there and with no damage to the walls. So we have a ton of references of customers you can talk to and ask questions before having the work done. Please call us at 850-346-7689 for a free consultation. You can also email us at selectricity@cox.net or visit our website http://www.electricianpensacola.com or http://www.aluminumwiringpensacola.com
By Johnc136,  Sun Jun 5 2011, 10:11
Sen Gaetz was on an WSRE Legislative Forum this week, and I posted a question to him: Are you doing anything about the plight of hownowners with aluminum wiring? He answered that it is no longer a problem, and that Citizens, State Farm and others are renewing policies. I am skeptical, so, Nancy, are you closing on houses with aluminum wiring? Is it truly now a non-issue, and people can get their newly purchased homes insured?
By Sheila,  Sun Jun 5 2011, 11:59
I have an update from the Consumer Product Service Commission Vote Update of April 13,2011, sent to me by Sen. Gaetz's office on 5/31/2011. I will be glad to forward the attachment to anyone who requests it. It addresses the posting of June 5, 2011 by Johnc136.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sun Jun 5 2011, 20:37
Sheila...please forward the attachment to me @ nancybhumphrey@cox.net!

There are currently two methods of repairing aluminum wiring. 1. COPALUM 2. ALUMICONN If one of these are done, then Citizens will insure you. Also, there may be some other companies coming onboard to insure as well. You will need to check with your local insurance agents availability and rates. When considering one of these methods (vs totally rewiring), consult your electrician for the best information.
By Sheila,  Mon Jun 6 2011, 07:09
Will do. Your blog has been so very helpful - thank you for it.
By Rcrx,  Mon Jun 13 2011, 18:01
Does anyone know if any other companies besides Citizens are covering aluminum with the fix?? I went with Tapco until this all gets sorted out???
By Nancy Humphrey,  Mon Jun 13 2011, 18:15
You really need to check with the insurance agencies in town, such as an independent agent who can write through a number of different companies. Each area in Florida is different. Companies will write in one area or zip code and not in another, depending on their risk and whether or not they have too much exposure. Good luck!
By Rcrx,  Tue Jun 14 2011, 18:28
Thanks for reply Nancy. As of last month I was told only Citizens writing at that time. I choose the Tapco cruddy policy and hoping it all shakes out but doesnt look like anything is changing. Going to have to go with the cheaper of 2 fixes after the 1st of the year!
By Nancy Humphrey,  Tue Jun 14 2011, 19:31
I think it depends on the age of your home and your location. Again, I would highly encourage you to check around with the different independent insurance agents in the area, such as: Thompson-Walden Insurance, Hiles-McLeod Insurance, Florida Insurance Agency, Fisher Brown Insurance, etc.
By Ronnas,  Tue Jun 21 2011, 06:17
Sheila, would you mind sending me a copy of the attachment on the update from the Consumer Product Service Commission Vote Update of April 13,2011? Really important to us as we are trying to get quotes on a home we are in the middle of purchasing.
Thank you.
rschindler4@yahoo.com
By Sheila,  Fri Oct 28 2011, 16:30
Anyone have the name of an insurance company in Pensacola/Fort Walton Beach area (other than Citizens) that will insure aluminum wiring with the AlumiConn repair? The US Consumer Product Safety Commission , Publication 516, dated June 2011 addresses the different fixes but the issue is which insurance companies will accept them, if any, at a reasonable rate? This publication can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov and http://www.SaferProducts.gov

Did the writer "Ronnas" find an insurance company. I apologize for not seeing your request for the CPSC bulletin.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Mon Nov 28 2011, 18:27
Sheila...I do not think anyone else will write coverage for homes that have the AlumiConn repair, except for Citizens. If you totally rewire your home, then you might have other company options, depending on the age and location of your home. The way my insurance agent explained this was....insurance companies will write in certain zip code areas until they have reached their maximum exposure for that area. Once they reach this, they will close this area for new policies. This has happened in many areas of Pensacola. That is not to say they won't open them at a later date, however. It is very frustrating to homebuyers and sellers alike!

I still have aluminum wiring in my home and will probably totally rewire when the time comes, especially if I want to sell it and get the very best price.

Let me know if you have any additional questions, and if you find someone willing to write, please let us all know!

Thanks!

