9 things to know before insuring an older home
Make sure you’re getting proper coverageOlder homes have character. We love them because of their charm, and unique style. But they can come with extra baggage.
Equipped with the right answers, you can make insuring your older home easy. And most importantly, get insurance that will actually cover everything you’d expect.
Before you callYour insurance company may need to know a lot of details before they’ll insure your older home. Save your time and find out these specifics before calling. I can help you with all of this, but be sure you have the information ready before you call.
If you don’t know something, be honest. Let them know that you’ll have to check it out and call them back. Don’t ever guess!
What they may need to know
- Renovations and updates. Just because it’s older doesn’t mean it wasn’t upgraded. If you have an inspection you should be able to find out a lot of this information. If not, the current home owners may be able to give you a hand. After all, they may have done some of the upgrades themselves!
- Age and type of roof. When was the last time roof was updated? And what type is it? Some roofs last longer than others. Asphalt shingles will need to be replaced sooner than a metal roof.
- The type of plumbing. There are some types of plumbing that may require further inspection and documentation from a plumber before your insurer may bind coverage, especially if you have Galvanized pipes, Cast Iron, Kitec, or Poly-B.
- Electrical wiring. Is it up to code? Some types of wiring may need to be upgraded or inspected. A mix of aluminum and copper may require an inspection. Knob and tube? Most insurance companies will want you to replace it completely.
- Electrical amperage. Is the home rated for over 100 amps service? If not, insurers may require an inspection from an electrician, and may need to you upgrade. This is in your best interest though, because nothing is more annoying than having to replace a fuse or flip a breaker every time you use the microwave while the coffee maker is percolating.
- Hot water tank. How old is it? Is it rented or owned? Do you have a service contract? If it’s more than 15 years old, you may want to replace it when you move, in or purchasing a water alarm from the hardware store. These notify you right away if there’s a leak.
- Heating. What kind of heat? If there’s a furnace, how old? When was the last time it was serviced?
- Oil tank. If you have one, how old is it, and how old are the fuel lines? What kind of oil tank is it? Single walled, double walled? Located inside or outside? On a solid concrete base?
- Wood Heating. This includes wood stoves and wood burning fireplaces. Your insurer may want to know when the last time the chimney was inspected. Was it professionally installed? Is it Wett Certified? Will you be using it all the time, or just occasionally? How much wood do you think you’ll burn in a year?
Accuracy is keyIf you guess, and aren’t accurate, you may void your coverage. If it turns out you had antiquated plumbing and didn’t disclose it, sudden water damage may not be covered.
We’ve all heard horror stories about insurance companies refusing to cover a burned down house. And usually it’s because the home owner provided inaccurate information. Don’t give them the opportunity to deny you. Cross all those “t”s and dot all those “i”s.
I can help with all of this. That’s what I’m here for!