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Preparing a House for Sale

When preparing a house for sale, often times the last thing on your mind is whether the future buyer of your home will be able to insure it or not.  Consider the following tips to ensure a smooth transition for your next sale:


  1. Electrical Wiring Type

Insurance companies are becoming increasingly stricter when it comes to the size and type of your electrical panel and, more importantly, the electrical wiring type.  For years, knob and tube electrical wiring has been a no-no for insurers and now, aluminum wiring is considered the same.  It has been shown that homes with aluminum wiring manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to experience a fire related loss than those with copper.  If either of these wiring types are present, it may end up being VERY difficult for the new owner of your home to obtain adequate insurance.

  1. Plumbing Type

Insurance companies are primarily concerned with the plumbing supply lines which carry water to your taps, as opposed to the drainage plumbing carrying waste away, as it is constantly under pressure.  The most common types of plumbing are copper, plastic (PEX, PVC) and galvanized steel.  Studies have shown that the safest type of plumbing available today is copper, as it is most resistant to corrosion.  However, with today’s prices of copper, most plumbers and home builders are looking to use plastic materials for their supply lines as the cost is significantly less.  If your home uses anything but copper for its supply lines, it would be a smart idea to speak with a plumber and your broker to ensure no issues will arise prior to listing your home.

  1. Heating Type

For many years now, insurance companies have been cracking down on the use of solid fuel appliances (wood stoves, pellet stoves) for obvious reasons; it’s a literal fire inside your home!  If a wood stove is present in your home, it will need to be approved for use by your insurer prior to its use.  A few things that an insurance company will need to confirm are; whether or not the stove is certified for use in a home; and if has been installed as per the manufacturer’s requirements.  Most insurance companies are now requiring that the unit pass an inspection by a certified WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc.) technician.  As well, your homes primary source of heat is of importance, whether that is a forced air furnace, fueled by natural gas or electricity or electric baseboards and must be able to be controlled by a hard-wired thermostat.

  1. Roof Type

Here in Dauphin and surrounding area, most of our roofs have been replaced after the August 9th 2007 hail storm.  As tumultuous of a time that was for everyone affected by it, ever since most of us have had the peace of mind knowing that our roofs have been in good shape since.  Insurance companies will require the type of roof on the home, whether that is Asphalt/Fiberglass shingles or a metal roof, along with the year it was replaced and that the roof is in good condition with no visible signs of deterioration such as curling or chipping of shingles.


The last thing to consider is that most people nowadays require a mortgage in order to purchase a home.  It is a requirement that every mortgage issued in Canada must include fire insurance for the property, as per the Standard Mortgage Clause found on every insurance policy.  So, if you’re looking to sell your home, you better be sure that the new owner can buy insurance for it!


There are many things to consider when prepping your home for sale.  Just be sure that insurance is one of those things!  Reach out to your broker today to discuss the details of your home to ensure a quick and easy transition today!


Submitted By: Ian Brezden, CAIB

Partner/Insurance Broker, Love & Persson Group