Knob and Tube Wiring Insurance Aspects

Glossary - Letter - K

Knob and Tube Wiring Insurance: Background

Knob and tube wiring is an older type of wiring that was used in the past and can be found today in homes that were built prior to the 1950’s. It is called ‘knob of tube’ because of insulator knobs which are used to keep wires isolated and insulating tubes that were used to guide conducting wires through walls or ceiling elements. Knob and tube wiring typically consists of a black and white wire (i.e. parallel and neutral – s. below).

From the insurance perspective knob and tube wiring is considered more dangerous than other types of wiring because the wires are quite old and worn due to their age. There is also no ground wire, which exists in modern wiring circuits. Furthermore, a contact of both black and white wires can result in a fire.

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Sources: Wikipedia, Financial Services
Commission of Ontario, The Home Inspection Guy, Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and Tube Wiring: What You Can Do

Often insurers will require you updating the whole wiring system prior to offering a policy. In some cases knob and tube wiring can be insured after a review by a licensed and certified electrician. Specialty insurer might also be able to insure that type of property, but it will result in higher premiums.

Different Wiring Types and Home Insurance

Typically, home insurance identifies three different types of wiring with various degrees of risk:

  • The Most Dangerous: Knob and tube wiring (Used in houses built prior to 1950’s; most dangerous wiring: no ground wire, old and worn out wires)
  • Dangerous: Aluminum wiring (Used in houses built in the 1960’s and 1970’s; can overheat if not connected properly; may require electrical inspection)
  • Safe: Copper wiring (Standard wiring; widely used today)
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