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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38256
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I am 77 year old widow. my home insurance company is

Customer Question

I am 77 year old widow. my home insurance company is threatening me to cancel my home insurance unless I do folloving:
1. remove ivy from the side of the house, which is claiming the walls.
2. put the handrail around patio. Patio is 2'-0 above ground. Has 10" x1'-0" wide flower box on top of patio- along perimeter. We lived in the house 25 years, 2 grandchildren were born and raised in the house without any problem.
3. remove moss from the shed's roof
3. trim the trees around the roof.
The list was made by the inspector the State farm sent to my house.
In 25 years I was insured by State I newer have one claim.
My question: IS THEIR REQUIREMENTS LEGAL? DO I HAVE TO COMPLY IN ORDER TO KEEP MY INSURANCE? is their requirements legal?
I would understand if I have a claim resulting from above demands and they refuse honor the claim.
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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An insurance policy is a contract between the insurer and the insured where they are agreeing to insure your house and they want to make sure that there are are as few risks as possible to them so that they won't have to pay any claims. With that said, if your policy is up for renewal, then they can conduct a risk assessment, which it sounds like they have done, and require you to remedy certain things that they think pose a risk to them as the insurer for a potential claim.

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So while you may think that their demands are not reasonable, they can refuse to renew a policy if they feel that the property poses risks to them as the insurer. Ivy roots tends to dig in to mortar and siding which can cause a hazard to both the house structure as well as things potentially being dislodged and falling, possibly hitting someone and causing a claim. The handrail is a Building Code requirement that will potentially prevent someone from falling on your property and having a claim. The moss will eat into your roof potentially allowing water in which could cause rot and the roof to eventually collapse on someone, resulting in a claim for damages..

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So all their demands have a risk basis that they are trying to minimize, both for you and for them to try and prevent someone from being injured on your property.

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But to answer your question directly, yes, they can refuse to continue your coverage if you don't remedy the problems that they have identified. If you went with another insurer, they would likely come out, inspect, and request the same things to be corrected..

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thanks

Barrister