Older homes may look like gems, but those gorgeous exteriors can hide numerous issues, including lead pipes, asbestos tiles, and even knob and tube electrical systems. While these things may be grandfathered into the new housing regulations in your area, what happens when the house catches fire or is damaged by high winds and needs repairs? These costs can add up quickly, especially since these systems will need to be upgraded and brought up to code in the process. This alone makes it a bit tricky to insure an older home, although it is possible. Here’s what you need to know.
The Issues with Older Homes
Older houses, as the name implies, have been around for a while. Many contain things that are out of date, such as:
- Electrical Systems – Whether your home uses old-style fuses or a knob and tube electrical system, it may be working fine now, but will need to be brought up to code should something happen to the structure.
- Plumbing – It’s common for older houses to have lead pipes, or even a mix of different types of piping as parts have been patched in over the years. None of this is up to code, so when repairs are made to the entire building, they’ll need to be upgraded.
- Roofing Materials – While roofs tend to be replaced over the years, leaving the ones on older houses generally upgraded, there could still be issues lurking below, like attic roof supports made of pine that easily catch on fire. Repairing and making upgrades in this area can be costly.
- Old-Fashioned Details – Things that make an older home unique, like stained glass windows, built-in wood shelving, wooden beam detailing, and reclaimed wood floors can be tough to replace if the house catches fire or a storm damages them.
How to Insure an Older Home
Thankfully, there are plenty of insurance options available for older homes. First, you need to go through and note any of the interesting details that make your home unique. Make sure to take photos and provide plenty of information to your insurance company. Your agent can then estimate how much it would cost to have these things replaced and add in those amounts to your homeowner’s insurance policy, so they’re covered.
In addition, you can opt for flood insurance if your home uses an old sump pump system. Generally, flooding isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance, unless the water damage comes from a broken water heater or set of pipes. This extra coverage ensures that you won’t have to worry about paying for sump pump damage or flooding out of pocket.
Also, when purchasing homeowner’s insurance, consider the replacement costs of your home. This includes the amount required to rebuild it as it currently is, including any updated systems, like electrical or plumbing. Due to changes in the prices of materials and labor costs, these could add up to be more than the worth of your home, so you need make sure that you have enough coverage.
Have Questions? Contact Charlotte Insurance
Want to learn more about insuring your old, but lovely, home? Contact Charlotte Insurance. Our agents can explore and explain all available options to you and put together the home coverage plan you need.