What is coinsurance?

Coinsurance is a contractual requirement that the insured carry agreed upon insurance-to-value, as specified by a percentage (usually 80%, 90% or 100%). If, at the time of loss, the limit of insurance is less than the value of the property times the coinsurance percentage, the insured will become a "co-insurer," along with the insurance company, when a loss occurs. The purpose of coinsurance is not to punish an insured for carrying inadequate insurance-to-value, but rather to provide a financial incentive that: (1) encourages them to carry adequate limits in the event of major losses, and (2) rewards them (in many instances) with a significant premium reduction for doing so.

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