Challenger panel rejected by Tower Hill

Just had a 4 Point client receive a notice from underwriting denying coverage due to panel manufacture (no defects). Tower Hill considers all FEP Stab-Lok, Zinsco, Sylvania, and CHALLENGER panels to be ineligible for coverage, and must be replaced. Has anybody ran into this lately. What is wrong with Challenger panels?

Never heard of that… may want to ask in General forum… more guys reading & posting there.

Here is one Florida electrical contractor company’s explanation;

The aluminum buss bars are overheating,causing problems.Double pole breakers are exploding, especially the AC. I have not seen a recall as of yet, but they do have problems.

Thanks, I didn’t know that Challenger picked up the GTE Sylvania line.

Oh well to bad for the client not your issue. You just take the picts required. I assume you did not call it out?

Sorry to sound harsh but you cannot sweat the results of 4 points. I do not and I hate doing them because it always screws the clients.

I feel the insurance companies should be paying for them then I would not feel bad at all.

Then I guess Cutler Hamer is next since they make a retro fit kit for FPE panels.

Newest from the insurance companies: If you have electricity running in your home…coverage is denied!

Guess I’ll be adding Challenger panels into the ole inspection report verbiage template.

Challenger panels were installed in hundreds of thousands of homes during the 80’s and 90’s.

Over the years it was discovered that 2 types of circuit breakers manufactured by Challenger are overheating under NORMAL conditions at the connection point to the busbar. This causes expansion and contraction which in turn causes arcing between the circuit breaker and the busbar damaging both. This continues over time until these components actually melt down completely, causing hazardous conditions such as fire and/or shock hazard.

Jose’ F. Uz, BSCE, Ph.D., CRC, CPO, CHI, CHC, M-NFPA, NACHI Certified, IAC2 Certified, FHA INSP.,
Florida licensed inspector, Fellow of the ABI, State of Florida Engineering CA 27981,
License # MRSA 1489 Cert # IAC2-01-6055, HI-479 and JF 161046.
Caribbean Realty Support Services, Inc.
5190 NW 167 St, STE # 105 MIAMI , FLORIDA 33014 OFF: 866-261-2242
“Forensic Engineering/ claims investigation specialist”

Just had a client tell me the went with tower hill for insurance. Looks like Tower Hill likes Pinellas County all of a sudden.

Jose, do you recall which two model numbered breakers these would be you make mention of? I’d be interested in looking into this myself in order to be aware if and when I run into them. Thanks.


Since Citizens is trimming the fat, a lot is going to Tower Hill or Peoples Trust or American Integrity.

Get ready for the fun to begin… :wink:

Running into that issue here as well. Local Tower Hill offices have declined coverage on the challenger panel. Fun times.

Found this Challenger service panel in today’s 4 point inspection in St. Petersburg Fl. Notice the big sign.

Update…Client had an electrician go certify the Challenger panel with a letter. He stated that this panel was the newer type with no deficiencies or hazards. Tower Hill’s reply was “Doesn’t Matter”. Client had to replace it.

Insurance companies are getting crazy with this stuff. Just had another company, Prepared Insurance Company, deny a flat roof with 5 years left on it…they wanted at least 8 years. This client will have to replace that too.

Inspected a 40 year old house in Broward County with original roof. My roofer said-replace the roof, and the 4 pt guy said “I can push it through, and say it’s 20 years old with a fresh sealcoat-has 5 plus years in my opinion”–Wonder if they’ll get insurance?-:mrgreen:

Cherry Picking policies…back to citizens they go.

what does stupid stuff insurance companies do have anything to do with home inspection?

Are we now enforcing insurance company policy in Florida?


Yes we are. The insurance companies are deciding who and what they want to insure. even though they are violating the ‘sanctity’ of the building code, they are writing their won tickets, and the state is letting them get away with it.

In the world of insurance inspections it’s a good idea to have some idea of what the insured may expect with what you find so they can prepare.