Your home’s electrical panel probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when considering home renovations. Although a new kitchen or bathroom are more exciting home upgrades, upgrading your home’s electrical panel can be a matter of safety. Most electrical panels last 25-40 years and then need to be replaced.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), around 13% of house fires from 2015-2019 resulted from an electrical failure and caused over a billion dollars in property damage each year. Electrical failures and malfunctions also accounted for 12% of injuries and 15% of deaths from house fires during the same period.
A common question we get from homeowners is whether their homeowner’s insurance will cover an electrical panel upgrade. Although you should always check with your specific homeowner’s insurer, let’s go over some general info on whether this service is covered.
Homeowner’s Insurance & Electrical Panel Upgrades
In a nutshell, your homeowner’s insurance should cover electrical panel upgrades if it is damaged. Electrical panel upgrades usually aren’t covered if the panel is old and outdated and should be replaced due to age. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover electrical panel replacement depending on your situation and the type of electrical panel.
Homeowner’s insurance usually covers electrical panel replacement if it is damaged or malfunctions because of a hazard or “covered peril” listed in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Common risks include fire, windstorms, theft, and vandalism. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually cover the cost of a new electrical panel if an old panel malfunctions due to neglect or age.
Electrical Panels that Are Non-Insurable
Not only is the replacement of the following types of electrical panels not covered by insurance, but if your home has one of these electrical panels, you may be ineligible for homeowners insurance altogether. While this list isn’t exhaustive, there are some of the more commonly known types of electrical panels with faulty manufacturing and design that have been linked to electrical fires and electrocution.
- Federal Pacific / FPE Stab-Lok
- Zinsco / GTE Sylvania
- Challenger with HGAF-15 or 20-amp circuit breakers
- Bulldog Pushmatic
If you know that your home has one of these electrical panels, it’s imperative that you have it replaced as soon as possible.
Signs Your Electrical Panel Needs Replacement
- It’s 25-40 years old
- Circuit breakers trip frequently
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Discolored outlets
- The electrical panel is warm to the touch
- Melted wires or the smell of burning parts
- Odd noises such as buzzing sounds
We understand that replacing your home’s electrical panel is a big expense. Give us a call today to discuss whether this service could possibly be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Certain tax incentives can help make this expense more affordable. Above all, keep the safety of your home and family in mind. If you suspect your electrical panel or home’s wiring is problematic, contact us soon.
Covenant Heating and Cooling is your trusted resource for professional electrician services in Nashville, TN. We are “Dedicated to the Promise of Serving You!” Contact us today.