Your home is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make. By insuring your home, you are helping to protect your investment and your equity.
Estimating your home value will help you to make a determination of the amount of insurance you will want to purchase. The primary factors that will determine the cost to rebuild your home include:
- Local construction costs and the square footage of the structure;
- The type of exterior wall construction – frame, masonry (brick or stone) or veneer – and the type of roof;
- The style of the house (ranch, colonial);
- The number of bathrooms and other rooms;
- Attached garages, fireplaces, exterior trim and other special features like arched windows.
Here are some tips to help you estimate your home’s value:
Every year, take the time to check the value of your insurance policy against rising local building costs. Your insurance agent is available to assist you with your review of your coverage.
- Check the latest building codes in your community. If your home is severely damaged, you might have to rebuild it to comply with new building code standards which may require a change in design or building materials.
- Do not insure your home for the market value. The cost of rebuilding your house may be higher (or lower) than the price you paid for it or the price you could sell it for today.
- Some banks require you to buy homeowners insurance to cover the amount of your mortgage. Make sure it’s also enough to cover the cost of rebuilding.
- Increase the limit of your policy if you make improvements or additions to your house. You may upgrade features in your home to fit your tastes and lifestyle. These enhancements can significantly increase the replacement cost of your home. Your agent will be available to help you in your determination as to whether additional coverage is needed.