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 knowyourstuff.org.


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  @Money - Last updated March 04 2014 03:21 PM ET
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