Old houses have a certain charm and characteristics that are hard to resist. It’s hard not to fall in love with them. When you see a Victorian house, you feel like you are transported to a different era. With its history, beauty, and uniqueness, it’s no wonder buyers are still locking their eyes on old houses.
Having a house – regardless if you already own it or you’re still planning to purchase one – without home insurance could be the biggest mistake that you can make.
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Why should you insure your house?
Your house is probably one of the most valuable assets you have and it’s just right that you do everything to protect it. There’s no better way of protecting your house than having it insured.
The coverage of a homeowners insurance policy does not just limit the physical aspect of your house. Other aspects that may be covered are the replacement of stolen or damaged personal property, medical expenses of a guest if he got accidentally injured at your home and even temporary increased living costs brought about by accidents or incidents that hinder you from staying at your house.
Insuring a home does not mean averting your abode from accidents or damage. Having homeowners insurance means that you have a security blanket should these unexpected circumstances happen. It gives you a sense of peace and protection that whatever happens, you have something that can help cover the loss and help you get back on your feet.
Getting home insurance for older houses
The features that you love about older homes – transom windows, wide wooden floorboards, sleeping porch, natural wood built-ins – could also be the same factor that can make finding an insurance policy difficult. Usually, a home insurance plan for an older house will be classified as HO-8 coverage.
As we know, your insurance policy should cover the cost of having your house rebuilt or replaced in the event of a calamity or accident. Older houses would require a much higher replacement cost.
Why is this so?
First, the materials and techniques used in old houses construction are not only harder to find but also more expensive. You would need to find a skilled artisan to replicate an intricate stained glass window. On newer homes, on the other hands, there are a lot of local stores that supply windows, and you don’t need a special contractor to install them.
In addition, just as how rich of history older homes are, they can also be abundant of possible factors that can cause damage. For example, an older roof can cause damage from leaking, and older electrical systems can cause a fire to start. As a consequence of wear and tear, your insurance company may charge you a higher amount.
Because the replacement of an older home is more expensive than its market value, several insurance companies refuse to offer coverage for these types of homes. Those who offer coverage are charging more on their premiums. The premium for an insurance policy for older homes can cost $1000 to $3000 while it’s only around $500 for newer homes.
Is it possible to get an affordable premium?
Don’t lose your hopes though.
You can do something not just to secure a homeowners insurance policy but also lower your premium.
Despite its intricacy and grandeurs, older homes have some issues that can scare insurance companies away. If you want to get coverage at a reasonable amount, you must do some upgrades and restorations first.
The maximum lifespan of a roof is only good for 25 years. Older roofs can cause leakage.
Most older houses use small circuit breaker boxes. With the high demand for current electricity users, old wirings and fuse can hardly keep up with the workload. This brings a potential risk of fire.
Old plumbing system can cause leaks and water damages.
Though wood-burning stove poses a greater risk of fire compared to electric or gas models, owning it does not automatically get your application for insurance policy refused. Your home insurer may ask you to have it inspected by a certified technician on an annual basis.
Tanks that are older than 25 years are susceptible to deterioration, leakage and rusting.
Finding the best insurance company
You can’t just find the best insurance company just by getting a quote from a single insurer.
You would need to take time in researching and see which company offers the most coverage at the most reasonable rate. If you want your ancestral house to have its original features and structures preserved, look for a policy that will cover the replacement but won’t strip your pocket off of unreasonable premium charges.
Sure, it would cost more to have your older house insured, but every dollar spent is worth it. Nothing is sweeter than living in a house that is not only rich with texture and style but also of history and memories.