Shopping for Atlanta home insurance can seem like a monster of a task if you don’t know where to start. Plus, what many people think of as insurance basics may not be the ones that are the most important to your agent when they consider your particular situation. So, we’ve put together the top six general ideas that insurance agents want you to know when you’re shopping for your homeowners’ insurance.
6 things insurance agents want you to know about home insurance in Atlanta.
1. Flooding is not covered by home insurance.
Even though this fact may not come into play until you’re well into shopping, insurance agents field questions and calls about flooding all the time. People are usually shocked to find out that flooding is not included in a typical home insurance policy.
During a heavy rainy season or even a hurricane, your home insurance may cover damages to your property due to the lightning or rain that falls freely into your home. However, most policies don’t cover damages due to certain amounts of standing water. So, if you want to make sure that you’re properly prepared for hurricane season or even a flash flood, make sure you talk to your agent about getting an additional flood insurance policy. You can go through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
It’s also important to note that flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to become effective with VERY few exceptions on the waiting period. So, don’t procrastinate on getting this type of coverage until you’re in the line of fire of a potential flood.
2. There are tons of factors that go into determining your home insurance rates.
When you’re shopping around for home insurance, you may be confused as to why you can’t get a ballpark estimate for your rates. The truth is, there are tons of factors that your agent has to account for to even get a ballpark estimate. Some of the most common things they take into consideration are:
- Where you live
- What your home is made of
- How much money it would take to rebuild your home
- Your claims history
- How close you are to a fire station
- Your area’s crime rate
- Whether or not you have a home security system
- How your roof is made
- What natural risks your area is prone to (i.e., hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, etc.)
- Your credit score
Keep in mind that these are some of the most common factors that can determine your homeowners’ insurance rates. Your particular agent may need even more details about your land, your structures, and your personal property to properly insure you.
3. Bundling your home and auto insurance can actually save you a ton.
There’s a lot of hype around bundling your home and auto insurance, but how much can it actually save you?
The answer, according to agents, is a LOT.
If you insure your home and your car(s) with the same company, your carrier will more than likely offer you a discount for having both policies with them.
4. If a tree falls on your house, it’s your insurance that pays out…even if it’s your neighbor’s tree.
Let’s say that there’s a huge storm and one of your neighbor’s trees falls on your roof. If your house is damaged, your home insurance would have to pay you to fix the damages, not your neighbor’s. It stinks because you’ll have to fulfill your deductible before your insurance pays for the rest of it.
The reason your insurance would pay is that your home insurance is meant to cover damages to your home. So, if the situation was reversed, your neighbor’s home insurance would pay for the damages to their home, not yours.
5. It’s better to insure your home for its RCV, not its market value.
It’s, unfortunately, a little-known fact, but there’s a difference between your home’s market value and its replacement cost value (RCV), and it’s important to know what your home is insured for before disaster strikes.
Let’s say your house burns down. If your home was insured for its market value, your insurance company can reimburse you for how much your house would sell on the market today, which could mean the amount you paid for the home. This amount doesn’t take into account the cost of the rebuilding materials, contractors, specialists, permits, and everything else that goes into actually rebuilding the home from the ground up. However, insuring your home for its replacement cost value generally does.
To put it into perspective, the average market value of a house in Atlanta is about $250,000 to $300,000. However, the average cost to build a house in Atlanta is about $500,000, not including labor costs for contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc. Insuring your home for its market value, then, could mean that you’ll be left with an additional $200,000 to $250,000 bill if your house is struck by disaster.
6. You could get a discount for having a home security system.
A home security system may seem like an expensive purchase to give you peace of mind. However, it can be an investment to save money on homeowners’ insurance. Security systems are a major deterrent for thieves and a quicker way to notify police if your home is broken into. So, insurance companies are major fans of homes with security systems because it means less of a chance of damage to your home and a lesser chance that you’ll file a claim to replace stolen property.
So, if you have a home security or monitoring system, let your agent know! You could be in for a great discount.
These are only the top six things agents want you to know about Atlanta home insurance. But our agents also want you to know that we can make the process of getting cheaper rates on home insurance easy. So, to make sure you’re getting the best rates on the coverage you need, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or live chat with one of our experts today!