How to Estimate the Replacement Cost of a Horse Facility

If your stable is outdated or suffered damage, it’s crucial to rebuild promptly. The health and safety of your horses depend on it. Before breaking ground, you’ll need an accurate estimate to avoid cost overruns. It’s not uncommon for major agricultural projects to grind to a standstill because they exceed budgetary limits. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide maintains up-to-date data of cost drivers such as design, materials, labour, permits, and other pertinent factors.

Estimating the Rebuild Cost of a Horse Facility

The modern horse facility bears little resemblance to the cramped stables of yesteryear. Taking standardized measurements such as square footage, wall height, roof design, and materials is important. But rebuilding a modern horse facility far exceeds simple calculations. These are examples of modern stable elements that do not necessarily figure into basic square-footage methods.

  1. Ventilation:

    Older stables may rely on indirect air to trail throughout the building. Air can become stagnant and pose a health risk without proper ventilation and circulation. A modern horse stable may be best served with high arching ceilings, vented copulas, or an HVAC system.

  2. Utilities:

    Frigid winters may prompt horse farms to rethink how electricity is managed throughout the facility. As most horse barns are not heated, management of utilities, within the barns, to protect them from the elements, is a must. The cost of servicing modern horse facilities can be expensive.

  3. Auxiliary Spaces:

    An outdated stable may lack adequate space in the tack room, grooming area, food storage, lounge area, and bathroom, among others. Rebuilds are an opportunity to expand.

  4. Automation:

    Introducing automated watering systems will impact the overall cost in terms of plumbing, electrical work, and additional space away from horses to place the mechanical equipment, among other items.

  5. Stalls:

    Some older stables have exposed wood that horses can chew and dividers wide enough to put a hoof through. Newly-minted equine facilities typically tighten divider space to 3 inches or less and replace wood with safe materials.

These are just some of the wide-reaching factors that may get overlooked unless a comprehensive replacement cost estimate resource is employed. The result could be unexpected cost overruns.

Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide Delivers Comprehensive Horse Facility Rebuild Cost Estimates

When rebuilding a horse facility to meet modern standards, it’s critical to include all the pertinent cost factors. The Douglas system offers inexpensive options for one-time estimates as well as subscriptions geared toward prolonged users. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide brings 30 years of experience to every estimate and is updated with the most recent data available.

Estimating the Replacement Cost of a Hog or Swine Facility

Hog farmers discover that estimating the rebuilding cost of a swine facility has become more complex than ever before. Government regulations continue to evolve, and state-of-the-art ventilation systems that minimize swine odours over significant distances are trending. The days of your grandfather’s simple hog barn are behind us, and that makes calculating replacement costs challenging.

Suppose you suffered damage to the existing facility and need an accurate estimate to rebuild a hog facility. In that case, the Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide maintains the latest cost data, regulatory impacts, and design differences.

Estimating the Rebuild Cost of a Swine Facility

The critical differences that exist between types of hog farms typically elude inexperienced estimators. Square footage, wall height, roof design, and materials provide a loose baseline to consider when determining the rebuild cost of a hog or swine facility. But articulating a replacement estimate based on these standard measures misses the mark. These are factors the Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide accounts for when estimating the replacement cost of a swine facility.

  • Building Codes:

    Building officials may require engineering reports when unusual soil conditions exist, or structural design tables are exceeded.

  • Farmstead Planning:

    Agricultural professionals often require a rebuilt facility to fit with farm planning. This may call for the new structure to change site drainage or move further away from water sources.

  • Livestock Considerations:

    Shifting the hog operation from Farrow-to-Wean to Farrow-to-Finish calls for wide-reaching facility changes. When a hog barn has been damaged beyond repair, it may be in your best interest to rebuild in a way that provides opportunities.

  • Structural Integrity of the Hog Facility:

    Given that the existing hog facility was damaged, rebuilding with materials that deflect high winds, hold up to snow accumulations, and other severe weather may significantly change cost projections.

