Understanding the 80% Rule in Home Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to homeowners insurance, the 80% rule is a crucial concept that every homeowner should be aware of. This rule can significantly impact your coverage and the amount you’ll receive from your insurance company in the event of a claim. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the 80% rule, its implications, and how you can ensure you’re adequately covered.

What is the 80% Rule in Home Insurance?

The 80% rule, also known as the coinsurance clause, is a guideline followed by most insurance companies. According to this rule, an insurer will only fully cover the cost of damage to a house or property if the homeowner has purchased insurance coverage equal to at least 80% of the house’s total replacement value.

In simpler terms, if the amount of coverage you’ve purchased is less than 80% of your home’s replacement value, the insurance company will only reimburse you a proportionate amount of the required minimum coverage that should have been purchased.

How Does the 80% Rule Work?

Let’s illustrate the 80% rule with an example:

Suppose your home’s replacement value is $500,000, and you’ve purchased insurance coverage totaling $395,000. Unfortunately, an unanticipated flood causes $250,000 worth of damage to your home. At first glance, you might assume that since your coverage amount ($395,000) is higher than the cost of the damage ($250,000), the insurance company should reimburse the entire amount. However, this is not the case due to the 80% rule.

According to the rule, the minimum coverage you should have purchased for your home is $400,000 ($500,000 x 80%). If you had met this threshold, any partial damages to your home would have been fully covered by the insurance company. However, since you did not purchase the minimum required coverage, the insurance company will only pay a proportion of the minimum coverage represented by the actual amount of insurance you purchased.

In this case, the insurance company would pay out $246,875 (98.75% of the damages), calculated as follows: ($395,000/$400,000) x $250,000 = $246,875. Unfortunately, you would have to pay the remaining $3,125 out of your own pocket.

Why is the 80% Rule Important?

The 80% rule is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Prevents Underinsurance: The rule helps ensure that homeowners maintain adequate coverage for their property. If a homeowner purchases insurance coverage below the 80% threshold, they risk being underinsured, which can result in significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim.

  2. Encourages Proper Coverage: By adhering to the 80% rule, homeowners are encouraged to purchase insurance coverage that accurately reflects the replacement value of their home. This helps protect them from potential financial hardship in case of a total loss.

  3. Shared Risk: The 80% rule is a way for insurance companies to share the risk with homeowners. By requiring homeowners to maintain a certain level of coverage, insurance companies can better manage their exposure and maintain reasonable premium rates.

Factors Affecting the 80% Rule

It’s important to note that certain factors can impact the 80% rule and your home’s replacement value:

  • Capital Improvements: If you make significant improvements or additions to your home, such as a new room or a renovated kitchen, the replacement value of your home will increase. As a result, the coverage required to meet the 80% rule will also increase.

  • Inflation: Over time, the cost of materials and labor can rise due to inflation. This can cause your home’s replacement value to increase, even without any physical changes to the property.

To ensure you’re meeting the 80% rule, it’s essential to review your homeowners insurance policy periodically and adjust your coverage as needed. Many insurance companies offer inflation protection endorsements that automatically increase your coverage limits to keep pace with rising construction costs.

Tips for Complying with the 80% Rule

Here are some tips to help you comply with the 80% rule and avoid potential penalties or gaps in coverage:

  • Get a Professional Appraisal: Consider hiring a professional appraiser to accurately determine the replacement value of your home. This will help you purchase the right amount of coverage.

  • Review Your Policy Annually: Review your homeowners insurance policy annually and update your coverage limits if necessary. Inform your insurance company of any significant changes or improvements to your home.

  • Consider Extended Replacement Cost Coverage: Some insurance companies offer extended replacement cost coverage, which provides additional protection beyond the stated policy limits. This can help ensure you’re fully covered in the event of a total loss.

  • Understand Your Deductibles: Be aware of your deductible amounts and how they can impact your out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim.

  • Work with a Knowledgeable Agent: Partner with an experienced insurance agent who can guide you through the process of determining the appropriate coverage levels and explain the implications of the 80% rule.


The 80% rule in home insurance is a critical concept that homeowners should be aware of. By understanding and adhering to this rule, you can ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and avoid potential penalties or gaps in coverage. Remember to review your policy regularly, update your coverage as needed, and work closely with your insurance agent to make informed decisions about your homeowners insurance.

What is the 80% Rule on Home Insurance


How to calculate 80 20 rule for insurance?

To meet the 80% rule, if your home has a total replacement cost value of $400,000, you’d need to purchase $320,000 in coverage (80% of 400,000). If you fail to meet this rule, you won’t be covered for the entirety of damages and instead will have to pay out-of-pocket to cover a portion of the expenses.

What type of clause requires that a homeowner have insurance that is equal to 80% of the home’s replacement value?

The coinsurance formula is applied when a property owner fails to maintain coverage of at least 80% of the home’s replacement value. If a property owner insures for less than the amount required by the coinsurance clause, they are essentially agreeing to retain part of the risk.

What does 80 coinsurance mean homeowners policy?

Coinsurance is a property policy requirement that means you must insure your home or office to a specific value, often 80% of its replacement cost at the time of the loss. Contact us today so that we can review your current insurance and help you decide if you should increase your property limits.”

Which of the following is a method of requiring the insured to insure at least 80% of the value of the covered property?

The coinsurance requirement, or “Should Have” element of the formula, is typically expressed as a percentage like 80% required. In other words, the requirement is policy-mandated that the insured maintain coverage for at least 80% of the value (often replacement cost) of the property.

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