Don’t be left without adequate homeowners coverage in the event of a loss – here are a few tips to help you accurately determine your home insurance replacement cost.
As a responsible homeowner, you know that you need to have insurance that covers the replacement cost of your home. But, how exactly do you go about determining that number? Many folks will simply base the cost on the current market value of the home, but that method could leave you with an unpleasant surprise if you experience a loss.
We recommend working with your insurance agent and some type of cost estimator tool to get an accurate value for your home. With the help of The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, here are a few questions to answer that can help you and your agent determine an accurate suggested value.
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
Most insurance agents use a cost estimator of some sort. Below are common questions to know the answers to before you meet for an evaluation.
- Was your home built in 1944 or earlier? Let your agent know if there is a registry plate or plaque on the home or if the home is in a recognized historic district.
- Have you completed any renovations on the home? Provide date completed, details of renovations, and costs.
- What is the square footage of the total living area? Share your bank appraisal or prior inspection report with the agent. If you don’t have a report, your agent can check your county tax card for square footage.
- What type of foundation is under your home? Is it slab, crawl space, or basement? If basement, is it a walk-out? What percentage is finished?
- Do you have a garage attached to the home? If yes, how many cars can it hold?
- Do you have any additional spaces? Include any half story, three-quarter story, screened or covered/enclosed porches, deck, outdoor kitchen, or any other attached structures.
- What are the exterior features of the home? Consider roof material (shingle, concrete tile, slate); primary exterior wall covering (brick, vinyl siding, wood frame); and style of home (ranch, bi-level, colonial)
- What are the interior features? Don’t overlook:
- Window styles and brand (casement, double slide, transom)
- Floor coverings (wood, carpet, tile)
- Ceiling construction (standard, coffered, beamed, vaulted)
- Wall trim (crown molding, pilasters, custom molding, arched doorways)
- Kitchen cabinetry, countertops, backsplashes, high-end or luxury brand appliances
- Bathroom cabinetry, countertops, flooring
- Any rooms with built-in cabinetry
- Number of fireplaces
- Miscellaneous items (wet bar, ceiling fans, solar panels, walk-in closets, wine cellar)
- Unique items
THE SAVINGS ARE IN THE DETAILS
By providing as much detail as you can – along with any photos or videos of the specific home features – your insurance agent should be able to give you a good starting replacement value.
Once your policy is issued, many insurance companies will have a home valuation expert conduct an inspection as a complimentary service to confirm accuracy and document your home features. This gives you added comfort that your home is insured to value.
Finally, be sure to periodically review your homeowner policy to make sure your home insurance replacement cost coverage is still adequate, especially if you do any major renovations. Learn more about what we find valuable to consider before going in for a policy review.
Let us help you ensure you’re getting a fair replacement cost for your home. If you’re a homeowner in the greater Rochester, NY area, we invite you to contact the Feltner Group to talk through your specific situation. As independent brokers, we work for you, not the insurance companies, and are dedicated to getting you the best coverage at the best rate.