Nancy Humphrey, Broker Associate
Main Street Properties
850-206-5526
By Joe Chida,  Sat Jan 28 2012, 11:06
Good afternoon everyone, We are state wide electrical contractors and we feel your pain, we deal with the insurance companies everyday. There are alternative solutions that the insurance companies can accept. We work with them to resolve this problem betwee them and you the homeowner..The problem with aluminum wiring is there is a specific maintenance recommendation by device manufacturers when using it. Even the device have to be aluminum wiring rated to protect against fire. Aluminum burns and melts fast and causes extreme damage to equipment and the home. On top of this most homes in this scenario were also fitted with Federal Pacific Electrical panels and protective devices. These devices are very dangerous and have caused thousands of fires throughout the state. The problem is when a appliance or device fails and the breaker is suppose to trip or shut off the electricity..this is not the case with Federal Pacific, in turn the wire overheats and melts soarking causes fire and away you go. Aluminum wiring has specific maintenance guidlines that are recommended to insure the safety of your home. Also there are specific device that are to be used with aluminum wiring. These homes are 30-60 years old and have had little or no maintenance. so yes they are ticking time bombs. You can google the Federal Pacific and aluminum wiring ..you will be shocked. if you would like us to intercede and help you come up with a solution, please contact us...Thank You Wire Rite Electrical Service...321-626-8658..ask for Joe
By Bj,  Sat Mar 10 2012, 11:28
I contacted Tallahassee, Senators, and others locally and elsewhere, trying to find out latest info re AL wiring & problems, but no reassuring responses. We received notice of our insurance non-renewal and found out we can't get insurance except thru Lords of London, which is not regulated by the State. Can't find stats re # of fires caused by AL wiring, no justification, just "risk of exposure" from ins. companies I've talked with. Do we have grounds for a Class Action Law Suit? or other means to get these insurance issues under control. I'm so frustrated with all the 'officials' I've talked with and no one wants to do anything or take any action. I now have a home that is worth 0 and can't sell it without putting in $$$ and finding someone who isn't afraid to buy it. This whole issue has made our homes worthless!!! I'm mad and want to do something. We need to join forces and do something...unfortunately I don't know what to do, except what I've already done and gotten no where. This is not going away, but growing, involving more and more homeowners daily. Any suggestions? Thanks!
By Sheila,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 10:58
Bj, have you and others on this blog viewed the comments of "Tim" on Jackie Griffin's blogl of Mar. 8, 2011? Even though he replaced his aluminum wiring, his comments are interesting.

Who specifically have you contacted in Tallahassee and am assuming it was submitted in writing. I too would like to know If there are grounds for a class action lawsuit.

Citizen's Insurance Company will insure aluminum wiring (for a high price of course) if certain criteria is met.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 13:10
There seems to be alot of misinformation circulating as to who will/will not insure with aluminum wiring. Since I have aluminum wiring in my own home, this is of special interest to me. I keep in close touch with my insurance agent regarding this issue. Citizens Insurance will not insure a home with aluminum wiring...UNLESS you have done the Alumicon update, which is changing out the switches, outlets, light receptacles, etc. If you do that method, Citizens will insure. There are surplus lines companies (Lloyds of London) who will insure a home with aluminum wiring, however, it is an HO-8 policy and the premiums are higher.

Long story short, if you have aluminum wiring, you either rewire, do the Alumicon method, pay for a surplus lines policy or pray your current insurance carrier doesn't cancel you!

