Insurance for Historic Homes in TexasIf your idea of a new home really means you want an older home with style and character, you will want to consider the factors of insuring an older home before you sign on the dotted line.

While home insurance for older homes isn’t always more expensive, there are several factors that could lead to higher insurance rates.

Dodgy wiring

Building standards are different from what they were several years ago and some older homes haven’t caught up. For example, some use a 60-amp electrical system rather than the 100- or 200-amp service which is common today. Others may feature knob-and-tube wiring, referring to the ceramic knobs used to hold wires in place and ceramic tubes that act as protective casings for wires running through wall studs or floor joists. It all adds up to an increased fire risk, especially when multiple appliances are in use.

Outmoded Plumbing

Galvanized steel pipes are common in older homes. The problem with this particular material is its tendency to rust, which can prohibit water flow and lead to leaks and flooding.

Roof Type and Age

What kind of roofing materials does your older home have? Depending on the answer, you could be at extra risk for wind, hail, or other damage. Is it the original roof or has it been replaced?


Reclaimed wood, antique doors and hand-painted windows are lovely to live with — but not to replace. If older homes are seriously damaged, their hard-to-find materials and architectural accoutrements can make reconstruction a costly challenge.

Old Appliances

Old homes often have old appliances to match. A wood-burning oven, for instance, despite being a quaint accent some homeowners desire, greatly increases the risk for fire and explosions and can consequently affect your insurance cost.

These are just a few of the factors to look for in older homes. Depending on your situation, your insurer might ask for certain updates or repairs before issuing a policy. In some cases, if the home is simply too unsafe, it may not qualify for traditional homeowners insurance.

Increase Your Dwelling Protection

In general, it’s best to have enough dwelling protection to cover the cost of rebuilding your home should it be destroyed by a fire, storm, or other risk. Take careful stock of the rare or expensive architectural elements and be sure to factor them in when deciding how much it will take to restore your home.

Extended Roof Surface Coverage

If your roof is vulnerable to wind or hail, you’ll want to know that you can get damaged materials lp. If your home is destroyed, your dwelling protection can get it back to where it was, but construction may not end there. Extra rebuilding could be needed to bring your place up to today’s safety regulations. Without building codes coverage, this cost would fall to you.

Check with Your Independent Insurance Agent

Overall, the wisest advice is to meet with your independent insurance agent and go over the details of your insurance needs for your new ‘older’ home. Chances are very good that he will even have some sound advice that you didn’t know was available to you.

Distracted Driving Nowadays the first thing that comes to mind when talking about distracted driving is texting and cell phone use, but the fact is it isn’t just texting or using a cell phone. Any activity that diverts a driver’s attention puts that driver, passengers and everyone else sharing the road at serious risk.

A partial list of what counts as a distraction besides texting and cell phone use are: eating and drinking, smoking, attending to or disciplining child passengers, grooming, reading, including maps, using a navigation system, watching a video, adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player or adjusting temperature controls.

Traffic safety experts classify distractions into three main types: Manual, visual and cognitive.

  • Manual distractions are those where you move your hands away from the task of controlling the vehicle. Reaching for a soda in the drink carrier is an example of a manual distraction.
  • Visual distractions are those where you focus your eyes away from the road. You drop your soda, and when it spills all over the floor of the car, you look down at your ruined shoes and stained slacks: that’s a visual distraction.
  • A cognitive distraction is when you’re mind wanders away from the task of driving. You start to consider whether you can afford to replace the clothes you just ruined, and what stores have sales this week, and you’re no longer paying attention to the essential job of driving — cognitive distraction.

This is why texting has such a bad reputation: it always involves all three types of distraction, all at once.

Researchers found that talking on a cell phone quadruples your risk of an accident, about the same as if you were driving drunk. That risk doubles again, to eight times normal, if you are texting.

Sending or receiving a text message distracts a driver for about five seconds; at highway speeds that represents a distance of about 300 feet in which the car is essentially out of human control, driving itself.

According to the NHTSA, over 3,331 people were killed and over 387,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents connected to drivers who are distracted. That represents 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 17 percent of all accidents that caused injuries.

Young drivers are at the greatest risk for distracted driving incidents. Some researchers speculate that this is because inexperienced drivers are the most likely to overestimate their ability to multitask.