The Protection of Coinsurance

Securing appropriate insurance for your business and property can be enough of a process on its own. So what does the concept of coinsurance represent? Nothing less than protection for both the insured and the insurance provider.

Let’s start with defining our terms. Coinsurance is a property coverage provision set by your insurer that requires you to carry coverage for a certain percent of your property’s value. That way, your insurer can be sure you have adequate coverage if you need to make a claim, and it can ensure that its resources are adequate to cover that claim.

In a typical commercial property insurance policy, a coinsurance clause ensures that you carry adequate coverage to protect your assets. For instance, for an office building valued at $200,000, you would need at least $200,000 in property insurance coverage. If your policy has a clause with a coinsurance percentage of at least 80%, that means you must insure the building for at least $160,000. If you purchase less coverage, the insurance company may not pay out the full value of your damages, even if they fall within the limits of your policy.

Say you file a claim after a fire causes $100,000 worth of property damage. Your property insurance policy has a limit of $150,000 and a $5,000 deductible. Per your coinsurance clause, you were required to purchase at least $160,000 in coverage. Because you failed to meet your coinsurance percentage of 80%, you will face additional costs as determined by the ratio of the amount you carried divided by the amount that was required: $150,000 / $160,000 = 0.937. So if your loss was $100,000, your insurer will pay $93,700 minus your $5,000 deductible. Your total costs will end up being $11,300.

Not every insurance company includes a coinsurance clause in its policies. However, those that do require coinsurance typically have three reasons for doing so:

  • To ensure clients have adequate coverage. 
  • To protect their pool of resources to better handle real-world claim situations.
  • To encourage accurate assessment and underwriting.

The bottom line? When you’re required to meet coinsurance limits and do so, you’re more likely to make an accurate assessment of the value of your assets, which protects the insurance provider and you in the long term. Contact the professionals at Evergreen for more information on coinsurance and how it can apply to your business coverage.

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Evergreen Insurance provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.