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How Much Home Insurance Do You Need?

You generally have three options to choose from when deciding how much home insurance you need, and each of these options provides a different level of coverage for your home:

  • Actual Cash Value — Pays for the cost to replace damaged property while factoring in depreciation amounts. For home insurance policies, Actual Cash Value applies unless a policy states that Replacement Cost or Guaranteed Replacement Cost has been chosen.
  • Replacement Cost — Pays for the cost to replace damaged property without factoring in deductions for depreciation, but payment is limited to a maximum dollar amount.
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost — Pays the full cost of replacing damaged property, with no deduction for depreciation and no dollar limit. Guaranteed Replacement Cost is not available in all states, and most companies limit the coverage to 120 percent of the cost to rebuild your home. Allowing for this amount protects you in cases of increased construction costs or other building-related fees due to inflation.

You can determine a rough estimate of what it would cost to rebuild your home by following this equation:

Local building costs per square foot x Total square footage of your home = Cost to rebuild your home.

Your local builders association or a real estate appraiser can provide you with local building costs for your estimate.

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