What is Historic Home Insurance?

There can be such beauty in restoring and living in a historic home. However, regular homeowners insurance generally covers the replacement cost of materials used today and not the antique doorknobs, stately columns, and gazebos that cannot be replaced in the 21st century.

Depending on the age of the home, craftsmanship and materials may be rare.  Many homes built in the 1950s are considered a legacy and have been considered for historic registry. However, replacing those homes with brick and stone of the era can be difficult. Federal grants are not available to the single homeowner when restoration is needed.

Obtaining insurance from those that specialize in historic homes is the best route to adequate coverage. Restoration experts are sent to the home before the policy is written to examine the architecture. Keep in mind that standard policies cover homes for the market value but special policies to cover historic homes is based on replacement of antique and hand-crafted features. Sometime estimators find unknowns that are difficult to replace such as elaborate crown moldings.

Some insurance companies will not cover a historic structure if the payout is too high so you may have to shop around. Fireman’s Fund Insurance has insured historic sites that include commercial property. Insurances that are affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation would provide solid estimates. State or local historic preservation offices can also offer assistance.

A historic home can be costly to purchase and protect. Generally, this special kind of insurance is 20 percent higher than a standard homeowners policy. Once purchasing a policy, it is important to document repairs and restorations to keep your insurance company updated as to any future changes.

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