Struggling to find vacant reno policy

10 Replies

Hi all,

I recently purchased a 1916 farmhouse in western Maine in need of major repairs. Currently there is no heat or plumbing systems in place and  the original field stone foundation is failing. I have not had any luck finding a carrier that is willing to offer coverage on the home during the renovation. The main deal breaker has been the need for the home to be raised off the foundation for the new concrete foundation. Has anyone out there dealt with a similar situation or have leads on an agent who may be able to offer coverage? This will be our primary home once the renovations are complete.


@Wynn Meyer , I have not had so many issues, but recommend talking to an insurance broker who can farm other loan companies for coverage. I invested in a home that had a little different circumstance. The insurance carrier covered the home and gave me 6 months to correct/renovate the issues.


I will contact our markets for the renovation Builders Risk.  Most of the Standard Carriers do not want to take on structural renovations.  If I find any companies willing to consider it I will let you know which ones

If you find an Agent or Company that is willing to consider it, they will probably want to know:

1. Details on the project, especially the Structural work.  

2. Current value of house and project cost.

3. Who will be performing the structural work and if they are insured

4. When the project will start and expected completion

5. Are their any alarms or other protection 

6. Fire protection for the area (fire dept. distance, paid or volunteer, water sources near, etc.)

7. whether or not heat will be maintained and if not will it be winterized

@Virginia Marphis thanks for the reply! I have been working with a number of brokers locally who have been doing their best to find any carriers willing to take it on but unfortunately it seems they all use the same underwriters who don’t want to touch it. I did meet with a mason today who provide some options for repairing the foundation that would not require jacking the home so fingers crossed that will open some doors for insurance! 

PS I see you’re located in Reno. I just moved back east after ten years in Truckee, happy here but I miss the Sierra already!

@John Mocker I appreciate it! You are absolutely spot on. These questions have all come up from agents in my quest so far. All work will be done by licensed contractors. I have met with several over the last few days which has helped tremendously with fleshing out timelines and costs.

@Wynn Meyer I have insured vacant properties with foremost. I want to say by phone and no inspection. No personal property, and stated value I think.

I would reach out to plumbing companies in the area who can give you an estimate to getting this built. 


I found a specialty market (Excess/Surplus) that will look at it.   Without more info they could not say for sure.  If you are unsuccessful in getting a standard (admitted market) to write it let me know and I will get you the info.  If your agent can't work with them we can look at other options.