The Different Types Of Electric Panels And What They Could Mean For Your Homeowners Insurance

The Different Types Of Electric Panels And What They Could Mean For Your Homeowners Insurance
Insurance companies are known to be risk averse. They have to be or else they would hemorrhage money. What does that mean for you as a potential homeowner? It means that in order to get the best deal on your homeowners insurance –or to get it at all– you need to be wary of houses with liabilities. There are few greater liabilities than a faulty electrical system as while fires are not the most common type of claim, they are by far the most expensive.
One often overlooked contributor to home fires is the electrical panel. They are supposed to keep you safe from fire, but when they are poorly manufactured they can end up doing just the opposite. Here we’ll go over a few of the most common types of electrical panels, their differences, and the potential challenges they present.

Federal Pacific Panels
Federal Pacific was the most popular manufacturer of electrical panels between 1950 and 1980. Today, Federal Pacific panels are considered to be outdated and unsafe. That doesn’t mean they don’t work. In fact many of their panels work just fine, but the fact remains that their panels fail to meet certain safety specifications. They aren’t necessarily destined to fail but they fail at a much higher rate. For that reason many insurance companies will refuse to insure homes with these panels. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find homeowners insurance with a Federal Pacific panel, it just means that you’ll be searching a little longer.

Sylvania & Zinsco Panels
Zinsco and GTE-Sylvania panels were very popular during the 1970s. Unfortunately the circuit breakers inside these panels are prone to melting. That means the breaker often fails to trip when there’s a short or an overload. Note that not all of their panels have this fatal flaw, but the ones that do are extremely unsafe and even if you are willing to take that risk you will have difficulty finding insurance.

Challenger Panels
Challenger panels are a little more recent, peaking in popularity during 90s. Much like the other panels on this list, however, they are known to have some safety issues. These panels have problems with bus overheating and damaged wire insulation. Challenger is no longer in business, but their panels can still be found in homes all over the country. Will you be able to find an insurer who will cover these panels? Probably. Should you? That’s debatable.

Don’t assume that your panel is safe just because it isn’t on this list. No panel is perfect and they can all malfunction. The only way to know for sure whether your electrical panel is safe and insurable is with a home inspection. By performing an independent home inspection you can see a house for what it truly is, warts and all. It might hurt at first to find out that your dream home is a nightmare waiting to happen, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Please, contact us at Super Inspection Pros. today to learn more about our home inspection process or to schedule an inspection for your home. You can also find more information about our services on our website.

Save 10%
on your next inspection!

Click below to subscribe and get your offer code.