If a fire, flood, hurricane, or some other natural disaster were to destroy or damage your home, would you have the right insurance coverage to rebuild your house?
These series of posts are based on the questions consumers most frequently ask, explains what is covered in a standard homeowners policy and what is not. Where gaps in coverage exist, it tells you how to fill them.
To simplify explanations, we assume that you have a policy known as Homeowners-3 (HO-3), the most common homeowner’s policy in the United States. Find out what type of homeowners policy you have. If you have a different policy, you should review your options in question #17.
Question # 3: If my house is totally destroyed in a fire and I have $150,000 worth of insurance to cover the structure, will this be enough to rebuild my home?
Answer: If the cost of rebuilding your home is equal to or less than $150,000 you would have enough coverage. The HO-3 policy pays for structural damage on a replacement cost basis. If the cost of replacing your home is, say, $120,000, then that is all the insurance you need. On the other hand if the cost of rebuilding your home is $180,000, then you will be short $30,000.
If you live in an area that is frequently hit by major storms, ask you insurance company about an extended or guaranteed replacement cost policy. This will provide a certain amount over the policy limit to rebuild your home so that if building costs go up unexpectedly, due to high demand for contractors and materials, you will have extra funds to cover the bill.
If you choose not to rebuild your home, you will receive the replacement cost of your home, less depreciation. This is called actual cash value. You should make sure that the amount of insurance you have will cover the cost of rebuilding your house. You can find out what this cost is by talking to your real estate agent or builders in your area.
Do not use the price of your house as the basis for the amount of insurance you purchase. The market price of your house includes the value of the land on which the house is situated. In almost all cases, the land will still be there after a disaster, so you do not need to insure it. You only need to insure the structure.
Okay, our next post of common questions asked will be Question # 4: Am I covered for flood damage?
A current concern if you have enough protection for your home – call us.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY