How does cloth wiring affect homeowners’ insurance?

A homeowners’ insurance policy is one of the best insurance policies available in the insurance market in Florida. With this special type of insurance, homeowners can protect their homes and belongings against damage or loss caused by vandalism, theft, fire and other similar causes.

There are many homeowners in Florida who are wondering how much does this insurance cost. There is no straight answer to this question because the cost depends on different factors like the property’s location, the overall value of the home, the unique features present in some homes and even on some seemingly unrelated things like the type of electrical wiring in the home. This is quite logical because there are different types of wiring and some of them are better than the others.

Cloth wiring explained

One of the types of electrical wiring systems that were quite popular in the past (before the middle of the 20th century) is cloth wiring. Many homes in Florida have this kind of wiring even today. The reason why people used cloth is simple – cloth is a great insulator. In addition, it was easier to get cloth compared to plastics.

Even though cloth has proven to be an excellent insulator, the truth is that it tends to become brittle after some period of time. As a result of that, it simply falls off the electrical wires. When something like this happens, the risk of fire and injuries is increased.

The impact of cloth wiring on homeowners’ insurance policy cost

Insurance companies are well-aware of the fact that cloth wiring is prone to deterioration. They know that the risk of fire and shock is relatively high with this type of wiring. Obviously, no one can blame the insurance companies because their assumptions are correct. So, if your home has cloth electrical wiring, you can expect higher insurance rates. (2) In some cases, insurance companies are not ready to work with homeowners that have homes with this type of wiring.

How to solve this issue in the best way?

First of all, you will have to determine the condition of the electrical wiring in your home. It is a great idea to use a professional electrical home inspection. They will examine the electrical system in your home and highlight the possible problems. Electrical home inspections are highly recommended when buying a home, after a renovation, after adding powerful appliances and when the home is older than four decades.

After that, you should call a certified electrician. These professionals will check and fix the wires and take care of the insulation. Once they are done, they will provide a certification. You can use this certification to convince the insurance company that you have chosen that the electrical wiring in your home is safe. In addition, there are many homeowners who are considering upgrades. This is a more expensive option, but the initial expense will pay off in the long run. There is no doubt that insurance companies are ready to lower the insurance cost if the home is using standard, modern wiring.

How much will it cost to replace cloth wiring?

As with most things, the cost of replacing your cloth wiring depends on whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional. In this case, DIY isn’t recommended unless you have a background in electrical wiring – but if you do, it can save you a lot of money. (3) If you decide to do it yourself, here’s what you’ll need:

  • soft, pliable non metallic/Romex wiring ($30-$45 for 100 ft)
  • junction boxes ($75-$100)
  • grounded receptacles ($5-$10)
  • breakers ($10)
  • ground fault circuit interrupters ($20)

Before you begin, be very certain you’ve turned off the power. Check it twice!

If you decide to hire a professional you can expect to pay roughly $60/hr for labor plus call-out fees if they split the work into several jobs. It’s a good idea to shop around before hiring any contractor, and this isn’t a cheap job. You can expect to pay several thousand dollars to replace all the old cloth wiring in your home with newer safer alternatives.

Additional tips for Florida home buyers

Buying a new home can be exciting however stressful, especially for first-time home buyers in Florida. One of the most significant aspects of your home purchase will be the inspection. Major concerns in Florida home inspections are much the same as they are in other states, but the added humidity, and the hot, moist climate do affect the prevalence of some major issues. Most home buyers are likely to run for the hills as soon as they find out that a home that they’re interested in buying has major issues, like signs of mold or a damaged roof.


Hopefully, these articles will help you make the right decision regarding your cloth wiring.

(1) s/HomeownersToolkit.pdf

(2) these-14- home-features- will-raise- your-insurance





BJ Johnson

InterNACHI Certified Electrical Inspector

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