Co-Insurance Explained
 

Have you ever wondered what the coinsurance clause on your policy means?

Co-insurance may well be one of the most confusing and misunderstood terms in insurance.

Co-insurance is the percentage of value that the policyholder is required to insurance   If you insure your property for less than that amount your insurance company imposes a "coinsurance penalty" once a claim is filed.  The value is determined at the time of the loss and if the amount of insurance is found to under the stated coinsurance percentage then a penalty is applied reducing the claim payment.

According to the independent Insurance Agents of America, most business policies include a "coinsurance" clause, determining what percentage of the value of your property must be insured in order to be fully reimbursed for a loss.


Here's how it works:

Let's say you have a building that you believe would cost $100,000 to replace and a coinsurance penalty in your policy of 80 percent. You insure the building for $80,000 thinking you have fulfilled the coinsurance clause. A fire loss causes $60,000 worth of damage so you submit a claim. Your insurance company subsequently determines that the replacement cost of the building is actually $150,000.

To determine how much to pay on the claim, the insurer divides the amount of insurance you purchased ($80,000) by the amount you should have purchased (80% of $150,000 or $120,000). The result (two-thirds, or $40,000) is the amount of your claim the insurer will pay.


If the building had been insured for at least $120,000, the insurer would have reimbursed you for the full amount of the loss. Coinsurance can be tricky and potentially cost you a ton of money if you under insure your property.

 

 


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