Homeowners Insurance in Georgia
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Odds are that if you're reading this page right now, then you're in the process of buying your first home. While this is an exciting and happy time for most future homeowners, you probably aren't looking forward to the homeowners insurance line process. That's understandable; homeowners insurance can be complicated and confusing, and you're probably worried about whether or not you'll be able to get a good deal. In this article, you'll find sound advice and clear explanations of Industry jargon that can help you find a fair price on your homeowners insurance premiums.
Like many states, Georgia homeowners insurance companies refer to the standardized HO-3 homeowners policy when drafting up coverage for a new customer. These policies include open peril coverage for replacing or repairing damage to your dwelling, as well as named perils coverage for replacing or repairing damage to your belongings and the contents of your home.
|Type of Coverage||Coverage Amount|
|Replacement Cost (Dwelling)||$300,000|
|Replacement Cost (Contents)||$150,000|
In the table above, you can see suggested coverage limits for a $300,000 home located in the state of Georgia. Pay close attention to the deductible at the bottom of the table; it can have a significant impact on your annual premium. The higher your deductible, the more financial responsibility you take on in the event of a disaster. But this reduces the financial burden on your insurance company, and they will reward you with a lower annual rate. Conversely, a lower deductible will result in a higher premium in order for your insurance provider to offset their financial responsibility and the event that something happens to your home.
The average annual premium for homeowners in Georgia very significantly from one city to another. This depends on property values, the overall cost of your home and its contents, and also the geographical threats which could potentially damage your property. Coastal parts of Georgia have to worry about flooding and hurricanes much more than the more inland areas. However, interior cities in Georgia have experienced significant damage in recent years from severe weather such as tornadoes. On top of everything, you're going to have to do some legwork when shopping around for a good rate. As you can see in the chart below, some companies will offer you I generously affordable annual premium, while other companies make charge you a significantly higher rate.
Laws and Requirements
As far as homeowners insurance goes, you won't find any federal or even state laws that legally mandate every homeowner must purchase a policy. However, you may run into legal trouble if you are paying for your home with a mortgage and you refuse to buy a policy. This is because virtually every single bank which lends a homeowner money will inevitably require that they purchase homeowners insurance. And you could run into some serious legal trouble if you don't comply with this part of your mortgage contract.
Taking a Home Inventory
so you know you have to purchase a homeowner's insurance policy, and you want to make sure you get the best deal. One of the quickest ways to do that is to make sure you take a very good home Inventory period you want to take your time with this process, because making sure that your inventory is accurate and thorough is the best way to make sure you get the fairest deal on your premium. Overestimating your property value and the hopes of a higher claim payout can shoot you in the foot in the long run, because you'll be paying a higher premium each year and you may never need to fill out a claim period however, under estimating the value of your property may get you a cheaper premium in the beginning, but if something bad happens to your property, you'll have a larger financial burden then you would if you had accurately estimated your property value.
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Choosing What (and How Much) Coverage
The basic HO-3 policy that many Georgia home insurance companies offer covers a broad range of perils when it comes to your home's structure. However, securing your property with in your home have some very specific and limited coverage options. when crafting your policy, be sure to ask your agent about:
- Fires - for the most part, ho-3 policies have very generous coverage when it comes to fire damage, smoke damage, and any other fire-related destruction that affects the structure of your home. This is not true for your belongings or the contents of your home. However, he may be able to request and endorsement which can protect your personal belongings from fire damage.
- Floods - Any part of Georgia that is near the coastline, a large river, or a lake maybe vulnerable to flood damage. Unfortunately, in Most states, flood insurance is only available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Georgia, however, is unique in the fact that there are at least 26 private companies that have been FEMA approved to sell flood insurance to homeowners. You can easily find a list of them with a simple online search.
- Damage from Winter Storms - While winter storm damage may not be a significant concern for southern parts of the state, it is not uncommon for the Northern parts to receive some winter weather from time to time. And if you have an HO-3 homeowners insurance policy, both your structure and your personal property will be covered in the event of winter storm damage.
- Covering Your Property - Well most ho-3 policies cover your structure for any sort of damage minus certain specified situations, securing your property is a little more difficult. The named peril section of your homeowners policy list the situations in which, if your property is damaged or needs to be replaced, your insurance company will pay out on your claim. Any other type of damage move results and your claim being rejected. And you may be financially penalized for filing a claim (in the form of higher premiums) even if your insurance company doesn't pay out on it.
- Liability Coverage - Liability coverage on homeowners insurance words very similar to the way it does for car insurance. If something happens on your property, and a person or their property gets damaged in the process, you may be held liable. and if you are deemed to be at fault, your liability coverage can help you pay for most or all of your financial liability.
- Umbrella Coverage - If you have been lucky and prosperous enough in life to buy a very expensive home, there's a chance that your insurance company may not insure your property for the full replacement value of your structure. In the event that this situation applies to you, you should ask your insurance agent about umbrella insurance coverage. in most cases, this is a separate insurance policy which adds extended coverage limits on top of what your homeowners policy will pay out in the event of a claim. That way, if you have a very expensive home and you suffer a catastrophic loss, you won't be left with a significant financial burden.
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value
If you haven't yet heard the terms replacement cost or actual cash value in the process of your homeowners insurance buying, you inevitably will. replacement cost is fairly self-explanatory; if you file a claim on your structure or a piece of property that is covered by a replacement cost classification on your policy, then your homeowners insurance company will pay 100% of your claim to get your structure repaired or your property replaced as if you were buying it brand new. Actual cash value, on the other hand, does incorporate depreciation. So if you get roof damage from a severe storm, and you have a 15 year old roof, your insurance company will not pay to replace the roof as if it were new. It will pay the approximate cost of fixing a 15 year old roof, which may be less money.
How Your Credit Score May Influence Your Rate
Most of the time, when you're applying for an insurance product, your underwriter will run a hard credit check before determining your premium, or approving you at all. This can limit your options when buying Insurance, because too many hard checks will leave and negative mark on your credit history. This will lower your overall credit score, and make it difficult for you to get good deals on credit-related products and services in the future.
Thankfully, homeowners insurance works a little bit differently. Homeowners insurance companies don't check your credit, necessarily; they run a soft check on your last 7 years of credit history (also known as a CLUE report). By the way, you do have a legal right to see your own CLUE report before you even request your first home owners insurance quote. It's a good idea to get your hands on a copy of this report so that you know what your insurance company knows. This will help you negotiate a fair price. And best of all, CLUE reports don't leave any marks on your credit history. So you can visit as many different companies as you want and get as many different quotes as you want without worrying about any negative consequences.
For more information, feel free to click any of the links you see in this article. They all lead to more detailed information about homeowner's insurance, specifics on purchasing a policy, and how to find the best deal. You should also contact local resources in your state, such as:
Or contact them directly through the following resources:
Georgia Department of Regulatory Agencies
Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
West Tower, Suite 704
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone: 404-656-2070 | Fax: 404-657-8542