Replacement Cost and Market Value, market value insurance, cost vs market value

Life is always unpredictable; in a blink, your valuables or your home can be damaged, lost or robbed. In such cases, the only saviour is insurance. Insurance will thankfully provide a value that helps reduce the pain and eventually replace or repair.

However, most insurance policies offer different reimbursement costs, including replacement cost and market value. 

Replacement cost and market value are very different and pay out different values depending on the insured item, market, labour and material costs. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the difference to get the most from your insurance when you have to file a damage or loss claim.

What is Replacement Cost?

Replacement costs, replacement cost homeowners insurance

The replacement cost is the cost to replace lost or damaged property with a similar new item. The item must fit the same purpose and quality as the original asset. The cost does not include any depreciation factors, and the calculated value is always of a new replacement. The item can be anything from a bike to a house.

The replacement cost of the object may not be the exact same as the insured object but the cost of something similar. Additionally, depending on the insured item, it might be more or less than the market value. 

Example of Replacement Cost in Insurance

The cost is more commonly used in home insurance. If there is unforeseen damage to your house, the replacement cost will be the value of rebuilding that part or the entire property. For example, if your home has caught fire and all the furniture, walls and foundation is burnt down. 

The replacement cost in your home insurance will provide the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing furniture inside with similar items. The cost will include labour, material, and new replacement value. If the total repair costs are HKD 600,000 (from an expert quote), you will receive HKD 600,000 minus deductibles.

For instance, if a grandfather clock value has increased over time, the replacement cost will not pay the market value. Insurance will just pay the cost of a new clock of similar style and quality.

What Is Market Value?

Market Value, market value definition insurance

Market value is the cost reimbursed by the insurance based on the asset’s monetary value in the current market. The cost is based on the asset type, and how much people and experts will pay for it during that time. The reimbursement helps deal with damage or loss, as the insured won’t financially lose compared to replacement cost reimbursement.

The cost will fluctuate and is rarely a fixed figure, but it is perfect for an asset that gains more value over time. Some insurance items that will benefit from market value reimbursement include art, antiques, wine, jewellery, and collectables. Additionally, an item that would be disadvantageous from market value reimbursement would be cars or any depreciating assets.

Example of Market Value in Insurance

Common insurance that provides the choice of market value reimbursement is asset insurance. The asset insurance will calculate the market value as how much you would gain if you were to resell the work in the current market.

For example, if a painting is stolen (lost) after ten years, asset insurance will reimburse the value on the recorded stolen date, depending on what it is worth in the art industry. The insurer will determine the market value through the asset’s value, appeal, painting age and the painter’s value.

Which Is Better, Replacement Cost or Market Value Pay-Out?

The main difference between replacement cost and market value is how the reimbursement is calculated. Replacement will provide you with the cost of rebuilding or buying a similar asset in the market. Market Value will offer the cost of the current asset value at the claim period.

Neither is better or worse than the other. It all depends on what is being insured and the situation. For example, a house may benefit from replacement costs as the insurance will pay for labour and material costs. At the same time, a jewellery set will benefit from market value as, over time, the jewel may be worth more.

When insuring, you must consider there is always a possibility of damage or loss. No matter how hard you take care of them. Therefore, when reading your policy, insurance reimbursement knowledge is essential to individuals and business owners.  

You should discuss all your risks with your insurer and get their advice on replacement cost and market value.


To Learn More about reimbursement costs and understand different insurances, contact Red Asia Insurance.