Who decides how much my damages are worth?

If you have a homeowners insurance policy with E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ, you probably know your policy limits.  But you probably don’t know how damages are assessed, and what you will need to have to recover your damages in case of loss. The State of New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance recommends you understand how insurance works before choosing your limits and comparing policies.

If you do not have enough insurance, you may not be able to cover your losses in case of an event, such as fire or theft. You may assume that your possessions have a certain value, when in fact the value has gone down over time because of depreciation. Depreciation can be caused by wear and tear, or it may happen because something like a television or computer loses value as newer versions replace it.

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

You will be able to choose a policy which allows you to replace your valuables, or one which compensates you for their actual cash value. 

The Replacement Cost does not mean the cost for finding the exact same item, but it allows you to replace the loss with something like it and of the same quality, minus the cost of depreciation. If you opt for a policy which gives you Actual Cash Value, you will be able to get the amount needed to repair or replace your property minus depreciation.

Even if you have think you have obtained the right amount of coverage to cover any losses you could incur on your home, it is important to make sure that your policy reflects what you need. Call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ to discuss your policy or see if you would like to add more coverage.

Does Your Contractor have Proper Insurance?

The first step toward remodeling your Newark, NJ home is finding an experienced contractor to handle your project. Working with a good contractor will ensure your project is done right. If you can get a referral for a contractor from people you trust, all the better, as they can verify the contractor’s qualifications and experience firsthand.  

In addition to good qualifications, your contractor should be licensed and insured for his profession. What kind of insurance should a contractor have? A good contractor will carry both liability and worker’s comp coverage. Before starting a remodeling project, talk to your E.S.T.I.R. Inc. agent to see how your project will affect your own home insurance coverage.   


Contractor’s liability coverage has a dual purpose: to protect you against property damage and accidental injuries your contractor may cause while on the job. If your contractor or any of his team accidentally damage a major appliance, for example, while remodeling your kitchen, his insurance will cover the cost of replacement or repairs. If accidental injuries occur to others due to worker negligence, your contractor’s liability insurance will cover medical costs.

Worker’s Comp

Contractors who have employees helping on remodeling projects should have worker’s comp. Worker’s comp insurance pays for medical expenses and lost wages of workers who are injured on the job. If a contractor doesn’t have worker’s comp, you could be held liable for injuries your contractor’s employees sustain while working on your property.

Before hiring a contractor, make sure he is properly insured so you are not held responsible for either injuries or damages that may occur during a remodeling project. If your contractor plans to use subcontractors, they, too, should carry up to date insurance coverage.

For more information on how contractor’s insurance protects your interests, contact one of our agents at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ.