insurance

Do you have enough home insurance coverage?

Protect your valuables

Even under a replacement cost policy, there typically will be limits on certain categories of possessions, including fine jewelry, watches, fur coats, silverware and firearms. Typical policies will cover $1,500 for each of these types of categories, according to Charlebois.

"If you have jewelry that costs more than $1,000, you will want to think about an additional endorsement, or you can buy a separate policy," Charlebois says.

If your policy only covers items stolen from your home or destroyed by fire, then another strategy is to purchase a so-called floater policy for high-value items for coverage at home and away, Lynch says.

"These (floater) policies cover you for loss or mysterious disappearance 24/7, everywhere," Lynch adds.

However, forget about stashing your cash under the mattress -- home insurance will only reimburse you for small amounts of the green stuff.

"If you have thousands of dollars in cash and the house burns down, you might be able to recover $200," Charlebois says.

Control the floodgates

Unless you live in certain coastal areas, damage from wind and hail is covered by most homeowners insurance policies. However, flood damage is not. Those who live in a high-risk flood plain and have a federally backed mortgage are required to buy a separate flood insurance policy through a program run by the federal government.

However, at least 1 in 5 floods occur in an area the government hasn't designated a high-risk flood zone. If you live in such an area, Charlebois recommends you consider buying a preferred-risk policy from the federal government.

Take the bite out of coverage

Certain breeds of dogs, such as Rottweilers and pit bulls, may not be a homeowner's best friend, because they may not be insurable.

"If you fail to disclose you have one of these breeds, chances are that if your pet injures another person, and you get sued for liability, the claim could be denied," Lynch says.

Whatever your home situation is, when in doubt, consult with your home insurance company or agent.

"There's no such thing as too much communication with your agent," Lynch says.

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