Hamilton Realtor Has A Gripe About the Home Insurance Industry

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Real Estate Agent with Royal LePage State Realty, Brokerage

I have been a realtor in the Hamilton Ontario area for 25 years, currently at Royal LePage in Hamilton and have seen so many changes, most of which have been beneficial to increasing the public's perspective of professionalism of the real estate agent's role in the home buying and selling process.  However, along with incxreased professionalism, there has been an increase in liability.  For the last number of years, buyers have had to contend with increased and varied criteria to allow them to get home insurance for their new purchase.  Insurance companies are hesitant to insure knob and tube wiring, older roofs, outdated plumbing etc.  It is very common in our market area to include conditions to allow the buyer to satisfy himself that insurance will be available in order to obtain a mortgage.  So as a realtor I have to be educated on these specs in order to best advise clients on potential insurance problems.  This is ok with me, as I feel I should have good knowledge of the product I am selling.  But now I am being asked to quote the square footage of the home for sale.  Square footage is not a requirement  to list or sell a house in Hamilton.  Two of my clients in the last week have had their insurance agent tell them to get the square footage from their real estate agent or to estimate it themselves because without it they may have to pay a premium for insurance (Is this a threat?).  In my opinion, they are asking us to do their job and are placing a heavy load of liability on both myself and my client.  If we tell them appoximamtely 1000 sq. ft and it is actually 1200 sq ft and there is a fire, does that mean the house won't be covered or will they only repair the first 1000 sq ft..  This "burns me".  If you sell house insurance and need square footage, get out of your office and go take the measurements yourself.  This is what you are getting paid to do.  When I use other services such as a roofing company, do they ask me for the sqare footage of the roof before they quote me a price.  No!!  They come out to make sure they have accurate measurements first.  If you are an insurance agent in Hamilton Ontario who does get the information yourself, I respect you.  Please contact me at carolstinson@RealtorInHamilton.com and I would be happy to refer you to future clients.  Perhaps, I will even advertise you on my website - www.RealtorInHamilton.com.

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realtor in hamilton
insurance industry gripe
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Rainer
24,061
Charles (Chuck) Crooker
CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC. - Brantford, ON

HI Kathy, Chuck here. The insurance companies have changed the rules for our clients over and over again for many years. B-vents once where OK and then NOT OK, and then OK again and now NOT??? For some reason some insurance companies do not go out to look, and I think that they should. The real trouble is that they send out someone that has now knowledge of homes at all. Once had a insurance fellow ask me the size of the electric panel, so I told him it ws a 600 amp service. He did not bat an eye and just wrote it up and left. I told the client that they may get a call from there insurance company and that the service is 100 amp. I know not nice but not my job to tell him and do his job, for which the person doing it does not get paid much. My vent for the day, thanx, Chuck.     

Jul 22, 2008 05:32 PM #1
Rainer
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Mike Brouwers
The Brouwers Agency - Grand Rapids, MI
Insurance Agent

As an insurance agent I see the other side of the coin on this one.  In our area all listings have square footage, so this is not a situation we run into.  However, and this is why I'm posting this, sometimes in a for sale by owner situation or in a inheritance situation the exact square footage is unknown.  As the realtor you don't want to take the time to go out and measure and I don't either, we both have more pressing things to attend to.  I have found the solution to this is to call the local property tax assessor.  In every situation they have been able to rattle off the square footage in only a few seconds when provided with an address.  Now, you could take care of this as a value added service for your client or you could instruct them to do it or even tell their agent to do it.  Either way it is a good way to get an accurate (most of the time) estimate of square footage.

Nov 20, 2008 09:58 AM #2
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Rainmaker
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Kathy Della-Nebbia

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