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A casual reading of my homeowner's insurance policy indicates that electrical panel will need replacement after 40 years. I am located in Virginia USA.

  • 1 Is this an industry standard requirement?
  • 2 What actually needs replacement? Individual breakers? Panel insides? Housing? Other?
  • 3 What are the reasons for this requirement?
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    I would ask the insurance company there are panels that are older than 40 years and are just fine the electrical code has no requirement to update. Maybe it’s there way of clams denial, I know State Farm denies claims for things that are totally unrelated.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 22, 2021 at 18:51
  • Perhaps a thorough reading of your homeowner's insurance policy will shed more info, or calling them and asking for clarification. It seams to me it would be the insurance company that would state the details.
    – Alaska Man
    Mar 22, 2021 at 18:52
  • Seems a bit funny since most panels see very little wearable use compared to outlets/switches. Can see maybe having an inspection after so many years.
    – crip659
    Mar 22, 2021 at 18:54
  • If you have a Federal Pacific, Zinsco, Murray or Challenger, your insurance company may require you to change it......like mine did on switching companies. These 4 have issues that have been documented and it's less of a liability to the insurance carrier if they are replaced. Mar 22, 2021 at 20:07
  • I wonder if they added that clause after the FPE & Zinsco debacles, then haven't thought about it since.
    – Nate S.
    Mar 22, 2021 at 20:20

1 Answer 1

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Is that a standard thing? Nope.

So this is either a peculiarity of that company (read: they don't want your business) or, they are requiring it in your location because they know something about electrical practices in your neighborhood that you do not... e.g that the original builder scored a great deal on Federal Pacific panels, or that one particular drunk electrician did a lot of really bad work in that town.

The other wildcard we don't know is what the insurance company may have learned about your house. For instance, if you had a home inspection done, and you forwarded that to them, they may be looking at a photo and seeing something you missed, i.e. would you even know a dangerous panel if you saw it?

But no -- it is NOT a standard thing, and the rest of your questions would need to be poised to the particular insurance company... or to a different insurance company lol.

What needs to be corrected depends on the nature of the panel. Federal Pacific gets a different answer than Challenger than Pushmatic than CH.

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  • According to OP an electrical panel needs to be replaced after forty years. Not should be replaced soon or now. Seems it is based on age more than any problem/make. Only thing I can think of is maybe the humidity in Virginia rusts them after forty years.
    – crip659
    Mar 22, 2021 at 20:38
  • I've never seen such a specific requirement in a policy. I can imagine it as a precondition of coverage at a specific property (we won't cover that unless it's replaced) but not as a blanket condition that all insured properties (or a class of them) be subjected to such a specific requirement. What IS normal is language such as this: "Coverage is excluded for losses resulting from faulty planning, construction or maintenance". It is deliberately vague and open to abuse by a carrier, but it is also understandable that it would be hard to provide coverage without such a clause.
    – jay613
    Mar 23, 2021 at 14:49

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