How is Depreciation Calculated in a Home Insurance Claim?
Article by Derek Rogers
You may not be aware, but depreciation plays a very large role in the calculation of a home insurance claim. It is important for homeowners to be aware of who determines the calculations of depreciation and what method, exactly, is used in determining that rate of depreciation. With any home insurance policy, you should be aware of this information.
The entity responsible for determining the depreciation is ultimately the insurance company. Your insurance company will decide the amount of depreciation and will subtract that amount from the cost of your property. The rate will stand as they decide unless you challenge their calculations. Some homeowners do challenge their insurance companies when they make an insurance claim.
The way in which these rates are determined is through published depreciation tables. These tables list the useful life and depreciation of a wide variety of properties. Such depreciation tables can be accessed through your home insurance company or may even be found online. More often than not, home insurance adjusters and their claims departments; also have computer software that has the insurance depreciation tables factored in. Such software makes figuring depreciation very easy and almost error free. The insurance adjuster simply fills in the type of property, its condition and its age and the software figures the depreciation automatically.
One very dangerous, but frequent way that depreciation is calculated is when the insurance adjuster makes a guess. Often, insurance adjusters will make a guess based on their past experience. Sometimes, their guesses are correct but many times, they are not. If you think that your home insurance adjuster may be guessing at depreciation calculations when you file a claim, definitely do your homework.
Before making a home insurance claim, it is best to have a full understanding of what type of coverage you have. A standard home insurance plan will cover dwelling loss as well as contents (personal property) loss. It is very important to ensure that your home insurance plan also has coverage for the value of the contents of your home. If you do not have this coverage and experience a home loss, the insurance adjuster will depreciate every item in your home.
Recoverable depreciation is also worth understanding if you are going to make a home insurance claim. This type of depreciation will determine what conditions exist and how losses are settled. In most cases, the home insurance company will pay you the actual monetary value of the damaged or lost property until repair or replacements are completed. If depreciation is not calculated properly, you could stand to lose thousands.
In order to successfully file a home insurance claim and ensure that your depreciation is calculated accurately you must be informed. You should always require that your insurance adjuster provide copies of the exact depreciation tables that they use. When your claim is filed, if you find that the tables and actual estimate do not match, you can refuse the claim and demand that the claim be re-estimated.
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For Loss Assessors and Home Insurance claim services, he recommends Morgan Clark.