Life Expectancy of Household Items - W.E. Davis Insurance

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Most homeowner policies cover contents for their full replacement cost, however if you elect not to replace an item, it will be settled for its Actual Cash Value (ACV). ACV means replacement cost less depreciation. Would you like to know how much an item will be depreciated if you elect cash instead of replacement?

The items below were listed in The Columbus Dispatch regarding life expectancy of household items. The list might help you estimate what the depreciation might be. For example, if you have a 5 year old dishwasher with a life expectancy of 10 years and it is destroyed by fire, the insurance company will pay to replace the dishwasher at current replacement cost. However, if you elect not to replace the dishwasher and want cash instead, the company will pay its Actual Cash Value (ACV). Let’s say it would cost $500 to replace the dishwasher.

In this example, the $500 cost to replace the dishwasher would be depreciated by 50%. (It is 5 years old and therefore has used half of its expected 10 year life.) The company would offer $250 as a cash settlement.

Item Life Expectancy:
Air Conditioners
  • Whole House 10-15 years
  • Window 8-15 years
Appliances
  • Dishwasher 10 years
  • Dryer 10-12 years
  • Microwave 10 years
  • Freezer 15+ years
  • Refrigerator 15+ years
  • Stove 17-20 years
  • Washer 10-12 years
Coatings on wood floors
  • Polyurethane 3-5 years
  • Shellac 3-5 years
  • Varnish 3-5 years
Coatings on Interior Doors and Trim
  • Polyurethane 15-30 years
  • Shellac 8-10 years
  • Varnish 15-30 years
Carbon Monoxide Detector 5-10 years
  • Carpeting 10-15 years
  • Chimney 15-20 years
  • Chimney flue life of house
  • Concrete steps 30+ years
Deck
  • Wood 15-20 years
  • Plastic 30+ years
Driveways
  • Concrete 20-30 years
  • Asphalt 10-15 years
  • Gravel 10-15 years
  • Adding gravel every 5 yrs
Exterior walls
  • Aluminum siding 20-30 years
  • Asbestos shingles 15-30 years
  • Asphalt siding 20-40 years
  • Brick 100+ years
  • Cedar siding 40-75 years
  • Hardboard siding 10-25 years
  • Redwood siding 40-100 years
  • Stone 100+ years
  • Stucco 30 years
  • Vinyl siding 30 years
Faucets 10-15 years
  • Fences Plastic 50 years
  • Stone 100 years
  • Wood 5-30 years
  • Wrought iron 50-100 years
Fire extinguisher 12 years
Flooring
  • Cork 50+ years
  • Ceramic tile 50-100 years
  • Vinyl 5-25 years
  • Wood 50+ years
Furnace
  • 15-30 years
Garage-door opener
  • 10-20 years
Garbage disposal
  • 10 years
Grout
  • 10-15 years if sealed
Gutters
  • Aluminum 20 years
  • Galvanized steel 60-70 years
  • Copper 60-70 years
Hot tub
  • 15-20 years
Light fixtures
  • In-ceiling fixtures 7-25 years
  • Motion lights 1 year
Paint
  • Latex
  • High Quality 15-20 years
  • Med Quality 7-10 years
  • Low Quality 3-5
  • years Oil 15-20
Plumbing
  • Copper 50 years
  • Plastic 25+ years
  • Lead 40 years
  • Galvanized steel 15 years (Water)
  • 50 years (gas)
  • Cast iron Life of house
Roof
  • Asbestos cement
  • shingles 30-75 years
  • Asphalt shingles 15-20 years
  • Asphalt interlocking
  • shingles 15-25 years
  • Asphalt rolls 10 years
  • Clay tiles 20 years
  • Cement tiles 20 years
  • Metal roofing 15-40 years
  • Slate shingles 30-100 years
  • Wood shingles 10-40 years
Sewer Line
  • Cast iron 70-90 years
  • Plastic 25 years
  • Ceramic 40-50 years
Sink
  • Kitchen 50 years
  • Bathroom 35-50 years
Smoke detector
  • 10 years
Toilet
  • 35-50 years
Tub
  • Cast iron 50 years
  • Acrylic 20 years
  • Fiberglass 20 years
Vent fan
  • 15-20 years
Walkways
  • Brick 25-100 years
  • Concrete 30-35 years
  • Stone Indefinitely
Wallpaper
  • 10-20 years
Water heater
  • 8-12 years
Waterlines, exterior
  • Galvanized steel 25-40 years
Plastic
  • 20 years
Copper
  • 40-50+ years
Whirlpool tub
  • 20 years
Windows
  • Aluminum-clad 30 years
  • Vinyl 30 years
  • Vinyl-clad 35-40 years
  • Wood 25-30 years
Wiring
  • Switches 10-25 years
  • Outlets 15-20 years
  • Electric service box 20-30 years

The estimated longevity of items in this list is based on the assumption of proper maintenance. Figures were gathered from a variety of associations, retailers, manufactures and repair services.

List reprinted from The Columbus Dispatch article Life Expectancy on 4/30/2000.

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