What Is Extended Replacement Cost Coverage?

If disaster strikes, will your home insurance be enough to help you rebuild? Even if you have a policy with replacement cost coverage, there’s a chance the payout won’t fully cover reconstruction if building costs escalate.

If you want an extra buffer against being underinsured, extended replacement cost coverage is worth considering.

What is extended replacement cost coverage?

Extended replacement cost coverage takes it further by paying a certain percentage above your coverage limit if rebuilding your home costs more than expected. This coverage typically adds an extra 10% to 25% over your policy limit, although some insurers will pay up to 50% over your limit.

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Say your dwelling coverage limit is $300,000. You buy an extended replacement cost coverage rider that provides an extra 25% over that limit. If your home is destroyed in a covered disaster and the estimated cost to rebuild is $375,000, your insurer will pay the $300,000 dwelling limit plus 25% of that limit, which is $75,000. You would get $375,000 total — enough to rebuild your home.

Most insurance companies offer extended replacement cost coverage. Many offer it as an optional endorsement, although some include it with your policy automatically. Policies with extended replacement cost coverage tend to be more expensive than those without it.

Extended replacement cost vs. guaranteed replacement cost

As you shop for home insurance, you may see the option to add extended replacement cost or guaranteed replacement cost coverage to your policy. What’s the difference?

Extended replacement covers up to a set percentage over your dwelling limit, while guaranteed replacement will pay to rebuild your home after a covered disaster, no matter what it costs.

To use the previous example, if you have a dwelling limit of $300,000 and 25% extended replacement cost coverage, your policy would pay up to $375,000 to repair or rebuild your home to its original condition. But if the construction company quoted you $400,000 to rebuild, you would have to come up with $25,000 yourself. With guaranteed replacement cost coverage, your policy would cover the full $400,000.

In other words, you may still pay out of pocket with extended replacement cost coverage, but with guaranteed replacement cost coverage, the insurer covers the entire cost of rebuilding your home, no matter how much it costs. You just need to pay your deductible, which is the amount you’re responsible for paying before coverage begins.

Who should consider extended replacement cost coverage?

You may want to consider extended replacement cost coverage if you live in an area that sees hurricanes, wildfires and other severe weather. It gives you a buffer in case rebuilding your home costs more than your policy limits due to inflation or a sudden increase in construction costs, which commonly happens after disasters.

Remember that this coverage will pay only a certain percentage above your dwelling limit, so in some cases, you may still face out-of-pocket costs. You will also be responsible for paying your deductible.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Extended replacement cost won’t cover expenses related to bringing your house up to current building codes. For this type of coverage, look into ordinance or law coverage.

Companies that offer extended replacement cost coverage

Most home insurance companies offer extended replacement cost coverage, but availability may vary by state or region. These home insurance companies offer extended replacement cost coverage as standard:

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