Homeowners Insurance

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted. I was busy with other ventures, politics, I know, a dirty word here at the Motley Fool. But I wanted to take this opportunity to say “hi” and put my 2 cents on homeowners insurance.

We were hit by the Dec 30, 2021 Marshall fire in Colorado. We lost everything, including our entire neighborhood. We had mere minutes to get out of our homes, so I took pretty much nothing. I’ve heard that the temperatures of the fires in our homes were as high as 2500 degrees F.

Most of us were under-insured. My husband and I are under-insured, by at least $500,000. It’s a blessing we always lived under our means and we made good investments. Most of our portfolio is SA recommendations. We’ll probably have to put off retirement for a few years though.

I wanted to alert you all to the fact that insurance companies are still underestimating re-build costs. They have taken zero consideration of inflation and covid induced supply chain issues. Please do me a favor and get an estimate from a builder or two on what it would cost to re-build your home today, and then make your insurance company insure to that number or just have a guaranteed replacement cost policy. If they won’t, get another insurer.

Our insurance company, Liberty Mutual has been really easy to work with. I’ve heard nightmare stories about having to inventory personal property and other awful cases of not getting paid by other insurance companies. But the problem with Liberty Mutual is that I called them recently and they still offered to under-insure my property. By a lot. Anyway, I signed on with Chubb for another property I have because they were willing to insure up to the total cost I would incur if I had a total loss. Sure it’s twice as much, but I’m getting twice as much insurance. So worth it.

Take Care and Fool on,


Anyway, I signed on with Chubb for another property I have because they were willing to insure up to the total cost I would incur if I had a total loss. Sure it’s twice as much, but I’m getting twice as much insurance. So worth it.

Unless it has changed, IIRC, Chubb also will bring in their own firefighters and the word was that they worked well with local firefighters.


Liberty Mutual was willing to do that too. Problem is, the fire moved so fast, that by the time they called to tell me they could come,(It was less than an hour), the house was already gone.

But that is good news about Chubb. Thanks for the article.

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To clarify, I’m not sure LM had engines, like Chubb, but they offered fire mitigation services.

Maybe bc wildfires move so quickly Chubb didn’t have time to get to the three of theirs that were lost in Fourmile Canyon. Still, only losing three out of 13, is pretty good.


Wow I’m vary sorry but glad everyone is alive, the most important thing.

Interesting that just last month I called and got them to update the values to rebuild my home.

One day you will actually be able to pay for insurance that covers any event beyond our control and will replace your home. Not the BS that happens today.

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My husband and I are under-insured, by at least $500,000

What made up the under insurance? The cost of rebuilding the house? Possessions in the home?

I thought when it came to home owners insurance you could insure for a value of the house or the replacement cost of the home. I thought the latter would guarantee something close to a replacement home comparable to the original home regardless of what it would cost the insurance company.

Sorry for the loss


Hi Rich,

Thank you.

Insurance companies use an outdated national calculator. They still haven’t updated their numbers in spite of inflation and supply chain issues. Also, some parts of the country are more expensive to build. Colorado has expanding soils and radon issues. With expanding soils, you add $60k to the build at the get go because you have to pour in caissons under your foundation. Then add another $20k for that one issue bc you have to make an engineered basement floor that floats instead of sitting on the ground. Engineered floors used to be wood, but then people were having mold issues under the floor, so now they are concrete on metal frames.

Insurance companies are only on the hook for replacing the structure if you have guaranteed replacement cost coverage, which is becoming harder to find for the average homeowner.

90% of our community is under-insurred.

It is only the cost to re-build. I’m having to use my posession coverage to rebuild the structure. I’m sure the possessions were severely under-insurred, but I don’t have the will or need to do an inventory of said possessions. Most of my neighbors had to do an inventory to get the last 70% of their possession payment. Liberty Mutual was really good that way. I didn’t have to do an inventory. They just paid it all out right away.

Other than being way under-insurred, Liberty Mutual has been great to work with. I tried putting another property with them and they were still using the outdated numbers and offered to severely under-insure the second property as well.

My advice is to get a builder quote or two when shopping for insurance or make sure you have guaranteed replacement cost coverage. Insuring for the value is not something I’ve heard of. But value and cost to re-build are not in line anyway. I don’t think I would buy a policy that has that kind of coverage.


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So sorry that you lost everything. We are currently living in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in SW Florida. Our house had minimal damage, but reading what other people are dealing with is craziness. Many people lost everything and are now dealing with insurance companies. Here, people are learning that insurance companies are in it to make money, and try to pay out as little as possible in claims. I hope you can get back to normal at some point. Sorry you have to deal with it all.