If 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.
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.
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 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.