According to a recent insurance survey, forty percent of homeowners are not aware of what their home insurance policy actually covers, and almost one in five policyholders believe they don’t have enough insurance to repair or replace damaged or stolen property. One area of confusion is the difference between “Actual Cash Value” and “Replacement Cost.”
Why is this important? Consider if your 65-in. Smart Ultra HD TV is stolen. Would your insurance company give you a settlement to replace your TV with a new one of like kind and quality, or what your TV is currently worth today after being used? The answer: it depends on the coverage you selected when purchasing your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Here’s a brief explanation of the difference between the two coverages and how you might be reimbursed for a covered property loss.
Actual Cash Value – When a homeowner has actual cash value coverage to repair or replace damaged, stolen or destroyed personal property, their insurance company will pay to replace the item with like kind and quality less age and condition depreciation.
Insurance Tip: Keep an inventory of your belongings, along with copies, scans or photos of your receipts if you have an actual cash value policy.
Replacement Cost – When a homeowner purchases replacement cost coverage, an insurance company will pay to repair or replace damaged, stolen or destroyed personal property with like kind and quality at today’s prices. The policyholder has the opportunity to recover any withheld depreciation up to the replacement cost amount once the property is replaced.
So why should you purchase replacement cost coverage?
Chances are you might not be able to find the exact model of a TV that was purchased two years ago. With Replacement Cost coverage, you’ll be able to replace your old television with a newer model without having to absorb the cost of two years’ usage.
Insurance Tip: Homeowners insurance policyholders should review their coverage with their insurance agent annually.