With the significant increase in home values across the country over the past few years, it is important to understand the difference between home insurance and market value when it comes to home insurance. When buying or selling a home, much of the conversation and opinion centers on market value, is the amount you can buy or sell a home for in the current market. In contrast, insurance companies prioritize cost of housingwhich is the estimated cost of replacing the structure.
How much home insurance do I need?
The insurance company will never sell your home, but they will replace it if you suffer a disaster, such as a tornado or house fire. For this reason, it is very important that your home is insured the proper amount needed to renovate, not what the real estate market might dictate the value of the home based on the current housing market.
A few years ago, when it was considered a “buyer’s market,” many homeowners were confused as to why they were required to insure their home for more than what they would likely get if they sold it. Due to a lack of demand and a sufficient number of homes on the market, market values were driven below cost to rebuild. In 2022, however, we face a very different landscape. Rising inflation, the impact of the pandemic, and the current “seller’s market” have caused both the market value and value of homes to rise, leaving homeowners with completely different choices.
Read on to learn more about how COVID and inflation are affecting home values and market value, and how Central can help you determine whether your home is insured for the appropriate amount.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected home insurance?
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, major manufacturers of building materials have been forced to slow or halt production as shutdowns spread around the world. While U.S. supplies have declined, domestic demand for building materials has increased as people move from densely populated cities to suburbs and rural areas to build new homes or renovate existing buildings. This imbalance between supply and demand has sharply raised the cost of building materials, with lumber prices rose by 135%. than at the beginning of 2020.
In addition to struggling with supply and demand, post-pandemic labor shortages have impacted costs, continuing to hamper production opportunities across the industry. Although materials manufacturers and construction crews are trying to ramp up, labor and skilled worker shortages continue to make it difficult to pick up the pace and catch up with ongoing market demands. Ultimately, the problems associated with labor shortages and inflated material costs are passed on to those who build or renovate homes, increasing both the market value and the cost of housing.
What does home insurance actually include?
Even in a stable market, you may wonder why you’re insuring your home for the same amount it might cost to rebuild. It is important to remember that contract costs include labor, materials, and contractor overhead. Insuring your home for less means you may not get all the upgrades you love now, like granite countertops, maple or cherry cabinets, or hardwood floors.
Trash removal is another piece of the home cost puzzle that people often overlook. Most policies include coverage for removing the charred remains of your home after a fire, and the cost of removing the debris is significant. Local ordinances may also require the removal of an undamaged portion of your home if it has sustained significant damage. Each city ordinance requires demolition when a certain percentage of damage is reached. In such cases, the value of your home not only covers the cost of remodeling the home, but also the demolition of the intact portion, as well as any costs associated with removing debris so that your new home can be built.
The central difference
As you can see, there is more to insuring your home than you might think. We recommend revaluing your home with your agent every three to five years to ensure your home’s replacement value remains in line with the market.
By preparing for the worst-case scenario today, you’ll save yourself the worry and headache if the unthinkable should ever happen. And you can rest easy knowing that Central will be there for you every step of the way.