Do a property insurance checkup
Your home insurance might not be keeping pace with construction prices.
By Ellen McGirt, Fortune senior writer

(Fortune Magazine) -- Call your agent and make sure that your coverage has kept pace with the times. With construction costs up 50 percent in some areas, many homeowners have become instantly underinsured through no fault of their own. The coverage to ask about: guaranteed replacement cost - which promises to pay the full cost of rebuilding your home if it is completely destroyed.

"Most carriers have an inflation guard," says Matthew Cullina, product manager for MetLife (Charts) Auto & Home. "But it doesn't keep up with the increase in construction cost." A contractor in your area should be able to tell you the average cost per square foot for renovation or new construction. Use that to estimate the cost of recreating your house. (Your agent can help too.)


Ask also about ordinance or law coverage, which covers the cost of bringing your home up to code in the event you need to rebuild or repair; that's not included in most standard policies.

Next step:

8. Check the new credits and taxes

Previous steps:

1. Rebalance your 401(k)

2. Revisit your estate plan

3. Sock it away

4. Give smarter

5. Review your health plan

6. Clean up your taxable account

7. Do a property insurance checkup


Eight great year-end moves

Home insurance you need. Have you thought about replacement costs? Sewage backup? There's more to coverage than meets the eye.

Risky Business. With $58 billion in claims to pay for last year alone, U.S. insurers are jacking rates, canceling policies, and learning to cope with climate change. Top of page