Guaranteed replacement cost is a type of coverage enhancement that offers the highest level of coverage — it guarantees a full home rebuild after a total loss, regardless of the cost.
Guaranteed replacement cost is a type of dwelling coverage enhancement you can add to your policy
If your home is destroyed in a disaster, this policy will pay whatever it costs to rebuild your house, regardless of your coverage limits
This type of coverage is generally an expensive policy add-on, especially in disaster-prone areas
In the event your home is destroyed, you should have enough homeowners insurance to rebuild the house back to the way it was prior to the catastrophe. The best way to insure your home against the most expensive disasters is to get a policy with guaranteed replacement cost.
Guaranteed replacement cost is a type of dwelling coverage enhancement offered by some homeowners insurance companies. If your home is destroyed and you have guaranteed replacement cost, your policy will pay out the full reconstruction value of the home without factoring depreciation or coverage amount maximums into your claim settlement.
Guaranteed replacement cost is suggested for homes in high risk areas where construction and labor costs are known to skyrocket in the wake of a natural disaster. If you have a policy with guaranteed replacement cost, you don’t have to worry about being underinsured — you’re fully covered regardless of how much the rebuild costs.
In this article:
A standard homeowners insurance policy insures your home at its replacement cost, meaning if your house incurs a loss and you file a claim, depreciation won’t be factored into the claim payout. But a replacement cost policy isn’t perfect: Your policy still has a specific coverage limit, and if you or your insurer underestimates your home’s replacement cost, you could be left severely underinsured.
With guaranteed replacement cost, you don’t have to worry about being underinsured because there is no coverage limit — your company is agreeing to fully reimburse you regardless of the rebuild amount.
For example, if you have a replacement cost policy and your home’s rebuild value is $400,000, then you’d want it insured for $400,000. Under the terms of a standard replacement cost policy, you’re entitled to that amount (minus your deductible) in the event you lose your home due to a covered loss. But what if you lose your home in a wildfire that destroys thousands of other properties and your home’s rebuild cost jumps to $500,000 because of the high demand for materials and labor? You’d have to pay $100,000 out of pocket to construct your home back to the way it was prior to calamity. With guaranteed replacement cost, you don’t have to worry about footing the bill for any unexpected spikes in reconstruction costs, you’ll get a full insurance payout anyway.
Guaranteed replacement cost is offered by several insurance companies around the U.S., including Chubb, Erie, MetLife, and Travelers, although keep in mind that availability of this coverage enhancement varies from state to state.
A much more common dwelling coverage endorsement is extended replacement cost coverage, which increases your policy limit an additional 25% or 50% in the event that rebuild costs exceed your coverage maximum.
Adding guaranteed replacement cost to your policy is going to vary in price from company to company and location to location. If you live in a high risk area, your insurance company will likely charge you way more for this coverage add-on.
About the author
Pat Howard is an Insurance Editor at Policygenius in New York City and an expert in homeowners insurance. Previously, he was working as a freelance writer for the New York State Nurses Association and wrote for the Michigan Information Research Service. Pat has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
Was this article helpful?
We make it easy to compare and buy insurance.
Security you can trust
Yes, we have to include some legalese down here. Policygenius Inc. (DBA Policygenius Insurance Services in California) (“Policygenius”), a Delaware corporation, is a licensed independent insurance broker. Policygenius does not underwrite any insurance policy described on this website. The information provided on this site has been developed by Policygenius for general informational and educational purposes. We do our best to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate. Any insurance policy premium quotes or ranges displayed are non-binding. The final insurance policy premium for any policy is determined by the underwriting insurance company following application.
Copyright Policygenius © 2014-2020