  • Site Inspections:

    It’s not uncommon for inspectors to insist on design and even location changes following a site inspection. Ground and surface water tend to be driving factors for an inspector to require changes.

Insurance adjusters and contractors who are not intimately experienced with hog farms are unlikely to understand the subtle but important differences between Farrow-to-Finish, Farrow-to-Nursery, Farrow-to-Wean, Wean-to-Finish, and Finishing operations. It’s impossible to include cost factors when comparing facilities that are basically apples and oranges.

Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide Provides Accurate Hog Facility Estimates

If you own a hog farming operation, it’s essential to have a secure estimate that people in the insurance and construction sector agree is accurate. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide offers inexpensive short-term use that delivers detailed and reliable estimates. By insisting all stakeholders use a mutually agreeable system when estimating the rebuild cost of a swine facility, unexpected cost overruns can be avoided. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide brings three decades of experience to every estimate and is routinely updated with the latest data.


How to Estimate the Replacement Cost of a Dairy Facility

When the time comes to estimate the replacement cost of a dairy facility, a wide range of factors can make a definitive number difficult. Hard-working people in the dairy sector use a variety of facilities to milk cows. Many of these structures already struggle from age, weather, and inefficient designs. For those and other reasons, professionals across industries need a reliable resource that can provide mutually agreeable estimates. If you need to estimate the replacement cost of a dairy facility, the Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide ( ) takes factors into account other systems may not. 

Determining the Replacement Cost of a Dairy Facility

Dairy buildings can run the gamut from individual ties stalls to free stalls, and the recently popular compost bedded packs which can change the dynamics of the modern-day dairy barn considerably. But all of these require standardized measurements to establish square footage. Before the niche aspects of a facility are factored into the digital version of the Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide, length, width, height, and roof type must be determined. 

It’s a given that these initial calculations could be associated with many estimate systems. But after simple square-footage is added up, the seemingly minor differences between structures can change costs significantly.  

Factors Effecting Replacement Cost of Dairy Farming Structures

These are three practical dairy farming issues that will have a bearing on replacement cost. 

1. Resting Area:

Old barns often did not provide ample resting space for herds. Today’s humane-conscious structures usually call for more space. When replacing an outdated dairy facility, it sometimes makes sense to expand. Newer structures also tend to allow more natural light into the building. 

2. Feed & Water:

Yesteryear barns often struggle with tall machinery such as TMR mixer wagons. Higher doors and openings are critical when using cost-effective modern equipment. 

3. Ventilation:

Dairy farmers generally want to employ the latest science with regards to herd health. This means rebuilding with improved ventilation. Compost bedded barns may require different airflow systems. 

The thinking behind the way farmers want to estimate the replacement cost of a dairy facility may not bear a striking resemblance to one built just a few decades ago. 

The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide Accounts for Modern Dairy Facility Factors

When a dairy facility needs to be replaced, rarely does an owner want a replica. Agricultural science provides cutting-edge information about how to manage healthier and more productive herds. That data must be integrated into physical structures. Dairy sector professionals can count on the Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide because it brings three decades of experience to every estimate and is routinely updated with the latest data. 

How to Estimate the Replacement Cost of Agricultural Machinery Storage with a Workshop

It would be something of an understatement to say that when agricultural buildings are damaged or destroyed, getting an accurate replacement cost estimate can be elusive. The fact that structures have weathered over time typically reduces their market value. But replacement costs can be worlds apart from that measure. 

For example, let’s consider the replacement cost of a machinery storage building that includes a workshop. An unseasoned insurance professional might limit calculations to square-footage and the cost of common materials used today. But members of our farming community often rely on the quality construction and sturdy materials not often used in modern builds. These are reasons it’s essential for members of the agricultural sector to insist on the industry-standard Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide.

