Extended Replacement Cost protection for your Home-
Distinctive homes are often the most difficult to value. Your policy should have minimal restrictions on how much your insurance company will pay if your limit is exhausted. Many companies will either not pay above the stated limit or will limit it by anywhere from 20% to 50% of your current limit.
Coverage for any increased costs due to Building Ordinances and Laws-
Ideally there should be no sub limit for this coverage but often times there is either no coverage or only a limited amount. If you do not regularly follow new building codes in your town or city you may be surprised when it comes time to rebuild in the event of a loss. This can affect all homeowners but the most exposed are older homes.
Replacement Cost coverage and adequate limits for contents-
This allows for a new for old replacement for your personal belongings. If you do not have this coverage a deduction for depreciation will be made in the event of a loss. Also, check your limit for this coverage. Typically it is a value of 40% to 70% of your homes value and could be inaccurate. This limit is often overlooked by homeowners due to the fact that personal inventories rarely exist. This is a "lifestyle" coverage and varies depending on personal tastes.
Option to take a cash settlement in lieu of rebuilding-
Distinctive homes are not easy to replace. Some homeowners have spent years renovating homes and feel they would not go through the process again. Some feel they could never replace their home or find another like it and would settle for a much different home in the event of a loss. A cash option lets a homeowner decide, without worrying about a deduction for depreciation,
whether or not to rebuild after a major loss. The homeowner with this option has more control over how
a claim will be settled.
Accurate determination of Replacement Value-
Over time we have seen all types of methods used to determine the value of a home. Insurance uses replacement value not market value or assessed value. Replacement value varies depending on quality, availability and local pricing of materials and labor. Many insurance agents and companies use a standardized way to determine the value of your home. While this method works well for routine design and construction materials, distinctive homes offer many more complexities. We feel the best way to accurately determine value is to use an insurance company that is experienced in this market and let them use their own appraisers and construction data. This also insures that the value will not be disputed at the time of loss. If the replacement value of your home was determined by your purchase price or assessed value it is most likely inaccurate.
Special form coverage for your home and contents-
There are a number of different contract forms that you should be aware of when purchasing or reviewing a homeowners policy. Be sure your coverage is written on a "covered unless specifically excluded" basis instead of "only covered if specifically stated" in the policy. Granted, the coverage triggers are subtle but can make a profound difference for claims of the highly unusual nature. Many times coverage for your contents will be on the "only covered if specifically stated" unless an endorsement has been attached to your policy.
Antiques and other valuable items-
Distinctive homeowners pay special attention to the furnishings in their homes to be sure it fits the architectural design and the period in which the home was originally constructed. This often times leads to unique or antique furniture, collections and artwork that have significant values. Items of significant value should have their own insurance limit. Our reasoning for this is that a separate insurance limit minimizes the dilution of your overall personal belongings value while providing for greater deductible, premium and coverage flexibility.