One of the first questions people have when purchasing an older home is what impacts it will have on their insurance. When you are purchasing an older home, your insurance rate will most likely be higher. This is because older homes are generally prone to more issues than newer ones, which means they are higher risk. The impact of buying an older home on your insurance is going to be higher rates. If you want to get cheaper home insurance, you will need to address some, if not all, of these issues. Luckily, isure is here to detail all of the things you should know when it comes to older home insurance.
What risks come with buying an older home?
For starters, homes built before the 1960s can have all kinds of issues that will not be up to code today. These issues can cause problems as a homeowner, and make you more likely to make a claim. As such, insurance on older homes is generally higher. There are also certain issues that need immediate attention. These issues include, but are not limited to:
1. Knob and tube wiring is common in older homes
This style of wiring does not come with a ground wire. Thus, it makes it a huge risk. Older homes are also in danger of wearing down and are susceptible to short circuits. This will put a big toll on your insurance payments, as most newer houses tend to be more up to date with their wiring. In some cases, insurers may decline coverage outright if you have this style of wiring. Your rates will be higher, and your options will be fewer. This is why it is crucial to make some updates to your home’s wiring when necessary!
2. 60-amp service
Current homes come standard with 100-amp service. Our world is reliant on plugging things in, thus, the risk of overheating is higher. You can also easily overload an outlet, which increases the chance of an electrical fire. The threat of electrical fires is higher with 60-amp, and as such, your older home insurance rates will be higher. Generally, insurers will ask that you replace exposed wiring before they will insure you. Doing so is recommended, as it will assure your safety.
3. Old fuel tanks
If your home has a fuel tank older than 25 years, it can be a major risk. They are prone to rust damage, leakage and can be an environmental issue. If your tank leaks, the cost for cleanup can be as much as $20,000. This is why it is recommended to update your fuel tank once you purchase a new home. If an oil tank is older than 25 years, you will not likely be able to get older home insurance. Instead, you will need to have a newer tank that a TSSA inspector has certified before you’ll get coverage.
4. Wood burning stoves in older homes
Older homes often have wood burning stoves. While they are becoming popular again, they can be a serious fire risk. Wood burning stoves that haven’t been properly maintained are a concern. Generally, there aren’t much issues when it comes to insuring a property with a wood burning stove or appliance. That said, they will need it inspected to certify that it’s safe. In order to make sure your wood-burning stove (or any wood-burning appliance) is up to code, you should perform a WETT inspection. Once your appliance is inspected and up to code, you will see a decrease in your home insurance rates.
5. Galvanized steel plumbing
These pipes have a lifespan of 50 years max. Generally, most homes with this style of plumbing need replacing. Failing to do so puts you at risk for floods, as they are likely rusting and corroding from the inside. The risk of flood is far too high for most insurers. As such, you may have difficulty in finding affordable insurance. This is why it is recommended to update your home’s plumbing before getting insured. Though an expensive change to make, it can save you tons of money in the long run on insurance rates.
Though an older home may come at a lower price, you need to consider the costs that may come with it. Higher home insurance rates are likely, unless you plan on doing major home upgrades. In some cases, upgrades will be necessary before you can even get coverage. As such, you should keep it in mind when you make your next home offer! Remember, if you are in the market for new home insurance, check out isure.