Home Check-Up

Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, January31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 2


A homeowner's insurance policy thatguarantees replacement of your home ifdisaster strikes, no matter what the facevalue of the policy, is rare nowadays.Almost all insurers now want you toinsure your home for what it would costto rebuild it. With rebuilding costs up by20% to 40% in some areas of the country,there's a good chance that your homeis underinsured. And if you're not insuredfor the full replacement costs of yourhome, you don't have to experience atotal loss to feel the effect. Insurance companiescommonly prorate payments, evenon the smaller claims based on the percentageof replacement costs you'reinsured for. If you're covered for only75% of replacement costs, for example,you may get only $1500 on a $2000claim. Find a reliable builder or contractorto estimate replacement costs;don't rely on your home's tax assessmentor market value.