"If for some reason, building materials go up, we're going to pay for it," she says. "We're not saying you need to take out any different coverage."
Other companies' standard replacement policies do not include such extra coverage, and charge separately for it, typically in the form of a rider.
Sometimes known as an "enhanced dwelling limit," according to Hackett, the concept varies by company but generally provide an additional 20 percent to 25 percent.
"It's definitely good protection to have," he says.
Nationwide, for instance, has "replacement cost" and "replacement cost plus," according to Mallasee, with the latter costing more.
Mallasee says the issue of inadequate replacement coverage doesn't come up very often these days, citing "diligence by insurers" to make sure "all the elements of the home were captured" properly by the agent interviewing the customer.
Consumer advocates say otherwise.
"Even when you buy these upgrades, it still depends on what their initial number is," warns Heller. "Sometimes that's not even enough."
Hunter says consumers should avoid the riders. "I recommend they shop carefully," he says.
He recommends consumers take an inquisitive and aggressive approach in seeking competitive bidding.
First, they should determine the replacement cost of the home themselves, rather than leave it up to the insurers, which makes it easier to compare coverage and price.
"If you pay $300-$400 you can get an assessment as to what it will cost to replace the house," he says.
Or you can do the research yourself.
Start with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which has a map with links to all 50 state regulators. It has a wealth of information, including tables of consumer complaints by type and company.
New Jersey and Texas are among the many states whose insurance regulators have price guides and other tools, such as which companies operate in the state, and the number and kind of complaints for various companies.
There's also information on how to document the contents of your home, such as this inventory checklist, which will help determine coverage value and replacement cost.
These tools and others allow you to shrink your pool of potential insurers, making it easier to compare terms and prices.
"Hopefully you're shopping among the lowest-priced companies," says Hunter. "There could still be a 25 percent price difference. It's not like you have a unit-price guide."