insurance

Protect Your Home and Valuables

Many victims of natural disasters are shocked to discover that they don't have enough insurance to rebuild their homes.

Many victims of natural disasters are shocked to discover that they don't have enough insurance to rebuild their homes. But all it takes is a few steps to make sure your coverage doesn't come up short.

Contact your insurer if you've built an addition or made any major home improvements. Most companies pay only 125% to 150% of your home's insured value, even if it costs significantly more to rebuild.

Check your home's insured value at AccuCoverage.com. For $7.95, you can access the same replacement-cost estimates that insurers use. It takes about ten minutes to fill out an online questionnaire about your home's age, size, building materials and other features. Then the site quickly calculates how much it would cost to rebuild.

Cover your valuables. Most insurers pay a maximum of $1,500 to $2,500 for all of your jewelry, even if the items are worth a lot more. They also limit coverage for coins, firearms, furs, silver and stamps. But you can buy an inexpensive rider that boosts your limits and provides more-extensive coverage.

Buy flood insurance. Standard homeowners policies don't cover flooding. Purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

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