An extended replacement cost ("ERC") endorsement 1 can be added to a policy to increase the specified limits for your home / building and any other structures. 2 In homeowners policy, this recommendation usually increases the stated limits by 25-50%. 3 ERC approval is most often found in policies for property owners in areas exposed to natural disasters.
If you live in California and risk a loss of wildfire, for example, ERC coverage will provide you with a buffer to protect against the demand for a loss. Even if your property was assessed and valued satisfactorily when you purchased your insurance (ie on a compensation cost basis), demand may increase you are underinsured. The California Home Insurance Information not only summarizes demand, but also recommends increased replacement costs:
Demand: After a major disaster, construction costs can increase dramatically due to the unusually high demand for contractors, building materials and construction work. This effect is called demand. Demand can increase the cost of remodeling your home. Consider increasing your coverage limits or purchasing coverage for increased compensation costs to prepare for this opportunity.
After a major disaster, insurance adjusters and public adjusters often pour in from other states to meet the growing needs of policyholders. If the adjuster does not come from a state where these approvals are common, additional policy benefits have an increased risk of being overlooked. Following the devastating forest fires in California in recent years, we have witnessed countless policyholders suffer total losses, get paid their full coverage A-limits, lack the funds to rebuild properly and have their claims closed despite their policy prescribing increased coverage. Since the ERC coverage limit is often not as conspicuously listed as the specified coverage limit and may even require the policyholder to do a little math, it is easily missed by unsuspecting people. Policyholders and policyholders' proponents can add value to claims just by being aware of what to look for. However, do not be tempted to reduce your stated estimated compensation cost coverage and use an ERC recommendation to compensate for and reduce your premium. This practice has resulted in policyholders being highly insured for two primary reasons. First, other insurance coverages can be calculated with the specified coverage limit A. With household insurance as an example, personal property is often calculated as 50% of the specified housing limits and approved up to 75% of this amount. Without sufficiently specified housing limits, a policyholder can accidentally reduce other coverage limits without proper consideration.
Secondly, the conditions for a policyholder to receive the benefits of the cover apply. This usually includes ensuring that the stated housing coverage was equal to the estimated compensation cost. Here is an example of this condition and others that apply to Farmers Next Generation® homeowners in California:
For this extended compensation expense coverage to apply to loss or damage to the home, you must have followed each of the following conditions, if applicable. :
a. you must have notified us within 60 days of inaccuracies or changes in any information you have given us regarding the physical properties of your home;
b. you must have notified us within 60 days of any inaccuracies or changes to information we have given you regarding the physical properties of your home;
c. you must have notified us within 60 days of the onset of physical alterations that cost or will increase the cost of repairing your home by $ 5,000 or more. This includes additions or conversions;
d. you must have selected or increased the coverage of the A-housing amount to an amount that at least corresponds to the estimated compensation cost for the housing, or any update of it by applying an index or inflation factor or some other method or combination of methods; […].
If you do not meet the conditions a., B., C. and d. Above before covered direct physical loss […] this coverage does not apply. For conditions a., B., C. and d. Above, you must approve all resulting increases in the coverage of coverage A (dwelling) and other specified limits as calculated. When you insure yourself and try to buy the right amount of insurance, the ERC provides extra protection against difficult predictable price inflation factors. For policyholders and professionals new to a disaster-prone area, it is essential to know that ERC coverage is available and to read the conditions required to follow the first steps to protect against underinsurance. ERC coverage differs depending on the type of insurance, and even from operator to operator on similar policies. Be sure to read your own policy or your customer's policy to get the appropriate benefits.
1This recommendation can be referred to by different names. For example, an insurance professional may refer to it as an "extender," or there may be a provision in your insurance labeled "Alternative ID." Here, it will generally be referred to as increased compensation cost, or ERC.
2 ERC coverage is available in both homeowners and business / commercial environments. The purpose of this blog is usually references to homeowners, but similar principles apply.
3 If your policy states: “Coverage A – Housing: $ 200,000 Endorsements: Increased Replacement Cost – 50% ($ 100,000)” You have up to $ 300,000 to rebuild your home (excluding other applicable provisions).