Measuring Agricultural Machinery Storage with a Workshop to Estimate Replacement Cost 

In many respects, an agricultural machinery storage facility that includes a workshop represents a hybrid building. It will likely call for large door openings with unique door styles and vast open floor space. It will also require a separate area where work can be comfortably conducted on small parts. 

This type of construction may call for two sets of measurements, one for the overall structure and another for the separate space. Both will follow the standard operating practices used in the Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide system. These measurements typically include height, length, width, number of storeys, and square footage, among other features of the agricultural structure. 

Essential Factors for Estimating Replacement Cost of Agricultural Machinery Storage Buildings

The online and hard copy replacement cost estimating resource establishes these baselines before delving into the details that distinguish a machinery storage building that includes a workshop, from other similar structures. With true measurements in hand, these are essential factors that go into an accurate estimate. 

  1. Wall Types:

    Many older agricultural buildings are constructed with wood materials. Modern machinery storage facilities often use lightweight metals. The cost of materials and labour can be substantially different. 

  2. Building Methods:

    Post and beam buildings, as well as steel frame structures, wood framing, masonry construction and / or a combination of these construction materials are some of the construction methodologies / styles that are used.  

  3. Foundations and Floors:

    Concrete slab foundations tend to be the industry standard for agricultural sector storage and workshops. However, it’s not unusual for older buildings to employ pier footings and dirt floors. 

These and other factors will need to be accounted for during an on-site inspection of the property. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide also allows people in the farming community to explore how various materials and modern designs might best serve their contemporary replacement cost needs. 

The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide Delivers Consistent Accuracy

The wide-reaching considerations that go into replacing a machinery storage building with a workshop call for a resource that accounts for essential differences. That’s why key stakeholders require a go-to resource with a proven track record of excellence. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide brings three decades of determined accuracy to every estimate. 


How to Estimate the Replacement Cost of Agricultural Buildings

One of the common misconceptions about replacing an agricultural building stems from market values. It’s not uncommon for hard-working people in the farming sector to believe that valuation and replacement are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Replacement costs are vastly different from what an agricultural structure can be sold for or taxed, as part of a farming operation. These differences can lead to some confusion when a fire or severe weather damages an agricultural building. That’s why farmers and professionals in wide-reaching sectors rely on The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide to determine accurate replacement cost estimates. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide delivers accuracy that may bear little resemblance to assessed values. 

Replacement Cost Factors of Agricultural Buildings

Determining how to estimate the replacement cost of agricultural buildings calls for the use of standard industry practices and a deep well of niche information. In terms of standard practices, the Douglas replacement cost estimation system uses measurements that include height, length, width, storeys, and square-footage, among others. These are common baselines in any replacement cost estimate procedure. But agricultural structures are created for specific uses, and that makes them different.

Materials and design elements of agricultural buildings differ between types of farming, such as dairy, swine, and various commodities being stored, among others. These are considerations in agricultural buildings that may exceed the capabilities of non-specialized cost estimate methods used in other forms of construction.

  1. Foundations of Agricultural Buildings:

The types of foundations used in agricultural structures tend to be driven by practical use. These may include employing piers, slabs, ground-level beams, timbers, and cinderblock or concrete, among many others.

  1. Materials used for the Walls of Farming Structures:

Accounting for the types of materials used in agricultural buildings does not match up well with square-footage estimate methods alone. Wall, ceiling, and flooring construction can employ post-and-beam, masonry/concrete blocks, wood framing, metal, concrete and other materials. Older agricultural structures typically include materials that are considered a specialty.

  1. Design of the Roof:

The architectural designs of agricultural roofs range substantially. Types such as rounded, gambrel/hip, shed, gable and combinations, are aligned with practical applications. The cost of rebuilding each type must be accounted for based on unique architectural designs, localized labour, and materials.

The complexity of the farming industry is reflected in its buildings that present a challenge for commonplace estimates. Height, length, and width may be essential baselines, but the subtle nuances of wide-ranging agricultural buildings require a deep well of knowledge and the latest data. 

