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Old apartment building and old homes insurance – Guide

Are you considering insuring a vintage home or an old apartment building?

Old apartment building insurance requires a careful approach. You must understand how insurance works, what factors affect the rate, and when companies refuse to give insurance.

So, in this blog post, we’ll cover the difference between old and new building insurance. Also, we’ll discuss the factors that affect old building insurance. Furthermore, we’ll shed light on the reasons that lead to insurance companies refusing coverage for old buildings.

The difference between insurance of new and old apartment buildings

The difference between new and old apartment building insurance lies primarily in the risk factors associated with their structural conditions and maintenance requirements.

New apartment buildings insurance

Insurance for new apartment buildings typically involves coverage that accounts for the potential risks associated with the construction process. Also, it covers any defects that might arise from poor workmanship or materials.

Old building insurance coverage, whether for homeowners or apartment buildings, typically covers damages resulting from specific events, known as named perils. These may include:

  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Windstorms
  • Vandalism
  • Lightning
  • Vehicle and aircraft damage
  • Explosions
  • Riots

If you live in an area prone to higher risks, you can add endorsements for additional perils. For example, properties located near fault lines or water bodies often opt for endorsements such as earthquake coverage and mold coverage.

Old apartment building insurance

In contrast, insurance for old apartment buildings generally considers the wear and tear of aging structures. This insurance coverage may include structural weaknesses developed over time and potential hazards related to outdated electrical or plumbing systems. Also, it includes the risk of damage from natural disasters or adverse weather conditions.

Insurers often assess the condition of the building, including its maintenance history, to determine the level of coverage needed to mitigate these specific risks.

Insurers may also consider factors such as the building's location, the availability of local repair services, and the overall quality of its maintenance when determining the insurance premium for an older apartment building.

Factors affecting Old apartment building insurance

Insurance for historic buildings or older homes is influenced by various factors affecting coverage and premiums. Some of the key factors that affect the insurance of old buildings include:

Age and historical significance

The age of the building and its historical significance can play a significant role. Historic buildings may require specialized insurance to cover the cost of restoring or preserving historical features, which can affect the premium.

Building materials

The materials used in construction, such as wood, brick, or stone, can impact insurance costs. Recovering reclaimed wood, antique doors, and hand-painted windows can pose a challenge due to their uniqueness.

In cases where older homes suffer significant damage, the scarcity of these materials and the distinctive architectural features can increase reconstruction costs. It's crucial to have sufficient replacement cost coverage to assist in handling these expenses.

Maintenance and upkeep

The condition of the building and its maintenance history are crucial. Well-maintained buildings are often viewed more favorably by insurers and may have lower premiums. Neglect and deferred maintenance can lead to higher insurance costs.

Retrofitting and safety measures

Older buildings may need updates to meet modern safety standards, such as electrical, plumbing, or fire safety systems. As per the Electrical Safety Foundation International, certain houses might still have a 60-amp electrical system, contrasting the more standard 100- or 200-amp service utilized today.

Additionally, some older homes might be equipped with knob-and-tube wiring, which is more exposed than contemporary styles. Also, galvanized steel pipes are commonly found in older homes, prone to rusting, hindering water flow and causing water damage. Insurers generally take these factors into account when assessing your insurance rate.

Historic preservation regulations

If the building is subject to historic preservation regulations, insurance coverage may need to adhere to specific guidelines or requirements set by local authorities, affecting the policy terms.

Type of coverage

The insurance coverage you choose, such as actual cash value or replacement cost coverage, can impact your premiums. Replacement cost coverage typically results in higher premiums but offers better protection.

Previous claims

If the building has a history of insurance claims, it can lead to increased premiums or difficulty obtaining coverage.

Use of the building

The purpose for which the building is used can affect insurance costs. For example, if it's a commercial building, residential rental property, or private residence, the use can impact the policy terms and costs.

What are the benefits of old apartment building insurance?

Old apartment building insurance provides several key benefits to protect the property and its owners. Some of the advantages include:

Property Protection

Old apartment building insurance typically covers damages to the structure of the building caused by natural disasters, fire, vandalism, or other unforeseen events. This protection is crucial for preserving the historical integrity of the building.

Liability Coverage

It includes liability coverage, which safeguards the property owner from legal claims or lawsuits in case of accidents or injuries on the premises.

Reconstruction Coverage

In the event of substantial damage, this insurance can help cover the costs of restoring the building to its original design and historical accuracy.

Loss of Income Coverage

Some insurance policies also offer coverage for rental income loss in case the property becomes temporarily uninhabitable due to covered perils. Thus, such policies provide financial support during the restoration period.

Enhanced Security Measures

Some insurance providers further provide extra advantages, such as access to security measures and risk management strategies for old apartments or buildings. They help to mitigate potential risks and protect the building from harm.

Why do companies refuse to insure old buildings?

Companies may refuse old apartment building insurance for several reasons, including:

  • Higher risk of potential damage or liability
  • Increased likelihood of costly repairs or replacements
  • Difficulties in precisely determining the property's value.

Older buildings often have unique materials and construction methods that make them more vulnerable to certain risks, such as fire, structural issues, or water damage. Insurers may perceive these risks as too high and may be reluctant to provide coverage or may offer it at significantly higher premiums.


E360 Insurance Services safeguards your old apartment buildings from unforeseen risks and liabilities. With our old apartment building insurance, you can have peace of mind, knowing that the costs of repairs and restoration will be covered. Request a Quote or Call +18888626750