Arnold K. Davis Insurance has been insuring historic homes in Westchester and the New York City area for 63 years, so our staff is well versed in asking the correct questions of the homeowner to get a sense of the asset.

Like historic homes, all homeowners policies are not the same. That's why we prefer to meet the homeowner at the home; it allows us to see the nuances of the structure and obtain accurate information about the structure. Using our appraisal system, we can "ballpark" the 100% replacement cost of the structure, and, in addition, we may be able to suggest ways to save on premiums.

After the proposals are issued, we meet with the homeowner to review our findings, and, once the homeowner decides to become an Arnold K. Davis Insurance client, we ask the carrier chosen to bind coverage.

After the carrier accepts the risk, they send out a certified appraiser who specializes in historic home values. He or she measures each room to determine a more accurate replacement cost of the structure. A formal detailed appraisal, explaining how the replacement cost was determined, is then given to the homeowner.

There are differences in homeowner policies between carriers. Most important is the amount that would be paid in the event of a loss or even a total loss. Some carriers will pay only the limit of the policy, while other carriers will pay 125% or 150% of the limit. Others, if you insure to the 100% appraised replacement cost, will pay whatever it costs to rebuild the structure, regardless of the policy limit. Because some materials that were used to build a historic home are not easy to obtain today, the cost to rebuild might be more than you think.

When rebuilding, building code issues could come into play. Some policies address this issue while others are silent. In addition, a historic registry could mandate how repairs are to be made. A homeowner with a valuable asset wants to purchase the broadest policy available in the marketplace, so no surprises surface when a claim occurs.

As an independent broker, Arnold K. Davis Insurance works with highly-rated carriers that specialize in insuring historic homes. Many other agents offer one company's product, which might not be suited for your home. One size does not fit all risks, especially when it comes to insuring an antique or vintage home.

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