The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide Leads In Accuracy

Determining an accurate replacement estimate calls for the compilation of data that can easily account for the distinct differences in agricultural structures. The Douglas Agricultural Cost Guide brings more than three decades of expert replacement cost estimating experience to the table and has emerged as the go-to online and hard copy agricultural cost guide resource. Given the vast difference in replacement costs in the agricultural sector, it’s crucial to employ the definitive resource.


How to Estimate Your Home’s Actual Cash Value

How to Estimate Your Home’s Actual Cash Value


As a responsible homeowner, you’ve completed extensive research on different coverage options for your most valued asset. You’ve educated yourself on various terms and are now an expert in all things involving replacement cost and how it’s calculated; however, one little term seems to remain elusive: actual cash value. What is it; how is it calculated; and is it a viable coverage option to consider?


Calculating Actual Cash Value

At this point you’ve probably heard more than enough about replacement cost to last a lifetime; however, you can not properly discuss actual cash value without first discussing replacement cost. There is a reason that replacement cost in the world of insurance is so commonly discussed; not only is it the most comprehensive coverage choice, a home’s replacement cost is used as a baseline in homeowner’s policies to determine coverage amounts for your home’s contents, detached structures, and you guessed it, actual cash value.

A home’s actual cash value is its replacement cost less any applicable physical and functional depreciation. Actual Cash Value is estimated based on the home’s replacement cost and factors in any wear and tear, age and functionality of the home.

For example, your home has 25 year-old shingles. If a large seasonal storm rips through your neighbourhood and damages a portion of your roof, requiring shingle replacement, there are a number of factors utilized to determine the actual cash value of the damaged shingles. The life expectancy of the shingles is 25-years; however, they were put on the house 5 years ago. The remaining life expectancy of the shingles is calculated:

20/25 = 80%

Thus, the actual cash value of the shingles would now be 80% of their replacement cost.

Therefore, if the shingles cost $5,000 to replace, the actual cash value would be $4,000:

$5,000 x 80% = $4,000

However, if you experienced damage to a portion of the roof, only a portion of the $4,000 would be paid. For example, 25% of your roof was damaged by the storm; therefore, 25% of the $4,000 would be paid out: $1,000. As always, any payout would be paid less your policies deductible, which usually starts at $1,000. As you can see, actual cash value coverage does not provide enough to repair or replace damage in the event of a loss. Your insurance company calculates your home’s actual cash value utilizing these depreciation calculations.

It’s important to note that selecting actual cash value coverage for your home can be a risk given the payout is not enough to complete repair or replacement. Most insurance companies advise against selecting actual cash value coverage for this reason. Given that replacement cost is utilized as the baseline for your policy, even if the actual cash value is selected, it is imperative to ensure your home’s replacement cost is accurately calculated. Visit Douglas Residential Cost Guide today; let us help you ensure your most valued asset is properly protected.

Replacement Cost vs. Market Value: Understanding Rebuild Costs and Market Value

Replacement Cost and Market Value: Two terms that are frequently used together, and often erroneously used interchangeably when discussing the value of your home. What is replacement cost and market value? More importantly, what is the difference?


Replacement Cost

Replacement cost, replacement cost new, or rebuild cost all refer to the same thing when it comes to your home. Replacement cost is the price it would cost your insurance company to rebuild or replace your home from the ground up, in the event of a total loss. It is the dollar value it would cost to rebuild your home exactly as it stands today. Replacement cost factors in all the details of your home: the type of foundation; type and number of windows and light fixtures; square footage; number and size of bedrooms; type of exterior finishes and shingles; type of interior finishes: flooring, countertops, etc. All the build details of your home are factored into replacement costs.

In addition to these factors, replacement cost considers the price of materials and labour and inflation cost. Replacement cost can differ from region to region given that the cost of material and labour can vary greatly, not only from province to province but, from city to city or city to more rural areas.


