What Is High-Value Home Insurance and Is It Worth It?
High-end home insurance can provide more coverage when you need it
High-value home insurance provides better quality coverage for buildings that have a higher than average value, such as heritage homes or homes with special features or design elements. It's one of the most comprehensive insurance packages available and is a top choice when you qualify for it.
Choosing the best insurance for high-value homes is an important consideration if you want to maintain your lifestyle when you file a claim.
Do You Need High-Value Insurance?
Not every dwelling is eligible for high-value home insurance. This type of coverage is specifically designed for houses, condos, and rental properties that have an above-average reconstruction value.
You should consider high-value home insurance if:
- Your home is worth $750,000 to $1,000,000 or more.
- The home has design elements that are unique, such as if you used an interior designer to decorate your home or an architect designed it.
- Your home is a heritage home or has older construction features not found in common construction materials.
- You own expensive or priceless fine arts, rugs, collections, jewelry, wine, or other special items that are kept in the home.
- You chose highly-priced appliances, fixtures, or decorations to put in your home that are not found at standard stores.
- Your roof is non-standard, meaning it's a green roof, has an elaborate design, or is made of clay, tile, copper, or metal.
- You have a green home or have invested in environmentally-friendly design and construction or heating.
- The features on your property are unique, such as luxurious outdoor living areas, guest houses, swimming pool areas, or special landscaping.
What's Included in High-Value Home Insurance?
The most common reason for opting into high-end home insurance is expanded coverage limits, though coverage can include additional benefits and services you may not expect.
Your policy starts with a complimentary home inspection to verify the value of your home and to provide a guaranteed replacement value. This gives the insurance company an opportunity to help you properly document your home and personal belongings and make suggestions about items of high value.
Compared to standard home insurance, a high-value plan includes larger policy limits for:
- Structure repair or replacement coverage.
- Reconstruction costs due to changes in bylaws.
- Money, jewelry, fine arts, antiques, or wine collections.
- Items that are primarily for business use.
- Ornamental or functional landscaping design.
- Living expenses you incur while waiting for restoration.
- Cyber protection to cover lost or stolen digital property.
Having coverage for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt is valuable. Standard home insurance often has restrictions on these costs. But many high-end home, condo, and renters policies have unlimited coverage to allow you to live in a place that is up to your standard of living. It also gives you enough time to hire the right architects and professionals to restore your home just as it was before.
Full cash value payouts are also common for the structure and personal contents in your home, and the majority are handled without depreciation basis of claims settlement.
Another concern is how standard home insurance handles the replacement of sets and pairs of items such as limiting the amount payable to the lost item rather than the whole set. High-end home insurance may replace the pair or set even if only one part of it is lost.
Similarly, if you have a partial loss, like a fire in only part of your kitchen, standard insurance doesn't have any obligation to replace the portions of the kitchen that are undamaged.
However, when you have a high-valued home, your design needs to match fully. You would not be able to redo half a kitchen or half a floor and end up with a similar look. High-value home insurance companies will consider the importance of the design elements even if it means replacing things that weren't damaged just to get your home back to its original state.
Costs of a High-Value Home Insurance Policy
High-value home policies are usually more expensive than standard home policies because of their increased coverage limits and top-of-the-line personalized experience.
To help put the cost of high-value home insurance in perspective, compare it to how you spend money in your personal life. Choosing insurance is a lot like buying shoes or picking a restaurant.
When you look in your closet, do you see shoes that cost less than $100? Or do you have shoes that are worth hundreds of dollars?
If you went out to dinner, would you order the house wine or skip it altogether? Or are you the type of person that will spend a couple of hundred dollars to enjoy a nice dinner and order a la carte?
If you don't live an average lifestyle, standard insurance that provides "average coverage" won't be enough to protect or replace your property in a claim. To make sure your policy limits are high enough, high-value home insurance, renters, or condo insurance is the way to go.