The homeowner policy has so many benefits and features. The online shopper can get confused in all the details when trying to compare policies. There are some basic benefits and there are a variety supplemental benefits and riders. The rates are calculated based on two different methods of claim settlement. The homeowner needs to understand these two methods in order to select the appropriate policy.
Two Types of Claim Settlement
1. Actual Cash Value – This type of claim settlement uses depreciation when determining the amount paid after a loss. For example: If a property has a current replacement value of $100,000 and has depreciated by 30% due to age and use, the actual cash value of the property would be $70,000. Actual cash value policies are mostly written on older homes that depreciate.
2. Replacement Cost – This type of claim settlement does not use depreciation. Replacement cost is defined as the cost to replace with like kind and quality at today’s replacement cost without any depreciation. Replacement cost policies are generally purchased on newer homes.
The next thing to consider is how to determine the proper value of your home. Insurance companies use a calculator to find the appropriate amount of insurance. It will make your online experience a lot easier if you can have some of these details available.
1. Square Footage – Insurance companies always use square footage to calculate replacement cost. The square footage is available on your appraisal.
2. Finished Basement – This adds to the replacement cost value of your home. What percentage of your basement is finished?
3. Detached Structures – The homeowner policy has protection for other structures. The amount of protection is 10% of the dwelling amount. You may need more added to this 10% if you have some larger detached structures.
There are other things to consider like air conditioning, decks, and fireplaces. These all add into the final calculation. There are discounts for smoke detectors, fire and burglar alarm systems. Please view our recommended insurers for details.