Kitchens, Bathrooms and Home Insurance

There are many factors insurance companies consider when determining a home’s replacement cost, how much it takes to rebuild a home in the event of a total loss (see Kitchens and bathrooms are two room types which have a significant impact on a home’s replacement cost.

There are several items I cover in an initial discussion with someone to prepare a home insurance quote. One of the questions I ask each person is to help me select the grade of their kitchen and bathrooms. Many insurance companies place the kitchen and bathrooms into one of four categories; economy or builders grade, semi-custom, custom, or luxury.

Economy or Builder’s Grade: The cabinetry usually consists of a base grade of plywood or fiber board topped with laminated plastic or ceramic tile countertops. Kitchens will also have one built in oven / range combination, a dishwasher, a single sink with faucet and garbage disposal, and a range hood with a two speed exhaust fan and light.

An economy bathroom is finished out with a single white toilet with a round bowl, a single sink made of cast iron or a molded synthetic material, ceramic tile or synthetic countertop, a single vanity with cabinet and backer board, a tub / shower (white cast iron or synthetic) with average fixtures, and glass enclosure. In addition, there’s a recessed toilet paper holder, towel bar, framed wall mirror and medicine cabinet.

Semi-Custom: A kitchen moves from builder’s grade to semi-custom when the cabinets are made of wood instead of plywood or fiberboard. In addition, the countertops and back splash are made of a nicer grade of laminated plastic or of a solid surface. There may be a pantry cabinet made of wood, along with a corner cabinet with a revolving door. The oven / range, dishwasher, and garbage disposal will be the next step up and the vent hood will have a light. A drinking water filter may also be present.

A semi-custom bathroom is equipped with a single toilet with an elongated bowl, a ceramic bowl sink and a nicer grade of fixtures, and wood cabinets. The countertop is a solid surface, the medicine cabinet is recessed and comes with a mirror, and there’s a framed wall mirror. The tub / shower is cast iron or a nicer synthetic grade with above average fixtures and a non-slip surface along with a 24” towel bar.

Custom: When the cabinets have moved from pre-fabricated wood to built on-site by a true cabinetmaker, the kitchen moves into a custom grade. The pantry and island are also built by a custom cabinet maker and the countertops and back splash are made of a high end synthetic, ceramic tile, or a simulated marble material. The appliance package is comprised of high end appliances for the dish washer, cooking range, and oven, and a second oven or warming oven is present. The vent hood is a high end model and may be built on-site. There may be a water filter for drinking water and an instant hot water tap.

Bathrooms move into a custom level when the toilet and spa tub are made of a colored enamel, and there are two sinks made of china (they can be colored or not), and the fixtures are high-end. The base cabinet is made of solid wood by a cabinet maker and topped with a marble or other high grade material. In addition, there are 2 recessed, mirrored medicine cabinets, a double roll recessed toilet paper holder, and a 24” towel bar.

Luxury: A luxury kitchen has custom cabinets, island, peninsula, and double pantry made of a high end wood and topped with granite or marble countertops and back splash. The cabinets may have pull out drawers and be lighted. The ovens, microwave, and food processor are built in, and accompanied by a custom vent hood, built in dishwasher, trash compactor, and built in refrigerator such as a Sub Zero.

Luxury baths may have a bidet in addition to the toilet. Both may be colored along with the spa tub and shower. The cabinetry is made of a high end wood by a custom cabinet maker, and topped with granite or marble, and all the plumbing fixtures are high-end. The shower enclosure is glass and there are double recessed medicine cabinets, framed mirrors, and towel bars.

Kitchens and bathrooms can be some of the more expensive rooms in a home. Placing them in the right grade enables the home to have the right amount of insurance to accurately replace it in the event of a total loss. No one wants to pay for more coverage than needed just as no one wants to find out they’re under insured after a total loss.

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Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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