Market Value

Market value is the price for which you can sell or purchase a home. Of course, the size and finishes of a home are considered when determining market value as well as other amenities and features; however, they are not the only determining factor. Market value is extremely dependent on the home’s geographic location: the value of the land, proximity to schools, grocery stores, the neighbourhood in which it resides.

Market value is extremely dependent on supply and demand. Thus, there is often a large difference between a home’s market value and its replacement cost. Depending on your geographic location, one can be much higher than the other. If a home’s replacement cost is valued at $300,000, EXCLUDING the site/land/lot, this means it would cost $300,000 to rebuild the home from the ground up to put the homeowner in the exact position they were in before experiencing the loss. If this home is located in a small town in Southwestern Ontario, the market value could be roughly $150,000, INCLUDING the land/site/lot. If the same home is located along a river, near good schools in the same small town, its market value could be $200,000 – $250,000; however, if you picked up this house and moved it to a high-end neighbourhood in Toronto, its market value could skyrocket to well over $1 million, INCLUDING the land/site/lot.

The fluctuations in a home’s market value are influenced by a wide array of factors, which include, but are not limited to: location, site services, nearby amenities, style of house, exterior finishes, “curbside” / “roadside” appeal, floor plan, size of rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, exterior and interior finishes, privacy features, site amenities, view, along with the current demand for houses in the area in contrast to the supply available. All of the above are a sampling of what impacts the market value of a residence, versus the replacement cost new which is primarily impacted by the supply and cost of materials and labour within the same general area.


Choose The Douglas Residential Cost Guide to Estimate Replacement Costs

In short, although equally important to a homeowner, a home’s replacement cost and market value are very different things and can reflect drastically different numbers depending on where the home is located.

When looking to determine your home’s market value, its best to call a realtor who will typically send an appraiser to examine the home, the area and surrounding sales to estimate your home’s market value. When looking to determine your home’s replacement cost, choose The Douglas Residential Cost Guide today and let us help you determine the rebuild cost of your most valued asset.

Do I Need to Have Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage?

With so many types of homeowner’s policies and different coverage options available, it’s hard to determine which coverage option is best for your home, your family, and your needs.

To determine the best coverage choice for your home, it is common practice to examine what you’d want or need to happen in the event of a total loss. In the event of a loss, do you plan to take the money and walk away from your home and start fresh somewhere else? In some cases, couples of retirement age contemplate downsizing and aren’t interested in enduring the process of rebuilding their home: preferring instead to take a cash payout, downsize and move elsewhere. If this is the case, no, you do not need to have guaranteed replacement cost coverage.

If in the event of a loss, you would need to rebuild your home from the ground up, a replacement cost policy is absolutely the way to proceed. The question is, do you select replacement cost coverage or guaranteed replacement cost coverage?


Decide What Type of Coverage Is Right for You

Guaranteed replacement cost coverage is an added layer of protection that some insurance companies offer. A replacement cost policy is designed to put you in the same position you were in prior to the loss: rebuilding or replacing your home in the event of a loss, up to the replacement cost listed on your policy. For example, if your home’s listed replacement cost on your policy is $350,000, in the event of a total loss, your policy will pay to have your home repaired or replaced up to the cost of $350,000.

The $350,000 is in place to specifically replace the structure of your home; there are additional coverages and funds available for extra costs or damages that may be incurred. For example, personal contents coverage to replace the contents of your home is a separate line item on your policy and is in addition to the $350,000 set aside to rebuild the actual structure of the home.

Of course, in some cases, there are additional costs and expenses that can pop up during a rebuild. Things can run over budget, excavation might be more extensive than originally thought, etc. In cases such as these, a guaranteed replacement cost policy can provide peace of mind. Guaranteed replacement cost coverage guarantees that your home will be repaired or rebuilt to put you in the same position you were in prior to the loss, even if the cost to do so goes above and beyond your policy’s listed replacement cost.


