The older a building, the more likely it is to have serious defects, particularly in critical building systems such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC and roofing. Older buildings generate more claims than younger properties, especially if they have not been well-maintained or if their building systems have not been updated.
This is why an insurer will ask a policyholder about the age of the original building, the age of renovations or additions and the age and condition of critical building systems. The information helps the insurer price the coverage fairly, and brings to light any serious defects to be corrected. In the case of serious plumbing defects, failure-prone polybutylene piping for example, or when a major update is needed, say, an aging water heater, the insurer may request the upgrades as a condition of coverage.