Betterment is an improvement that increases property value as distinguished from repairs or replacements that simply maintain value.

An example is when you lease a building for your retail operation. Your upgrades could include lighting, flooring, shelving, paint, bars on the windows, alarm system, to name but a few. The costs of these improvements and betterments need to be included on your insurance policy at current replacement cost.

An example for automobile insurance is when your vehicle is in an accident and requires repair. If it is an older vehicle then the insurance company can declare that you have bettered the value of the vehicle after the car crash. This would result in your having to pay an additional amount above the deductible.

Condominium buildings are built initially with certain construction. The condominium unit owner will add such items as a hot tub, built-in bookcases or granite counter tops. These betterments need to be considered when placing the unit owner's insurance.

Talk to your insurance agent, broker or risk manager about your concerns. Turners Tips wants you to take control of your insurance.