In British Columbia, and throughout Canada, there are three things that will make it diffcult for you to find home insurnace.
To a home insurance company or to a lender these are considered 'red flag' issues. They are: Knob and tube wiring, a buried fuel oil heating tank, and vermiculite insulation.
Let's take vermiculite insulation first. While vermiculite is a naturally occuring mineral, this type of insulation may also contain asbestos fibers. There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos, and asbestos can cause cancer and other diseases such as mesothelioma. Spreading asbestos fibers through the air will cause exposure, so if you think that you have vermiculite insulation do not disturb it. Insulation that contains asbestos must be carefully removed by a specialized contractor, to minimize the spread of airborne particles.
Knob and tube wiring was a common form of electrical wiring used from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. If you have an older home in Nanaimo you may have knob and tube wiring and not even know it. The composition of knob and tube wiring sytems was not designed for today's higher level of household electric usage. Knob and tube wiring may not be grounded properly - if at all - and over time may have had fuses replaced that allow too much power to flow through the system, increasing the risk of fire and serious electrical malfunction.
A buried fuel oil tank can mean that there is the risk of oil leaking into the ground, which means a potentially expensive clean up for you, the home owner. Underground tank leaks can cause serious environmental damage to the local water source or water well contamination. Before you buy a home in Nanaimo that has - or has ever had - a buried fuel oil heating tank, it is critical to request that the seller have it removed before you take possession of the house.