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Will insurance companies cover older homes?

It is the aftermath of a hurricane. Your Jacksonville home has taken some damage, but since you have property insurance, you are feeling confident that you can repair your house and get on with your life. However, if you own an old home, you might find that your insurance policy is not willing to fully cover your repairs. To understand why these issues may occur, it helps to know whether insurance companies are eager to cover damages inflicted on older houses.

The Insurance Information Institute explains that not all insurance companies are willing to fully insure the replacement building costs of older homes. The problem is that restoring particular features of older homes may be too expensive. Some houses have distinct features like moldings in the walls or ceilings which will cost a lot to recreate if they are damaged or destroyed.

Still, you may find an insurer that is willing to cover the costs of repairing your home after a hurricane. Typically, insurers require that your home must be in good condition. Insurance companies may balk at covering an older home that is in poor or fair shape. Other companies could cover your home, but will insist on a modified replacement cost policy instead of straight replacement cost coverage.

With modified replacement cost coverage, your insurer will cover your home’s restoration after a storm, but will pay for the typical building materials that would be used on homes in the present day instead of the original materials used on your home. For an old home with a hard wood floor, a modified replacement coverage will likely pay for a different material to create a new floor. Likewise, damaged plaster walls in your home may end up replaced with drywall.

Be aware of these questions when you first take out an insurance policy on your home so you are less likely to be hit with a surprise after a storm. Since property insurance disputes take so many different forms, do not consider this article as legal advice. Read it only for your educational benefit.

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