Thanks, Nancy
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 13:17
I just read Tim's comments on Jackie Griffin's blog. I have asked him to let me know who the insurance company/agent is. That sounds too good to be true and you know what they say about that. That's why misinformation is so dangerous. Hopefully I will hear back from him.
By Sheila,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 13:59
Nancy, do you know the names of the representatives who were contacted and their responses (all in writing of course). Any comment as to why other insurance companies have not followed suit with Citizens Insurance Company regarding aluminum wiring? It would seem the state of Florida would at least offer an assistance program similar to the ones for hurricane upgrades.
By Rick Jackson,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 14:05
Aluminium, copper, gold, silver. If it was originally rated to carry the load of the home in the first place, what's the big deal with the insurance companies. Do they have facts to base their concerns over?
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 21:47
Sheila....do not have any names of the representatives. The other insurance companies did follow Citizens in not writing homes with aluminum wiring...just check with your local insurance agent and you will find out. And Rick....not sure how to answer this. I am as frustrated as everyone else, since I have aluminum wiring in my own home! Try getting a straight answer...if you do, please let me know.
By Amy Hanley,  Sun Mar 25 2012, 19:25
We live on the Northeast side of Pensacola and like so many others, have been dropped because of aluminum wiring in our home. We have had 5-6 electricians over to our home, all with different solutions and a hefty bid, starting at $10,000 for a 3100 sq foot home, and the bids go up from there. Please keep the information coming. We have been given consistent information from above regarding Citizens, that they supposedly will insure us if we do the alumicon updates throughout. Which agencies in town are affiliates with Lloyds of London?
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sun Mar 25 2012, 19:32
Amy...check with the independent insurance agencies in town for a quote from Lloyds of London....i.e. Thompson Walden Insurance, Sue Todaro Insurance, Hiles-McLeod Insurance, etc. Good luck!
By Big_island_bound,  Thu Apr 12 2012, 14:02
I also have alluminum wiring, and in getting ready to put my home on the market was informed that that there would be a problem with the wiring and thus the marketability. I inherited my hom in late 2009 and got insurance the following February without a problem. I live in the Scenic Heights area. I recently bought a home in Hawaii on the Big Island and was also told that I was going to have problems insuring that home as it lies within Lava Zone 2, 1 being the most uninsurable because of lave activity....Now all this hype about alluminum wiring as it pertains to getting insurance is crazy. When I purchased my home in Hawaii I was told that the only companies that would insure was Lloyds of London or the state's insurer of last resort HPIA, a state sponsored association similar to Florida's Citizen which would still have costed me about $3500 a year to in sure. Now here it is 2012, I have just renewed my HO policy in Pcola for around $1300 and my home in Hawaii where the insurance was going to cost me $3500 through the state sponsored company is a little less than my home here in Pensacola. I didn't push the question of "why", I just went with it. Now that being said, maybe you can do the math for me. Since I had a minor amount of time of coverage lapse, the only company I could find only offers coverage for $200K or higher. My home is work $120K to $135K and is insured for $204K. My home in Hawaii was in a similar uninsurable situation being in a lava zone, but I bought the home as a foreclosure at a deeply discounted rate and am insured to $307K and my premiums are the same for both homes and both homes have hurricane coverage....and get this...my homes are covered by the same insurance company based out of Ft. Lauderdale! On the other hand, both my homes are paid for, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. You be the judge! BTW, my home in Hawaii has copper wiring.
By Sheila,  Sun Apr 29 2012, 20:42
Has anyone heard that the Alumni-Con modification to aluminum wiring will not be acceptable to insurance companies within the next two or three years? If anyone has any information concerning this, would appreciate your response. Thank you.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat Jun 9 2012, 17:34
Sheila, I have not heard this. As far as I know, Citizens will write homes with the Alumicon connections. Check with your local insurance agent for the most up to date information.
By ridgeville1,  Sun Jun 10 2012, 06:10
We purchased a bank owned home with a “Home Warranty” When we applied for insurance we discovered it had Aluminum wiring and a bad entrance box. The warranty company refused to cover anything including a faulty air conditioner because we didn’t get a “home inspection”. We replaced the entrance ($1300) and the A/C unit. Does any one know if either the bank or warranty co are share any of the liability in this?
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sun Jun 10 2012, 16:46
Usually when you buy a foreclosure, it is sold "AS-IS." Usually there are no disclosures, as the bank has never occupied the property. Discovering items about the property are usually up to the buyer, which is why a home inspection, 4-point inspection, etc. are highly encouraged. These inspections would have revealed the type of wiring, plumbing, other problems, etc. This way, you would have known before you closed on the property of any possible problems.
By Fort Lauderdale Water Damage,  Mon Jun 18 2012, 09:59
Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.
By Patricia B,  Wed Jun 20 2012, 08:25
I bought a bank-owned home in Casselberry, FL about 6 months ago. During the inspection it was discovered that the home had aluminum wiring, which comes with the usual insurance and safety problems. I decided to purchase anyway and negotiated a $7,500.00 drop in the purchashing price with the bank. I did a complete re-wire for $7,000, and since the electrician had to bring everything up to code I- got some extra things thrown in, including outside outlets in front and back. He also .wired new coach lights outside the garage and exterior motion detector spotlights all around the house, plus added some recessed lighting in a couple of places I wanted inside; all this without extra charge. The work took a little longer than expected, about 3-4 weeks, but I had a place to stay until then so it wasn't a big deal for me personally. There was drywall damage but kept to a minimum; nothing I couldnt patch up myself with some plaster afterwards. Its been about 4 months since work was completed and everything is working fine so far. If anyone in the Orlando/Seminole County area wants to get the same service the electrician I used is Victor Suarez, owner of AES Inc (Alexander Electrical Services). His phone number is 407-729-6207. I believe he changed the company name because he expanded his services to include drywall and I believe plumbing. Let him know Nick in Casselberry recommended him - hopefully it can get you a break in the price! PS - Nancy thanks for the blog it helped out tremendously when I was researching the whole aluminum wiring situation, and you probably don't remember but a quick call to you also gave me a lot of insight. Thanks again!
By Nancy Humphrey,  Wed Jun 20 2012, 10:01
You are welcome!
By Stacey,  Wed Jul 11 2012, 13:24
Hi Nancy, My name is Stacey Martin-Dees. I run my dad's electrical business Jim Martin Electric Co., Inc. here in Pensacola. I had been reading some of the posts and saw where you had requested our information to be able to get in contact with us about the rewiring of homes. Let me tell you a little bit about us. We have been in business since 1954 and we specialize in residential homes. We are licensed and insured. I have been working for my dad for the past 15 years and wouldn't trade it for anything! He is an amazing man. He is out there to make a living but not take advantage of people. That is how we have made it all these years!! Is by repeated customers and referals. No advertisement, all word of mouth!! Anyway, with our rewiring, we have some excellent electricians that work very well with all of our customers. You DO NOT have to move out of your home while it is being rewired. We work from room to room and we clean up after ourselves. It usually takes from 5-7 days. Depending on the size of the home. IF you were to have any damage to your sheetrock, which a bunch of houses we have done had no sheetrock damage, we will cover the cost for that. We have a sheetrock man on stand by that takes care of that for us. One lady said she couldn't even believe that there was a hole there!! Soooo, with that being said, please feel free to give us a call to come out and give you a FREE estimate at anytime!! Can't wait to hear from you!!!

