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What is a Replacement Property?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2020
    Conjecture Corporation
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Replacement property is any type of property that is received as a means of replacing items that were lost due to theft, an accident, or some other incident that is considered involuntary conversion. The items involved may be personal property, such as jewelry, or business property such as office or factory machinery. Many casualty insurance providers offer this type of coverage to their clients, thus ensuring that in the event of a loss, the insured party can replaced the lost or damaged items.

Depending on the structure of the insurance coverage, the replacement property clause may consider the current cash value of the item that was stolen or damaged through no fault of the owner. For example, if a piece of jewelry that has appreciated in value over the years is lost or stolen, the insurance provider will determine what would be needed to replace the jewelry with a piece that is of similar value. If the current market value is higher than the actual cash value of the item that must be replaced, there is a good chance that the insured party will receive compensation that reflects that current market value.

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The idea behind the concept of replacement property is to ensure that the insured party has the resources necessary to replace the property that he or she no longer possesses. While there are situations in some countries where the insurance provider will take the steps necessary to replace the lost property with the same type of item, most providers will forward compensation based on the assessed replacement cost. This strategy allows the owner to find his or her own replacement, or choose to use the compensation to purchase some other item he or she wishes to own. In either event, the provider will consider the commitment to the client settled in a satisfactory manner, assuming that the insured party accepts the substitute property or the compensation offered.

When the replacement property or the compensation paid on the claim exceeds the actual cash value of the lost or stolen property, the owner may or may not have to declare the difference as a capital gain. In order to determine if declaring a capital gain is necessary, the owner should consult a tax professional. Depending on the type of asset involved, and the current laws governing replacement property that are in place in that jurisdiction, there may be no requirement to declare the gain or pay any taxes on that gain.

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