Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 20, 2012

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Insurance Question from Fort Worth, TX

Asked on 01/20/2012

Why is Nationwide doing home inspections on pre-existing policies. I have had my homeowner's policy for 20 years. I have filed two payable claims in 20 years and now they are wanting to send an inspector INTO my house to inspect it in order to keep my policy. They listed some things outside including overgrown shrubbery. I have some bushy shrubby on the side that I want to grow that way. Since when do they send a stranger into your house and tell you how to upkeep your yard?

Answer given on January 20, 2012

For the last 10 years, the major carriers have been losing lot of money on their homeowner’s policies.  Natural disaster such as floods and hurricanes and tornados have devasted the home insurance industry.  Every now and then when a policy comes up for renewal, they will send an inspector out just to do a drive-by and to snap a picture to see if it is a risk that they want to continue to insure.  You didn’t say want city in Texas you live in, however if you live in any of the flood ravaged areas, major carriers are looking to get off of risk in order to become more profitable.  More than likely, the outside condition of your overgrown shrubs prompted the underwriter to ask for an inside inspection. They will be looking for upkeep, signs of water damage, maintanence, flooring damage, leaks around window, doors and in the attic, water heater condition, furnace condition and etc.  The inspection may be followed by a letter requesting that you repair some items to maintain your insurance.  If your home is in good condition, you have nothing to fear. If you have some obvious necessary repairs, try to have them done before the inspection. Remember, to always ask for ID from the inspector.  When he calls to make the appointment, ask what in particular will he need to see.  Basically it is the insurance companies way of trying to trim expenses.


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