Is your home underinsured?

FRESNO, Calif.

Consumer Reports Money Adviser says it's crucial to review your policy. Damage by high winds may be subject to a steeper deductible than other types of damage. And your insurance might not cover earthquakes, landslides, or floods at all. Consumer Reports advises looking into federal flood-insurance programs, even if you live in a low-risk area.

Consumer Reports says that it's very important to make sure you've covered the house for the full replacement value in case you have a total loss. But don't use the sale price as a measure. That might not be enough to cover rebuilding.

For just a few dollars at the website, you can figure out a realistic replacement estimate yourself. But be sure to include the cost of replacing any custom items like tiles, special flooring, and fixtures.

Choosing an insurance company requires research, not just to find the best price but also to check out the financial health of the company. To make sure the company is solvent and will be able to pay your claim, check at Stick with companies rated "A" or "B."

Consumer Reports says that while you're sizing up the best coverage, you should also keep in mind that rates can vary widely. You can compare rates at, InsWeb, and NetQuote.

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