Be prepared
house savvy amy bach
Amy Bach

Weather the next storm that hits
Because of changes insurers have made in recent years, you may have to shoulder a larger portion of your losses than in the past.

The more informed you are, the better your settlement will be. Don't wait for an insurer to estimate the replacement cost of your belongings: Make your own inventory, and tell the insurance company what you think it owes you.

Keep a journal of every conversation with your insurer. And keep binders with your receipts, estimates, and inventories. You have to be your own advocate.
-- Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, an insurance consumer advocacy group

Learn to be handy
"Always Google a home project. You can save hundreds doing it yourself. I replaced the capacitor in my AC unit for $29 instead of paying the AC company $250."
-- From MONEY reader Adam Rubenstein, via Facebook

BEST TOOL: The inventory app at

Send a letter to the editor about this gallery to
  @Money - Last updated March 04 2014 03:21 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Best advice now for getting richer

Top experts and Money readers share their smartest tips for helping you build your nest egg and land a dream job.

Real Estate Calculator

Was my home a good investment?

Find out now
Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.24%4.32%
15 yr fixed3.25%3.36%
5/1 ARM3.27%3.37%
30 yr refi4.28%4.31%
15 yr refi3.30%3.34%
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.