If you insure your business for less than that amount your insurance company imposes a “coinsurance penalty” once a claim is filed.
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you have a building that you believe would cost $100,000 to replace and a coinsurance penalty in your policy of 80 percent. You insure the building for $80,000 thinking you have fulfilled the coinsurance clause. A fire loss causes $60,000 worth of damage so you submit a claim. Your insurance company subsequently determines that the replacement cost of the building is actually $150,000.
To determine how much to pay on the claim, the insurer divides the amount of insurance you purchased ($80,000) by the amount you should have purchased (80% of $150,000 or $120,000). The result (two-thirds, or $40,000) is the amount of your claim the insurer will pay.
If the building had been insured for at least $120,000, the insurer would have reimbursed you for the full amount of the loss. Coinsurance can be tricky and cost you a ton of money if you under insure your property.