Stacey Martin-Dees/Office Manager
Jim Martin Electric Co., Inc.
7920 Old Palafox Hwy.
Pensacola, FL 32534
(850)484-6851 Office
(850)484-9168 Fax
(850)324-1212 (my cell#)
staceymartindees@bellsouth.net (email)
By Nancy Humphrey,  Fri Jul 13 2012, 09:53
Thank you Stacey for giving us all your contact information. I will be contacting you.
By W. Stevenson,  Tue Jul 24 2012, 13:40
I would love to find the equivalent of Jim Martin Electric Co. in Broward County, Florida, for a quote to rewire.

An insurance claim against FIGA is getting stalled by adjuster who does not understand a meltdown at the circuit panel is a behind-the-walls problem; i.e., aluminum and copper expand and contract at different rates and can cause loosening of connections, unbeknownst to the homeowners. Next thing, A/C compressor goes out, lights flicker, etc. None of this is visible and no symptoms prior to occurrence.

Can anyone comment on how to explain this persuasively to an inside adjuster?

Wilma S.
By the_banna,  Mon Oct 29 2012, 14:18
Apparently Citizens (Administered by the State of FL) will no longer insure homes even with the Alumicon OR Comalum connectors. I know this because not only were we unable to insure our home through Citizens but my best friend received a notice from Citizens saying her insurance was to be cancelled unless she had her home rewired! This is really ridiculous... I am certain the insurance commissioner will not step in because the state of FL is financially vested in Citizens. However I read today that there is a class action lawsuit against Citizens because of overvaluation of homes for insurance purposes! ( Which has earned the state of Florida a pretty penny....no doubt) My point in all this is that it is clear, that this is less about wires and more about profits for the State of Florida. If they can deny insurance to a huge number of homes... they save in the long run when, if there is a natural disaster... FEMA can cover those without insurance!! I am motivated to find a way to stop this. Elections are soon... Vote out those in state and local offices who are not willing to help homeowners with this insurance issue!!! Time to get rid of the current insurance commissioner.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Tue Nov 6 2012, 11:32
I haven't heard anything about Citizens not insuring homes with the AlumiCon or Copalum connections! As a matter of fact, I just spoke with my insurance agent within the last week to get updates on this issue. He did tell me there is another company named Southern Oaks who will now write coverage, of course, depending on your location and if it's available in your area. In addition, another agent in my office called a different insurance agent, plus Citizens, and was told that they still write coverage!

