Brightway finds insurance for historic homes

  • By
  • | 12:00 p.m. December 15, 2014
  • Realty Builder
  • Share

By Carole Hawkins, chaw[email protected]

Matt and Joe Carlucci want agents working with homebuyers to know you can get that old house insured.

Asbestos roof? No problem.

Galvanized piping? There are 20-25 insurance companies that will underwrite that.

Stab-Lok electrical panel? Check.

In fact, they can insure a house regardless of what type of electrical panel it has in it.

The brothers, owners of a Brightway Insurance franchise in San Marco, talked about insurance for old houses at the November meeting of NEFAR’s Historic Area Council.

Old homes have all kinds of stuff in them that raise red flags with insurance companies. Companies may even deny coverage, something that will kill a mortgage closing.

But, because they work with so many carriers who offer competing policies, the Brightway team has a wide array of insurance options from which to choose.

The list of insurable situations includes an owner who’s filed for bankruptcy, has prior insurance claims, owns a pit bull or is buying a house with a roof more than 20 years old — just not all four of those at the same time, Joe Carlucci said, with a laugh.

“We really can work with anything,” he said. “Unless you buy a house that has a lot of damage to it and the buyer says, ‘I’m not fixing it.’ We can’t insure that.”

But, will a company that insures riskier properties pay out when a claim is filed? Sometimes the claims experience is actually better, Joe Carlucci said.

Companies that accept more risk will charge higher premiums, he said. As a result, they often have wider margins than companies that are stricter in what they’ll underwrite.

“Companies that are really strict, it’s not that they’re not going to pay a claim, but they may nickel and dime you a little bit more,” Joe Carlucci said.

“Old house” conditions which can be insured include:

• Aluminum wiring

• Asbestos roofs and siding

• No hurricane clips

• Galvanized pipes

• Polybutylene pipes

• Knob and tube wiring

• Electrical panels with troubled safety records — Bruder, Federal Pacific Stab-Lok, Challenger, and Zinsco Sylvania