High-value home insurance: What you need to know

High-value homeowners insurance is offered by both standard and high-end insurance companies — it features higher coverage limits for your home and personal property and policies include multiple perks and benefits.

Pat Howard 1600Kara McGinley

By

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor at Policygenius specializing in property and casualty insurance. His work has been featured on Property Casualty 360, Fatherly, MarketWatch, and more.

&

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto, and renters insurance. She's been writing about insurance since 2019, and her work and insights have been referenced in Kiplinger and WRAL.com.

Updated June 30, 2021|7 min read

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With homeowners insurance, your home, personal belongings, additional living expenses, and legal expenses are covered in the event that disaster strikes. Most home types are covered by the same six basic protections found in every standard homeowners insurance policy, but if you live in a high-value home with expensive valuables and appliances, you’ll want a more robust policy with higher coverage limits.

Many insurance companies that cater policies primarily to small or mid-sized homes — such as Nationwide and Travelers — often have separate policy packages for high-value residences. There are also several insurance companies that will only insure high-value homes or expensive homes that need coverage on multiple other lines — like car insurance, boat insurance and valuables insurance.

Key Takeaways

  • If you live in a home with a replacement cost of $1–1.5 million or higher, you’ll want to look into a policy catered toward high-value properties, or high-value homeowners insurance

  • With high-value homeowners insurance, policies typically include more comprehensive coverage and higher coverage limits for expensive homes

  • Chubb and AIG are two of the go-to luxury home insurance providers, but standard insurers like Travelers and Nationwide also offer high-end policy packages

What is high-value home insurance?

A standard homeowners insurance policy may not offer enough coverage for homes with rebuild costs that are in the millions, which is why some homeowners may need high-value home insurance because they offer higher coverage limits than standard policies do. A high-value home generally means a home with a replacement cost of around $1–1.5 million and up, according to Fabio Faschi, property and casualty operations lead at Policygenius. 

It’s important to remember your dwelling coverage isn’t based on the market price or fair market value of the home, but on how much it’d cost to rebuild your home to its original state. That means your home rebuild coverage, or dwelling coverage amount, should reflect how much it’d cost to reconstruct your home from the ground up in the event it is totally destroyed by a covered peril, like a tornado or house fire. 

High-value home policies are more expensive than standard insurance, but they typically include extended or guaranteed rebuild coverage, personal property replacement cost reimbursements, high coverage limits for expensive valuables, and a number of other perks and benefits that aren’t found in a standard policy.

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Best insurance companies for high-value homes

When insuring a home with a replacement cost in the millions, insurance brokers will typically point you toward companies that cater to high-net worth homeowners like Chubb and AIG

High-value home insurers are known in industry terms as “premier” insurance companies and offer not just more robust and granular insurance coverage, but “white glove” customer service and claims-handling as well. Below are a few home insurance companies that specialize in high-value homes, and others that offer policy packages for high-value homes. 

1. Chubb

Chubb is a premier carrier, which means their policies are designed for high-net worth homeowners who own high-value homes and other assets that also need to be insured, like a boat or expensive car. Chubb offers all the standard homeowners insurance coverages, but with lots of additional perks, including: extended replacement cost coverage, replacement cost contents coverage, cash-out loss-settlement reimbursement options, unlimited loss-of-use coverage in most states, as well as high sublimits for expensive personal property, like jewelry, furs, and guns. 

2. AIG

AIG is another premier carrier, and they won’t insure your home unless it has an insured value of more than $750k. In order to qualify for home insurance coverage with AIG, you’ll also have to insure other property — like your boat or car — with them as well. AIG policies provide guaranteed replacement cost dwelling coverage, replacement cost coverage on all personal property, and additional services like appraisals and risk protection consultations. 

3. Travelers

Unlike AIG and Chubb, Travelers is not a premier carrier and does offer standard homeowners insurance coverage to many different types of homes. However, Travelers offers a package called “Travelers high value home coverage” policies that offer additional replacement cost coverage that can pay the full amount to rebuild your home, other structures on your property, and replace your personal belongings. These policies also provide the option of cash-settlement in the event of a total loss and increased loss-of-use coverage limits.  

4. Nationwide

Like Travelers, Nationwide is a standard carrier that also offers homeowners insurance packages for high-value homes. Nationwide Private Client policies offer agreed replacement cost coverage to restore your home to its original specifications, regardless of if those costs exceed your dwelling coverage limits. They also offer replacement cash-out options, increased loss-of-use coverage limits, and accidental breakage coverage of up to $50,000 if you break precious belongings, like fine china. 