So, I'm not sure what's going on with your coverage. I'm assuming you do currently have one of these connectors? And your friend as well? Were they installed by a licensed electrician? Maybe that's their issue.

Keep us posted.
By Shazam,  Wed Nov 14 2012, 18:35
We are a buyer and have found a house in cordova park that we want to buy which contains aluminum wiring. I contacted Citizens and two other insurance companies this week and they all said that they wouldn't insure the house as long as it has aluminum wiring.

So, as the buyer, I am trying to understand how to purchase the house. The seller wants to close on the house first and put up some money into escrow for us to use to rewire the house after the closing is complete. But it's my understanding that we won't be able to close as long as it has the aluminum wire since we won't be able to get insurance...sort of a catch 22. Based on what I have read, it seems the only choice we have is move on from this house or convince the sellers to rewire before we close.

Thoughts?
By Nancy Humphrey,  Thu Nov 15 2012, 08:19
Well, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head! It would be so nice if buyers could get a temporary insurance policy for this and that lenders would accept this, but as far as I know they won't. Why don't the sellers go ahead and rewire?
By Sheila,  Thu Nov 15 2012, 14:03
Nancy, is Citizen's totally not insuring homes with aluminum wiring now or is it on a case by case basis? Citizen's recently assigned our policy to another company and have to assume the new company is aware of our aluminum wiring. Thanks.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Thu Nov 15 2012, 14:15
From what I understand, they are no longer writing NEW coverage for homes with aluminum wiring.
By Sheila,  Thu Nov 15 2012, 14:24
Anyone planning to challenge this to the Florida Insurance Commissioner?
By Nancy Humphrey,  Thu Nov 15 2012, 15:05
Good luck...many have raised questions and challenges! Right now, the only way they will write is if you either rewire, or do the Copalum or Alumicon methods. That pretty much goes for the rest of the insurance companies, too.
By zductive,  Sun Nov 18 2012, 15:14
Lots of good info here. My mother in law has a house in Titusville with Al wirng.
If I have the house mitigated with the copalum pigtail, $2800 v $10,000 for a rewire, wi I still have extreme difficulty when it comes time to sell. that is, is the copalum fix a waste of money in the long run?

Also, with zero value, can we appeal the real estate valuation to zro worth?
By homer1971,  Wed Nov 28 2012, 21:36
Question . . . I bought my house in 2009, which has aluminum wiring. The insurance company had a guy come inspect the property before granting me insurance. . . and it was granted. Several months later, out of curiosity, I sent an anonymous email to ask if they insure homes with aluminum wiring -- they responded with a big fat NO. They are still my insurer and I've renewed each year with them. I'm just wondering the consequences if there was a fire due to wiring, considering that they had a guy inspect it. I didn't try to pull a fast one or anything -- the guy came and saw what was there, and still granted me insurance. (I noticed on the checklist, nothing was checked under "Wiring")
Any input on this? Should I be worried?
By sselig,  Sun Feb 24 2013, 02:30
I wish we all could find a good lawyer who would represent all of us as political victims of this state's policy. More and more, even before the cancellation notice on my Dad's insurance after 40 years' coverage, I have noticed the state's and insurance companies' add ons for this and that to recover their costs of hurricane events. We are not just paying for our own insurance but for everyone else who lives on barrier islands and gets to look at the water, as well as for the state and its convoluted politics. This aluminum scam is just another brick in the wall. For Shame! Suzanne.
By Baycharters,  Sat May 18 2013, 08:16
Great info here, I bought my home in 2009, never heard of any issues with wiring after inspections/appraisals/etc.
I have been insured with Olympus since then due to being waterfront/barrier Island, my rate with them has quadrupled in the last 3 years, I understand all Olympus rates have gone thru the roof. So of course I start looking around comparing rates and learn some startling info, was told that when my policy was written Olympus was NOT writing policies on aluminum wired houses which mine IS, it has been told to me now by several other agents they believe my original agent was deceptive when he filled out my application, I was never asked anything about wiring and assumed the inspectors noted anything important to the agent/ins company.
So now I’m freaking out thinking my home has NEVER been covered in the last 4yrs I have been paying these inflated amounts due to some dishonest agent.
I have analyzed it from every angle and am so confused now, if I approach agent he might figure the game is up and notify Olympus of his “mistake” then I’m cancelled and will have to scramble to find some high priced policy in a week, again waterfront and aluminum wiring, so cant even fathom what the rate would be.
Maybe it was an honest mistake on his part and still I’m CANCELLED if the find out
What if I keep my mouth shut and have a claim and its denied????

