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Many people have seen their home’s market value increase recently.  Homeowners need to be aware of their home’s replacement cost as this value is what will determine any claim settlement.  Replacement cost is the actual cost to replace any personal property or structure to its pre-loss condition.  Replacement cost can change from year to year, regardless of real estate trends.

How to Determine Your Replacement Cost

Personal Property

The most important thing you can do to determine the replacement value of your personal property is to create a home inventory.

  • Create a digital record of every room.  While you are videoing, describe each item and identify a replacement cost.
  • It may be useful to categorize clothing. For example, 10 pairs of men’s pants, 12 tee-shirts, 6 pairs of Nike shoes, etc.
  • Make sure you focus on high end items like jewelry, guns, computers, and art work.
  • If you have expensive art, guns, or collections, it would be prudent to have it appraised.
  • Update the inventory from time to time.
  • Keep the inventory in a safe or at a secondary location.

Your Home

Having an accurate replacement cost is critical in having the right amount of insurance.

  • Get an estimate or appraisal of the replacement cost of your home.
  • Talk to a new home builder in your area.
  • Determine the square foot construction cost (new) in your area and multiply by your home’s square footage.
  • Your insurance agent will have resources for you.
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