Insurer’s HVAC demand cost $10,000

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DEAR BARRY: Three months after I bought my home, I got a letter from my homeowners insurance company. They threatened to cancel my policy because my furnace, according to them, was "outdated." But they never even looked at it. The new heating and air-conditioning system cost me nearly $10,000 -- a huge expense -- just to keep my insurance. Shouldn't my home inspector or my Realtor have warned me about this before I purchased the property? --Tracy DEAR TRACY: It may have been the insurance company, rather than the heating and cooling system, that needed replacement. Their demand for a new HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system), without a specific evaluation of your furnace, was unreasonable and over-reaching. The insurance company apparently made a corporate decision to eliminate coverage on all old furnaces, regardless of specific conditions. Mandates of this kind reduce an insurance company's exposure to claims while encumbering their custome...