Seems if I go after the agent it will boil down to his word against mine and still all the while I will be dropped from Olympus


Don’t know what to do here and to boot was thinking of selling my home this year, after reading this blog I learned there would be no buyers unless I fix it

This is crap, thanks Tallahassee
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat May 18 2013, 11:43
The aluminum wiring issues really became "an issue" in the summer of 2010. Sounds like you bought your home and were insured before then. They could come back and cancel you. If you are planning to sell, consider rewiring with copper so a new buyer can get a homeowner's insurance policy.
By Melissa Strombelline,  Mon Jul 1 2013, 21:30
Can you please give an update on this whole issue? We have been looking for a home since Oct in Niceville FL. (We have 3 kids and my Mother in law and sister in law-who is disabled-just moved in with us so needless to say we need a large home with lots of space to accomodate all 7 of us!! Finally found it today after months and months of searching and lots of stress/tears, only to find out as we are about to write an offer that it has aluminum wiring when our agent called the selling agent!! I thought I was going to vomit! First off, there is the insurance issue....second, there is the issue with the VA approving it even if we wanted to accept with a high rate and fix later...so we cant buy the home with AL wiring...what are our options?? Whatever we do, we will ask the seller to do it...but what is the deal with the pig-tailing, or COPOLUM or whatever its called? Is that a good, safe option? Will it get us "normal" insurance rates or will they still inflate the rates? What if we negotiate a complete rewire to all copper? Will we get insurance rates based on copper wiring at that point or will we still have issues? Thanks in advance,
Melissa
By Melissa Strombelline,  Mon Jul 1 2013, 21:32
Oh, the home is around 2300-2400 sq ft. What are we talking money wise for the re-wire? Also any ideas of reasonable electricians certified for this around the Okaloosa County area?
By cattamia,  Wed Aug 14 2013, 18:18
I was almost to closing on a 1974 bank owned property.. just found out that there is NO insurance company that will insure this house with aluminum wiring.So I cannot go through with financing because it cannot be insured at all. Not even with a short term contingency that we replace or make the mandatory changes within a certain period of time. A seemingly great surprise to the sellers agent that we are working with. How the bank and agency representing them had to be educated by a layman like myself is beyond me. Looking forward to tomorrow to see if they have even so much a google searched this law. This is so silly. Note to self.. make sure you have your own representation.
By cattamia,  Wed Aug 14 2013, 18:18
I was almost to closing on a 1974 bank owned property.. just found out that there is NO insurance company that will insure this house with aluminum wiring.So I cannot go through with financing because it cannot be insured at all. Not even with a short term contingency that we replace or make the mandatory changes within a certain period of time. A seemingly great surprise to the sellers agent that we are working with. How the bank and agency representing them had to be educated by a layman like myself is beyond me. Looking forward to tomorrow to see if they have even so much a google searched this law. This is so silly. Note to self.. make sure you have your own representation.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Thu Aug 15 2013, 08:08
Believe it or not, some agent don't know if the seller doesn't disclose it. In this case, it was a bank! I have learned to always ask upfront BEFORE taking a listing. If the seller isn't sure, I advise them to have an electrician come out and check. If it turns out to be aluminum, then the electrician can go ahead and give them a quote for either rewiring or doing the Alumicon method.

Lenders are not going to take the risk of financing a property that cannot qualify for a full homeowner's insurance policy. If something were to happen between closing day and rewiring day, then there is not full replacement coverage for their investment or yours.

Just remember, many properties built between the mid-60's and mid-70's may have aluminum wiring. If you are looking in that time range, do your homework and get your own electrician out to check.

Good luck!

