It turns out that my auto insurance agent (can’t say who, but the company rhymes with “Hate Swarm”) that I’d wanted to get my homeowner’s insurance with doesn’t like my garage.
I’ll admit it’s not in the best shape. The paint is peeling, a few bits of siding are missing, and there are little clumps of moss on the roof that need to be dealt with. The garage will probably need a new roof in a year. During the inspection, we didn’t see evidence of leaks, but it seemed probable that the garage was not watertight. I mean, I’d store a car in there, but not my life-sized origami sculpture of the Last Supper*. But the garage isn’t falling over or otherwise awful.
And did I mention its detached and about 20 feet away from the house, so even if it did fall over, the house would be at minimal risk?
So I have the following phone conversation with the insurance lady yesterday:
Her: “Are you going to do anything about the garage?”
Me: “Huh? What is it you are asking me to do?”
Her: ‘Fix it. We can’t insure it as is.”
Me: “What specifically do you require?”
Her: “That it be fixed. Before you close on the house.”
Me: (reads from inspector’s report) “The inspector didn’t find a serious problem with it. What aspect of it troubles the insurance company?”
Her: “All of it”
So basically, she wants the garage “fixed” before they are willing to insure the house, even though she can’t articulate exactly what their problem is with it. The roof? The paint?** The missing siding? The bumper sticker on the window?
Now of course, I can’t fix the garage before I own the house. I can’t buy the house until I get a commitment for homeowners insurance. It’s too late in the game to demand that the seller fix the garage. So I will have to find someone else to insure my house and my ailing garage. I have 9 days to do this, or else I have to postpone closing.
And did I mention it took Mr. Agent something like 10 days from the time I first got a quote from Insurance Lady to drive 30 miles to Seattle, decide my garage sucked, and get back to me that they would not insure my house? Grrr.
And yes, I’ve given notice at my apartment. So if closing is postponed by more than 3 days, I will be homeless, unless the building manager hasn’t rented my place yet and will let me rent by the day after May 1.
I’m trying not to panic. I knew something like this could happen. It’s part of the process. I will get this taken care of.
Then I will call around about switching auto insurers. I don’t take rejection very well.
*just kidding. I don’t have one of these. Yet.
**Perhaps I should inquire about “paint insurance”.***
***this is only funny if you are shoutingboy.