Choosing Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage

Some companies do not offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage for homes built prior to a specific year, or their guaranteed replacement cost coverage states they will cover 150 percent of the replacement cost. If a guarantee is what you’re looking for, it’s best to ask your agent or broker if your home is eligible for guaranteed replacement cost and discuss what their guaranteed replacement cost coverage entails.

If you choose a guaranteed replacement cost coverage policy, if the cost to rebuild your home goes beyond your policy’s stated limit, your insurance company will cover the cost to put you back in the same position you were in prior to the loss, regardless of the cost. This is protection against inaccurate replacement cost calculations. Of course, given the additional risks associated with guaranteed replacement cost policies, these policies come with higher premiums and may not seem worth the additional monthly or yearly premiums required.


Calculate Your Home’s Replacement Cost using the Douglas Residential Cost Guide

When in doubt, it is best to take comfort in knowing that your home’s replacement cost has been accurately calculated. By utilizing The Douglas Residential Cost Guide you can confirm what your home’s replacement cost is, compare it to your existing policy, determine if your replacement cost should be adjusted, and decide if the additional premium for a guaranteed replacement policy is a cost your family should plan for.

Every policy, every home, and every family is different. Only you can answer the question ‘Do you need guaranteed replacement cost coverage’; however, armed with your home’s accurately calculated replacement cost amount, you’ll be able to make an educated decision as to what policy will best suit your needs and will keep your home and your family safe.

What Happens After an Insurance Adjuster Comes?

It has been previously discussed what to expect from an insurance adjuster’s visit and how to prepare accordingly. However, after the insurance adjuster has completed their assessment, what happens next?

A claim handler or representative will be assigned to your claim.  For most questions or details, you will contact your claim’s handler directly, rather than your agent or broker.  Your claim handler will walk you through each step of the process and make suggestions for vendors to use, provide you with contact information for companies, and detail how the process will move forward.  If you have any issues with your claim handler or have additional items you would like to discuss, your agent or broker will be available to support you through the process.

Working with Your Claim Handler

When work is ready to commence, together with your claim’s handler, you will act as the project manager, selecting and scheduling vendors to complete the work.  If you decide to use your insurance company’s suggested vendors, often times, your claim handler will contact the vendor directly to schedule the work; however, if your presence is required for specific portions, you may want to contact vendors directly to align schedules.

When work begins, the first step is to remove any salvageable items as documented by the adjuster.  Any items that are deemed repairable will be sent for cleaning or restoration.  Your insurance company will have restoration and cleaning companies they can suggest; however, if your prefer to find a different restoration company, or have a vendor in mind, you have the right to send your items to a vendor of your choosing.

Debris Removal

After salvageable items have been sent for cleaning or repair, debris will need to be removed from the site.  Again, your insurance company will have a list of vendors that they deal with extensively and will be able to arrange for a debris removal company to complete the work.  If you have a vendor in mind that you wish to use in place of the insurance company’s suggested vendors, it is your right to hire the company of your choice.


After debris removal, reconstruction will begin:  framers; electricians; plumbers; drywallers; painters; counter, flooring, and cabinet installers, etc. will all need to be selected and scheduled.

New Item Selection

Of course, as work commences a lot of questions will need to be answered.  It’s unlikely that the exact flooring, countertops and cupboards you had previously will be available again.  As such, you’ll need to make some style choices. The reconstruction cost of your home will include details such as what type of flooring, countertops and cupboards your home had; therefore, if you previously had engineered hardwood flooring and laminate countertops, like materials will need to be selected for replacement; however, colour and style choices will need to be determined.  Among these choices, you’ll need to select paint colours and will need to shop for replacement furniture and appliances if applicable.