Nancy
By cjwarren,  Thu Sep 26 2013, 19:38
Does anyone believe that contacting the Florida Insurance Commisioner would be effective? There are many homes in my neighborhood that were built in this time frame and have aluminum wiring, like mine(I just found out and I am living a nightmare). I read that they are building new homes with aluminum wiring and what are the statistics anyway (of actual fires etc) from older homes that have it? I feel that this is just another excuse for insurance companies to avoid risk and weed out Floridians. There are many people that have their insurance tied in with their mortgages that have the aluminum wiring that don't seem to be in danger of losing their insurance. It looks like it is mostly new policies. I made the mistake of deciding to change insurance companies, they ordered a 4 point and after 34 years, aluminum wiring is an issue! Now the only policy I can get right now has a 10% of the dwelling replacement cost as a deductible if anything happens from the wiring. If anyone has any thoughts to share I'd be interested to hear. Thanks
By Nancy Humphrey,  Fri Sep 27 2013, 20:34
Bottom line is this....insurance companies are not writing new policies on ANY home with aluminum wiring. I do not know of any new homes being built with aluminum wiring...don't know where you heard that. This is here to stay. I have contacted the Florida Insurance Commission with no results. You are welcome to contact them as well. Older homes are being 'weeded' out, due to wiring, plumbing, etc.
By cjwarren,  Sat Sep 28 2013, 05:52
Do you know if there is any type of financial assistance available for rewiring the home? (like from the state? or even a federal program? Since you have been dealing with this since 2010 I thought maybe you would know.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Mon Sep 30 2013, 21:29
To my knowledge, there is no financial assistance at this time.
By Brian Munger,  Wed Jan 15 2014, 18:10
I've heard that some sellers with aluminum wiring have gotten by with just replacing the electric box, and getting insurance. Have you heard of this?
By april,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 18:01
I have a company (Southern Oak) that is writing IF: The home has COPALUM and ALUMNICONN connectors to prevent fire hazards. They will accept documentation from a license electrician confirming All aluminum- to -copper connections (outlets, light switches, light fixtures, etc.) have been repaired using the AlumiConn connector method or the COPALUM crimp method. IT DOES STATE IN THEIR GUIDELINES: (The above does not apply to aluminum main service wires that feed major appliances (e.g. ranges, dryers, air conditioners).
By april,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 18:11
Aluminum wiring only used to service the home (referred to as the main, service or entry wire) and or used for major appliances is acceptable. the 4pt inspection must confirm this in order for Tower Hill and many other companies to accept a home with aluminum wiring. This is because the service wire and wiring to major appliances will be a higher gauge multi-strand wire, which does not have the same concerns associated with it as a single-strand aluminum wiring.

Also, if the breaker is labeled "CU/AL" it does not mean that the home has aluminum wiring. It just means that the breaker is rated to be used in condition with both copper and aluminum wiring, which is acceptable as well to Tower Hill and many other companies.


Southern Oak also writes homes with asbestos shingles or siding as well.

These are the actual underwriting guidelines from Tower Hill & (above post) Southern Oak.
By april,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 18:18
These are some other ineligible electrical materials that are across the board with pretty much all the Florida carriers:
Fuses, Cloth-sheathed wiring, Knob and Tube wiring, Double-tapped breakers, Federal Pacific, Stab-Lok, Zinsco, Challenger, or Sylvania electrical panels & of course Aluminum branch wiring.


Some customers have told me they were able to change out some of the above materials, for less than $500 by local electricians. Hope this helps!
By Sheila,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 18:45
Question for Nancy Humphrey: From one of your blogs above, no doubt we will see another wave of insurance cancellations and/or outrageously high premiums because of plumbing in homes 25 years and older. Any predictions as to how quickly this will happen?
By april,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 19:04
If you are lucky enough to have a policy and you have aluminum wiring (if the carrier didn't catch), but it's unaffordable, try talking with your agent to cut/trim some other coverages on the policy. By removing replacement cost on contents & ordinance or law coverage, that can reduce the premium in a big way. These could be two very important coverages to have and always recommend but, it's better than going without coverage. I don't recommend reducing the liability, as this only saves on average less than $10 a year. You can try increasing your deductibles as well (if your lender allows). You can remove any endorsements that you may have on your policy such as water back/sump overflow, identity theft, equipment breakdown. Another big way to save is have your agent run a new replacement cost estimator (RCE) on your home. If the amount comes out lower than what your currently covered at, you can request the company to reduce the dwelling coverage per the recent RCE. The replacement cost estimator each companies use, determine what it cost to rebuild the home today in cost of materials/labor etc. It's not to be mistaken for the "market value" or what you could sell the home for.

