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There are a number of jokes about underwriters; a favorite is that they cut out your heart when you become one. Another is that the only answer an agent ever receives is a resounding No. Conversely, many underwriting departments have Walls of Shame where underwriters post pictures from inspections of less than eligible properties. There are pictures of houses with six-inch maple trees growing in the gutters, houses with snow on the roof for an application that was submitted in June (we still need to see what the roof looks like) and the ever so popular picture of the large dog growling at the inspector through the windshield of the inspector’s car. The truth, of course, is somewhere in between.

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