This is a common question when you discuss property insurance with your agent. I stopped to think about how this question would be answered by my home. I live in a house built in 1967. It will be 54 years old this year. So how old is my house and what updates have been performed? It was not a simple answer. I suspect this will be like many homeowners.
I replaced the roof, down to the deck, in 2003 with a 30-year architectural shingle roof. Gutters were replaced and gutter guards added in 2005 to keep the gutters clear from leaves and debris. Drainage system to conduct downspouts to a dedicated storm sewer system done this year.
The original electrical service was upgraded to a 200-amp service in 1998. All new circuit breakers at that time. Every switch and outlet in the house have been replaced to update the look to Decora plugs. All exterior light fixtures replaced in 2006 when siding was replaced. A new hot tub service was added in 2005.
Interior drain tile and sump pump added in 1998. Sump pump replaced in 2018. I added a bathroom and laundry room in 2004 so new plumbing was added. The two original bathrooms have been remodeled since 2000 and new fixtures and drain lines installed. The kitchen was remodeled, and the sink moved, so new plumbing in the kitchen in 2008. I replaced the cast iron waste stack and replaced the drain lines for the first floor in 2020. Main water service from street replaced in 2009. Tank style water heater replaced with tankless unit in 2020
New high efficiency gas furnace and high efficiency AC in 2017.
New windows and doors in 2008. Vinyl siding trim replaced with cement board siding in 2006. All exterior repainted in 2020. Garage door and opener replaced in 2005. Driveway, concrete steps, and all ornamental ironwork around front porch replaced in 1999.
So how old is my house?
Many of us routinely update and improve our homes and do not think about the level of updating that has taken place. It took me more than a week to make this list and find the dates.
A recent online presentation from an insurance carrier told us that they had third party data to identify updates to homes. In most cases this is matching building permits to your address. Two of the electrical projects and one plumbing project called for permits. These are the only projects visible from public records. The balance fell under repair and maintenance that would not require permits. Big Data would have missed most of my efforts at home.
Did I keep my records to allow me to prove I did the work? No, I simply took care of my home. A week of research found some of the traces, but not detailed information. I need to keep better records!
I shopped for homeowners’ insurance a few years ago and I am sure I did not share all of this with my agent. I may be paying a rate for a 50-year-old home when the effective age is much less. If you are dealing with a commercial building, the pricing impacts can be greater.
The Driehaus Difference
This question often asked and answered very quickly. It really deserves more thought and consideration. I know that I did not answer this completely. I just said, “You know, the normal stuff.” Learn from my experience and maintain a file for home and building upgrades. It is a small effort that can bring significant benefits.
We ask you more detailed questions about updates because we know how important it can be to the underwriter. These answers can affect your premium and the markets that will consider your business. This is the difference between a professional insurance consultation and “15 minutes saves you 15%". Reach out to us at 513-977-6860 or on the internet at www.driehausins.com