A home is the biggest investment you are likely to make in your life. it is important to protect that investment. This means that you not only need to have insurance protection, but you also need to have an adequate amount of insurance coverage so that if your home is damaged or needs to be replaced, you have an insurance policy that is up to the task and won’t let you down. your family in a state of limbo.
Understanding how insurance companies determine your home’s value can help you shop for homeowners insurance with the confidence that you’re getting the right amount of coverage to protect your investment.
what replacement cost is not
Before you sit down and start crunching numbers, there are a few things you should know. the replacement cost is none of the following, to the surprise of countless homeowners across the country:
- the purchase price of your home or land.
- mortgage balance.
- market value of the home.
- house location.
- year of construction.
- year of last major update.
- types of updates.
- total square footage of the home.
- foundation and building materials for the home.
- cover (materials, installation, last update, etc.)
- quality of home craftsmanship.
- chimneys inside the house.
- building materials (interior and exterior).
The common mistake people make is to insure the house only for the value of the house at the time of sale. that number is substantially different from the amount of money it will take to rebuild or even repair the house. It also doesn’t take into account things like room additions, remodels, improvements, and other investments you’ve made in the house along the way, or rising property values and the costs of things like building materials, building permits, and labor. working. .
what affects the replacement value of your house?
When it comes to your home’s replacement value, there are many things that affect the number. One of the best things you can do, in the interest of maintaining adequate insurance coverage, is to obtain an estimate of the replacement cost of your home. this can often be done in conjunction with the appraisal, but you can also get one from a reputable builder in your area or check with your insurance agent for suggestions.
A replacement cost appraisal will consider things that affect your home’s rebuilding costs, such as its unique features, whether it has a finished basement, non-standard living areas, custom windows or trim, and many other things that add value. to your house.
One tool you can use to estimate the construction costs of your home, should it need to be rebuilt, is building-cost.net’s construction cost calculator, which is free to use. These are some of the factors that insurers take into account when calculating the replacement value of a home:
don’t forget though that this doesn’t take into account the costs of things like code updates, debris removal, etc. that may be needed when rebuilding a home that has been damaged by windstorms, fire, lightning, tornadoes, vandalism, or other covered events.
how do insurance companies get their numbers?
As far as insurance companies are concerned, replacement costs are the costs necessary to rebuild or repair your home with building materials of a similar type, quality, and style as those used in the initial construction of your home . that’s what insurance companies look at when assessing replacement value.
Some policies include a specific amount to help with the costs of upgrading your home to current code requirements and regulations, but it’s wise to consider investing in a law and ordinance rider so your policy accounts for anything else beyond what your policy provides, especially if you own an older home that may require a more extensive upgrade.