Standard insurance policies only pay a percentage of the value of a home's contents. The contents are assessed at a cash value, which takes depreciation into consideration. As such, the policy will only reimburse what the items were worth at the time of the incident that led to a covered loss. If you have some fairly recent furniture, electronics and appliances, it may be in your best interest to purchase additional replacement cost coverage. This coverage offers reimbursement amounts to fully replace items.
How Cash Value Compares to Replacement Costs
A five-year-old television that cost $800 new may be valued at half of its life, or $400, under a typical homeowner's policy. If it is under replacement cost coverage, though, the full $800 will be reimbursed. However, you need to be careful and read all of your policy documents concerning coverage and have a clear understanding of how the process works. Some replacement policies may only cover four times the current cash value of an item. An item valued at $100 may only be covered for $400, even if it would cost more to replace it.
Making Sure That Your Claim Is Fair
After a covered loss, an adjuster will inspect the property and review the documents concerning your damaged or destroyed contents. An assessment will be prepared that details the goods that need replacement, along with replacement cost estimates. It is a common practice for adjusters to use computer programs to calculate these figures. Once the claims supervisor has this report and approves it, a check will be issued to you. Before you accept this check, be sure to look over everything in the report and make note of any disagreements.
Seek a Second Offer
Over the years, you should have been keeping records of your major purchases and saving the receipts as proof of purchase. This information is your arsenal when the claims adjuster seems to think that big box retailer prices are good enough to replace your solid oak bedroom set. If the claims adjuster doesn't give a fair assessment, you can compose a politely written complaint that details:
The insurer may ask for additional details, so be ready to provide any requested documentation or statements.
- Your specific objections
- Your preferred resolution
- When you expect a response
If you have any questions about claims or Colorado home insurance, then feel free to contact us at 877-430-0092.