If you don't already have one, get a wind mitigation. I would say the $75 spent (one time) is worth possibly saving $100's if not $1000's off your policy.


Not everyone has or needs the same exact policy. There are ways to trim/cut back on your policy. Most companies quote the contents at 50% of the dwelling. You could reduce this to 25% and still could have plenty of coverage to replace the items in your home. Our goal is to try and help & educate people as much as possible. We have to pay these high FL prices like everyone else. Unfortunately, we don't get special discounts for working in the insurance business! ☺
By april,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 19:17
We also have companies that will write homes between 30-49 years and will pay for their own 4pt inspection to be done. As long as the roof, plumbing, electrical & HVAC are in good working condition. They do not have to be updated. There are companies out there that will write older homes.

Of course there are "ineligible materials" with all carriers. PEX plumbing & Polybutylene are two of the most common unacceptable materials.

I am seeing more and more issues with roofs that are the original roof. Most companies will not accept a composition 3 tab roof over 15 yrs. & 20 years for architectural shingle. Metal/Tile are 25-30 years with some companies allowing 40 years.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Fri Jan 17 2014, 19:58
April, thanks for your information and updates on wiring, plus ways to decrease your premium. What agency do you work with? Sheila, I can't predict how fast the insurance companies will react to the plumbing. I think April gave some solid answers. I am running into numerous problems with older homes having polybutylene. The insurance companies don't like this, understandably.
By april,  Sat Jan 18 2014, 06:43
Your welcome. Locklin Insurance in Milton.
By Nancy Humphrey,  Sat Jan 18 2014, 09:34
Awesome, I will keep you in mind when referring to buyer and seller clients! Send me your contact info; mine is below.

Nancy Humphrey
Main Street Properties
1313 Creighton Road
Pensacola, FL 32504
850-206-5526
nancybhumphrey@gmail.com
By Julie Daniels,  Wed Mar 19 2014, 09:53
I am having this same problem on a home in Fort Lauderdale/Tamarac. Built in 1969 we can find nobody to insure it. Any suggestions?
By Jsilver,  Wed Mar 26 2014, 08:30
I spoke to an electrician last night about this as we are having a similiar issue and he mentioned that FPL has aluminum running from their side to the meters. If its safe for FPL how is it a problem for homeowners? Either way, I have an electrician that I have used for several of these jobs (panels and wires). He is the lowest pricing I have found and an inspector told me his work is the cleanest he has ever seen. If you email me, I will share his contact info. Good luck everyone!

JSilver@CTIConsulting.net
By cboocat,  Sun Apr 20 2014, 13:55
Hello everyone.

I could be wrong but I did a legal check on this. This appears to be what is known as a "Regulatory Taking" and according to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and a number of supreme court rulings, that if the government either outright or by statute takes away the value of your property, you have the right to just compensation.

If somebody would get back with me on this possibility, there could perhaps be a massive class action suit on the state in Federal Court.

Steve

Cboocat@aol.com
By Son1Rod2,  Sat Apr 26 2014, 05:43
I would like to know any insurance agency that will insure just the dwelling for $100,000 (masonry) without having to rewire,replumb,reconstruct an existing home that has not had claim since 1953 when the home was built by the existing codes in Pensacola, Fl My e-mail is Son1Rod2@aol.com
By karablader,  Fri Jun 13 2014, 10:37
Could you have anyone come out and do some electrical work? I don't know if it's possible to replace the wiring with something different or not. My dad may be an electrician but I sure didn't learn much about his work.
Shelly Slader | http://www.dunedinelectric.com/services/residential-service/
By Brian Munger,  Fri Jun 13 2014, 13:05
Hey, I don't know how legit this company is, but I contacted "People'sTrust" today and they specifically stated that they would cover a home with aluminum wiring. The rep advised that the only catch is that if the house were to be damaged because of the wiring, the deductible would be $10K instead of $2,500. -- big difference, but I would probably take that chance. Has anyone here dealt with this company? This is the first company that I have heard of that openly accepts coverage from aluminum wiring houses without having to make any COPALUM adjustments or other changes.
Their number is 888-369-6840 and they are based out of South Florida.

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