Keep Receipts

Remember to keep any and all receipts during the entire claims process; this includes invoices from vendors to receipts for all items, big and small; anything replaced will need to be documented from toothbrushes and clothing to furniture and bedding will need to be documented and corresponding receipts will need to be submitted.  It is important to keep copies of all documentation for yourself, as well as a copy to submit to your claim handler.

Depending on the extent of the damage, the repair or rebuild can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Remember that your agent, broker, and claim handler fully understand the mental, emotional, and physical toll a loss can take on a person. If you have any questions, concerns or frustrations, call your agent, broker or claim handler to discuss the details and determine how to best handle any issues that may arise.  Afterall, with any luck, this will be the first and last time you will experience a loss; however, your insurance team has been through these types of losses numerous times and are there to provide support and insights wherever possible.

What Happens to Your Insurance When Your House Burns Down?

A house fire of any magnitude is a devastating and traumatic event. These losses are the exact reason you have home insurance.  You can take comfort in knowing that your insurance policy is designed to help you navigate through this time and get you back on your feet.  In the direct aftermath of a fire, homeowners are often left thinking, ‘now what’; the simple answer, call your insurance agent or broker.

How Does Insurance Help When Your House Burns Down?

There are coverages listed in your homeowner’s policy to help with costs of replacing lost personal items, rebuilding or replacing your home and covering costs of additional living expenses such as hotel or apartment rentals, meals and emergency items. The first thing to do after a fire, when everyone has been evacuated and safe, is to call your agent or broker to report the claim. Your agent or broker will support you emotionally through the process and walk you through each step.  Your insurance company will open a claim and assign an insurance adjuster to your claim.

What to Expect from an Insurance Adjuster

An insurance adjuster’s job is to visit your home in the aftermath of a loss, complete a walk-through and document the extent of the damage to report back to the insurance company.  It is important to be prepared and present for the insurance adjuster’s walk-through:  take photos, document damage, make note of any specialty items lost, or questions you may have. It is the adjuster’s job to determine the most cost-effective way to complete the repair or replacement of your home and lost items. For some personal items, the adjuster may deem it more cost-effective to replace an item that experienced smoke damage, rather than pay for cleaning and restoration of an item; however, if there are specific items that hold personal value to you, or there are family heirlooms that cannot be replaced, it’s important to mention this to the adjuster and ask questions about any items or areas you may be concerned with.

How Much Does Insurance Cover if Your House Burns Down?

After an insurance adjuster’s visit, the ultimate question will always be, how much will the insurance company pay out?  The answer is dependant of the type of homeowner’s policy you purchased.

Replacement Cost Policy

The most common, and most advised policy is a replacement cost policy.  A replacement cost policy is designed to put you back in the same position you were in prior to experiencing a loss.  Your insurance company will cover the extent of your home’s repair or rebuild up to the replacement cost value of your home.

The replacement cost of your home is determined upon your policy’s inception and is based on many factors including the age, size, shape and finishes of your home. Replacement cost estimates can be determined from replacement cost estimator tools such as the Douglas Residential Cost Guide.

Actual Cash Value Policy

Another policy option is an actual cash value policy; these policies are more complex.  An actual cash value policy will pay out the actual cash value of your home, which can be drastically different from your home’s replacement cost.  An actual cash value policy will calculate the percentage of your home that was lost or damaged in a fire and will calculate the payout amount based on the loss percentage, less depreciation.  Generally, an actual cash value payout will not be enough to cover repair or replacement of a home in the event of a loss.  It is for this reason that actual cash value policies are not the popular choice among homeowners.

Obtain Accurate Replacement Cost Estimates with The Douglas Cost Guide

To determine how much will be paid out in the event of a loss it’s best to ensure you have replacement cost coverage in place, and revisit your home’s replacement cost value frequently to ensure the true value is captured correctly.  When in doubt, The Douglas Residential Cost Guide can guide you through the process of replacement cost calculation to ensure you have enough coverage in place to protect your home and your family in the event of a house fire.