Need a Replacement Cost Estimate?

Have you been advised you need a Replacement Cost Estimate (RCE) from your insurance agent, realtor, or insurance company? Insurance companies like California Fair Plan, AAA, USAA, and more are beginning to require these estimates, especially for a property that may be over a million dollars to rebuild.

If you dig deep enough into your policy, you’ll see your insurance company has told you to obtain an RCE. The best RCE is created by a licensed builder. While not a guarantee, a current estimate of what it may take to rebuild your home can help protect you against being underinsured.

Replacement Cost Estimate – SAMPLE

Frequently Asked Questions

These estimates go by many names. Rebuilding Cost Estimates, Estimated Cost to Rebuild, or Reconstruction Cost Estimates. Regardless what your insurance company calls the estimate, it is an estimate which can help you determine the right amount of coverage for your homeowners insurance.

These days, insurance companies like the California Fair Plan, AAA, USAA, Nationwide, and others may require a Replacement Cost Estimate (RCE) in order to demonstrate a more accurate rebuild cost. Especially if the rebuild is likely to be more than $1.5 million.

Replacement cost insurance coverage “pays for the cost of replacing the home (or personal property) without deduction for deprecation,” according to United Policyholders. It is also “the maximum amount your insurer will pay for structural damage to your home”, says Ralph Richardson, CEO of Insuretech Insurance — an independent insurance broker.

Your rebuild cost will be determined from a blend of factors, encompassing construction expenses, home attributes, material quality, and area size. It represents the amount of money you might need to fully rebuild the home as it was but to today’s code.

It’s critical to remember that the replacement cost doesn’t equate to the market value of the property. The market value is derived from the potential sale price on the current market. The cost to rebuild your home will often vary quite extensively from the current market sale value.

The calculation of a home’s replacement cost should include the home’s age, square footage, trim features, and location, among other factors.

Many insurance companies will use a replacement cost estimator called “Value360” to calculate your rebuild amount. The issue with this company’s product is the rebuild cost shown is based on average costs across America. The company takes the address and simply dumps it into an algorithm and spits out a number. If your home is in California, there is a very good chance that number is too low.

What you need is a licensed builder in California who knows what it really costs to build here.  Finding that builder can be hard. It isn’t what most builders are used to doing. That’s why BW Builder’s RCE is so valuable. Our RCE includes everything an insurance company needs to see:

  • Age of the home. As there are different building standards depending on the time your home was built, the year your home was built can give insight into what type of exterior construction you have, such as stucco or wood siding.
  • Square footage. As your home’s size increases, the expenses for replacement or reconstruction naturally escalate. The square footage directly influences the replacement cost, with more square footage leading to higher costs.
  • Finish. Home features encompass a wide range, spanning from flooring materials like carpet, tile, and hardwood to doors, windows, trim, and more. Each of these attributes impacts the replacement cost, with superior material quality correlating to higher replacement costs.
  • Fixtures. Similar to the finish, the caliber of the home fixtures is also taken into account. Fixtures encompass elements like your countertops, cabinets, and faucets.
  • House style. The more complex or unique the home design, the more it will cost to rebuild or replace it.
  • Foundation type. The type of foundation you have is important for underwriters.

A good RCE will include these items and more to come up with a quality and accurate estimate of how much it may cost to rebuild your home should it be lost to wildfire or other disaster.

It is best to ask a licensed and reputable builder in your area. They can typically give you a good ‘per square footage’ dollar amount. But if your insurance company or broker needs an RCE to prove this cost, it is best to work with expert builders who have created acceptable RCEs in the past, like BW Builder.

Insurance experts recommend replacement cost policies that give you the ability to reconstruct your home after a covered loss. That being said, each homeowner has their own needs for insurance. We always recommend people work with a licensed insurance agent. Remember, an RCE will NOT change your insurance coverage. It is a great tool to help you understand the type of coverage you will need but simply obtaining an RCE does not change your policy. You will want to take the RCE to your insurance advisor and work with them to obtain the appropriate coverage for your home.

It’s also important to note that adding an extended replacement cost rider increases your home’s dwelling coverage in times of need, potentially serving as a buffer against inflation and escalating repair and construction expenses.

We can never speak for an insurance company and what they will or will not accept. That said, in every homeowners policy in California, there is a notice that indicates the coverage limit on the dwelling structure should be high enough so you can rebuild your home if it is completely destroyed.

These notices encourage you to seek a replacement cost estimate from a local builder. Our estimates have been accepted by AAA, Nationwide, State Farm, Farmers, USAA, GEICO, and more.

The key to a useful RCE is that it accurately reflect the cost to rebuild your home. A RCE from BW Builder is $150. For that price, you obtain a 5-page document in the form of an electronic .PDF that will give any insurance company all the detail they need to understand the possible rebuilding cost of your home.

Ready to get started with your Replacement Cost Estimate?

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

The Benefits of a Replacement Cost Estimate

  • Discover the current cost to rebuild your home if it were lost to a wildfire or other disaster.
  • Utilize this data to assist you in obtaining proper insurance coverage with CA Fair Plan and others.

  • Our RCE accounts for any dwelling, external dwelling, and includes code upgrade costs and also demonstrates the possible impact of “demand surge pricing” on building costs.

  • Allows you to provide your insurance company with reliable data so they can better help you with your insurance needs.

*For this type of estimate, we do not have to visit the property. It is a basic estimate which will combine your inputs below with our own research to come up with a professional and accurate cost estimate for rebuilding. For a more detailed and specific estimate, please visit our Scope of Loss page.

Get Your Home Rebuild Estimate Today! Only $150!

Get Your Home Rebuild Estimate Today! Only $150!

*BW Builder does not provide insurance advice. In California, it is up to an individual to determine their insurance coverage levels. Individuals need to discuss any Replacement Cost Estimate with a licensed insurance agent, legal adviser, or financial adviser to be certain your holdings are properly insured. Purchasing an RCE will not change your insurance. Insurance coverage is a discussion between an insured and their insurance company. BW Builder may not be held liable for inadequate insurance coverage. BW Builder does not give insurance advice, discuss insurance options, or in any way help you determine your proper insurance needs. BW Builder will NOT inflate dollar amounts on an estimate in order to assist anyone in obtaining more coverage. Any request or discussion of falsified estimate amounts will terminate your business relationship with BW Builder immediately. There are NO REFUNDS for this estimate. BW Builder does not guarantee an insurance company will adjust your coverage based on our findings. BW BUILDER GIVES NO ADVICE OR OPINIONS REGARDING INSURANCE COVERAGE. For a more detailed report needed after a disaster or loss, please see our Scope of Loss section.