Homeowners insurance policies offer actual cash value or replacement cost coverage to replace your damaged, stolen, or destroyed personal property. Replacement cost is what you would pay for the item at today’s cost. Actual cash value is what you would pay for a similar item at today’s cost (replacement cost) minus depreciation. Depreciate is a decrease in value due to wear and tear or age. Claim Scenario
Your home and some furnishings were damaged during a recent wildfire. You made a claim to your insurance company and have met your deductible. Now you are looking at replacing the damaged furnishings. Last year, you bought a sofa for your living room for $2,000. The amount of money you will receive to replace your sofa depends on the type of coverage you have.
If you have actual cash value coverage, the company might pay you $1,500 because that is the actual cash value of the sofa today (replacement cost minus depreciation). If you have replacement cost coverage, the company will pay $2,100 because that is what it would cost to buy a similar sofa today. If you have replacement cost coverage, most insurance companies will give you the actual cash value of an item and require you to submit a receipt for the new item before paying you the remainder.
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