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Graphic showing how depreciation is calculated.

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Your dwelling and most of its contents – such as your roof, laptop, and furniture – may lose value over time due to factors such as age, wear and tear, and obsolescence. This loss in value is commonly known as depreciation.

Under most insurance policies, claim reimbursement begins with an initial payment for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your damage, or the value of the damaged or destroyed item(s) at the time of the loss.

If you have replacement cost coverage included on your policy, you may be able to receive additional money to cover the depreciation of these items. If this is the case, reimbursement may involve two or more payments – one for your initial payment based on the ACV of your items and then additional payment(s) once you repair and/or replace the damaged or destroyed items and provide us with documentation.

Here’s more information on how we calculate depreciation and determine whether or not you may be entitled to any additional payment(s).

Calculating depreciation

Generally, depreciation is calculated by evaluating an item’s Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and its life expectancy. RCV represents the current cost of repairing the item or replacing it with a similar one, while life expectancy is the item’s average expected lifespan.

For example, let’s say your laptop was destroyed in a fire. You bought the laptop two years ago and it was in good condition before the fire. A similar laptop is sold in stores today for $1, 000 (the RCV). This laptop has a life expectancy of five years, meaning it loses 20% of its value each year. Because your laptop was two years old, it had lost 40% of its value before being destroyed by the fire. Therefore, the actual cash value (i.e., the value at the time of the loss) of your laptop is 0. Here is the calculation:

Graphic showing how depreciation is calculated.This calculation method also applies to most of the structural components of your dwelling or building that wear out over time, such as the roof. If your dwelling has a 25-year composition shingle roof, it would depreciate at 4% a year under normal conditions. If the roof is 10 years old at the time of your loss and it requires replacement, we would subtract 40% depreciation (10 years x 4% a year) from your replacement cost estimate to determine the ACV of your roof.

Please keep in mind that the condition of an item may also factor into the depreciation calculation.

Submitting a request for recoverable depreciation

If you have replacement cost coverage, here are the next steps you should take to recover your depreciation:

  • Repair or replace the lost or damaged item(s).
  • Save all invoices, signed contracts, receipts and/or canceled checks associated with the repair or replacement of your property; and submit them to your Claim professional.
  • Specify in writing at the top of each receipt or invoice which items were replaced and/or what work was completed.
  • Provide either the original documents or legible copies to your claim professional, and remember to keep copies for your files.
  • Include your Travelers claim number on all correspondence.
  • Once your request for reimbursement is received, your Claim professional will contact you to discuss any additional payment(s).
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Popular Q&A
What is traveler insurance claim number?

The Travelers Insurance number for business claims is 800.238.6225 .

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