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Historic homes, especially those dating back to a construction periods over 100 years, have become popular pieces of real estate across the United States. Many homeowners choose historic homes for their architectural detailing, location, and uniqueness and have lovingly and laboriously restored a piece of history in the process. However, homeowners insurance can be a challenge for these special homes.
Historic homes located in areas that have been declared historic districts are subject to renovation and maintenance rules and guidelines. Individuals who take the time and make the effort and investment to restore and maintain historic homes should be certain they have adequate homeowners insurance. While there is no hard, fast rule in the insurance industry that states historic homes must carry special insurance, it is advisable for owners of historic homes to examine policies closely.
Due to the unique features of historic homes, the replacement value of certain structures may be priceless. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy may undervalue the total worth of a historic home. Replacing certain elements and structures of historic homes in the event of damage can not only be expensive, but can prove challenging if the homeowner chooses to use period-specific replacement material.
Though most companies that offer homeowners insurance will underwrite policies for historic homes like any other house, it is important for historic home owners to assess the coverage that is offered. They should be certain that coverage is adequate to rebuild or repair any part of their home in a manner that is both suitable to them and meets the requirements of the district where the home is located.
Some companies do specialize in insurance for special structures such as historic homes. These companies not only understand the value of insuring all or part of the historic home, they are also well-connected within the building sector and can direct homeowners to contractors who specialize in historic homes. These connections could prove invaluable for the homeowner who incurs damage to their historic home.
Buyers looking in the historic home market should make inquiries to real estate agents, insurance agents, and the historic district or neighborhood board of directors to gather information about companies that specialize or are equipped to cover potentially special needs of historic homes.
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