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By Chuck Wells

How much insurance should you put on your house? Should it be for your town appraised value? Should it be for the value it would sell for today?

You should insure your house for the amount of money it would take to rebuild it today. This amount is usually higher than appraised or market value.

If you own a house that would sell for $80,000 and is appraised for $60,000, you know that building a new house would cost at least $100,000 in this area. You should insure the house for $100,000.

Keep in mind that if you do not insure your house for the cost to replace it, most home insurance policies have a zinger that will penalize you big bucks when you go to make a claim. The difference in premium to insure for full replacement value is very small and if you are going to pay on a home insurance policy anyway, make sure it pays off for you.

How can you find out home much it would cost to replace your home? You can ask your insurance agent to do a replacement estimator. This calculates the square footage of your house to help determine how much it would cost to build the same size and type of house at todayís prices. If you know a building contractor, he may be able to tell you the cost per square foot to build a new house and you can come up with an estimate yourself.

The bottom line: donít go cheap on your house insurance. It is one of your most valuable assets and you want to make sure you get enough money from the insurance company should you lose everything!


Portugese officials arrested Tito Anibal da Paixao Gomes after neighbors complained that he failed to repay money they had lent him on the promise of being repaid by his military pension. Gomes said he was a retired army general. Upon being arrested, authorities found that Gomes had never been an army general and, in fact, had never been a man. Gomes had fooled his neighbors for 18 years. Oh, one other thing. Gomes was married for 5 years before his/her wife wandered into the bathroom and noticed her husband was a she.


Recklingshausen, Germany fired its zookeeper after catching him barbequing some of the zoo animals. The zookeeper was eating five Tibetan mountain chickens and two sheep from Cameroon. Because of German law, the town had to give the zookeeper 6 months of severance pay before firing him. No word as to what kind of sauce he was using.


A court in Minneapolis awarded Patricia Koehler $16 million after she suffered brain damage from a suicide attempt. The jury said the hospital was 50% at fault for allowing Koehler to be alone so she could tie a shirt around her neck and hang herself.

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