Husband vs. Wife: Insuring Against Disaster

Lori and Marek Fuchs have never fought in their 16 years of marriage — except over money. In this column, Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs, a real-life married couple with three kids (ages 12, 8 and 5), articulate their very different approaches to personal finance.

This week, the Fuchs talk about the recent theft of their car from the driveway and the lesson we can all learn about home and car insurance.

Mr. Fuchs: Quite a surprise the other morning, huh?

Mrs. Fuchs: When the kids slept past 7 a.m.? I was shocked too.

Mr. Fuchs: That’s not it — you’re repressing that your beloved car was stolen from our driveway.

Mrs. Fuchs: Oh, you had to bring it up. I’m still in the denial stage of mourning. I loved that Acura.

Mr. Fuchs: Well, lucky for us, we had theft insurance. Auto theft insurance is pretty straightforward. Most have it for cars unless they are real junkers. But it got me thinking about replacement insurance for homes, which people are not as vigilant about.

Mrs. Fuchs: You mean you aren’t as vigilant about?

Mr. Fuchs: Believe it or not, I am. Don’t forget: When I am not writing columns, I serve as a firefighter. I know these things happen. If our house burns down, we’d have about $750,000 to replace it. I’ll get that sauna I always wanted. But according to a 2006 study by MSB, a construction data firm based in Wisconsin, more than half of homeowners don’t have sufficient replacement coverage. Some of these homeowners had enough originally, but then they are in the house for 20 years, and forget to increase the amount of coverage.  Construction costs have increased over time, in a big way.

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