How does high-value home insurance work?

As mentioned above, in addition to the coverage a standard policy offers, you’ll notice a few common themes when looking at high-value homeowners insurance policies from company to company: broader coverage, expanded coverage limits, multiple additional coverage endorsements, and policy perks and benefits like immediate reimbursements after a loss.

Here’s what you should expect from a high-value home insurance policy compared to standard coverage:

1. Broader coverage and expanded policy limits

A typical HO-3 homeowners insurance policy — the standard policy form used by insurers — covers your home at its replacement value and your personal property at its actual cash value, by default. That means if your three-year-old TV is destroyed in a fire, you’ll only be reimbursed for the TV after three years of depreciation has been deducted from its replacement value. Most insurers give you the option of adding replacement cost contents coverage for an additional premium.

In terms of the hazards you’re covered against in a standard policy, the dwelling is covered by “all risks” (everything except what is specifically outlined in the policy) while your personal property is only covered against the 16 perils named in the policy. All risks coverage is considered superior to named perils as it has the potential to cover a broader variety of losses since the only perils it doesn’t cover must be specifically listed in the policy.

A high-value home insurance policy covers your home and personal property at its replacement cost, and both coverages are insured against “all risks” as well. Here are some other coverage enhancements you’ll find in a high-value home policy:

2. Additional coverages

A high-value home insurance policy will also include multiple additional coverages that need to be added as endorsements to standard policies. Here are some — but not all — additional protections that you should expect to see in high-value homeowners insurance.

3. Policy perks and benefits

With high-value home insurance coverage, you’re paying for a lot more than just better coverage — luxury home insurance providers also offer certain perks and benefits that won’t be available through a standard insurance company. Homes insured with Chubb and AIG, for example, are offered special protection against natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes. If you live in a wildfire area, Chubb will provide you with a consultation on how to better protect your home against brushfires and will even deploy a special firefighting team to your home if a wildfire threatens your area.

Here are some other perks you should expect with a high-value homeowners insurance policy:

  • Complimentary home appraisal service

  • Cash settlements, meaning you can use claim payouts however you want — not to just to rebuild or repair your home or personal property

  • Deductible waiver for losses over $50,000

  • Loss prevention consultations

How much does high-value home insurance cost?

High-value homeowners insurance policies — either purchased through a luxury provider or a standard company — are generally going to be more expensive than the average $1,250 cost of a standard policy. AIG customers pay around nearly twice as much as the average customer, with a $3,564 average annual premium according to Policygenius data. And Chubb customers typically pay three times as much as standard customers, with a $5,550 average annual premium according to the same data.

Keep in mind the amount you pay will vary depending on where your home is located, the age and build of your home, your credit score, and if you need any additional coverage for high-priced valuables.

If you’re looking for high-value homeowners insurance, look no further than Policygenius — we offer the likes of Chubb, AIG, and Nationwide and can help you find a high-value policy that’s right for you and your home.

How do I know if I need high-value home insurance?

How much home insurance you need is based off your homes rebuild cost, not its market value. That means you need enough dwelling coverage to rebuild your home from the ground up in the event that it’s destroyed by a covered peril. Typically, if your home’s rebuild cost is over $1 million, you’ll need high-value home insurance. When you get a quote from an insurance company, they will provide you with an estimate of your home’s replacement cost, but if you want to calculate it yourself there are plenty of homeowners insurance calculators available. You can also speak to local contractors and appraisers in your area to get an estimate of rebuild costs. 

Learn more about how to calculate your home’s replacement cost here.

High-value home insurance FAQs

Who insures high-value homes?

Chubb and AIG are two premier carriers that offer policies catered to high-value homes. Some standard insurers, like Travelers and Nationwide, offer specific policy packages designed for high-value homes.

Do rich people get home insurance?

Regardless of your net worth, if you own a home you need homeowners insurance. Your home is likely one of your biggest financial assets, so you’ll want to protect it in the event disaster strikes, like if an electrical fire burns your house to the ground. A homeowners policy also includes liability coverage, which protects you and your assets from expensive litigation if you’re found liable for bodily injury or property damage.

What is the 80% rule in home insurance?

Insurance companies require your home to be insured for at least 80% of its true replacement cost value. If your home is insured for less than 80% of its rebuild costs, you may only be reimbursed its actual cash value in the event of a loss.

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