What insurance do you need for a rental home in Atlanta?

It's important to get the right insurance for your rental home.

It's important to get the right insurance for your rental home.

There are all sorts of circumstances that lead to someone renting out a home. You may have turned your attention from selling your old home to renting it out. You could have decided to downsize to an apartment or condo, and you’re using your old Atlanta house as income. Or you might have just purchased a second home for the sole purpose of renting it out. However, a normal home insurance policy isn’t quite the right way to protect the rental home. Here’s a look at how to insure your Atlanta property the right way if you’re putting it up for rent.

Why won’t a normal home insurance policy work if I rent out my home?

Here’s the thing. A traditional home insurance policy by itself is only built to handle the risk of a primary owner living there and that primary owner’s guests. It’s not made to handle the risk that comes with different groups of people living in the home on rotation. Renters come and go, so they have less invested interest in taking care of the property than someone who purchased the home and plans to live in it for much longer. Insuring a rental home is a different type of risk because there’s a lot more variety in situations, personalities, and overall traffic to the home that may cause more damage to the property than a typical homeowner.

So, what type of insurance do I need for renting out a home?

You’ll need a dwelling fire policy (or DP policy) that accounts for your rental property’s varying occupants. A dwelling fire policy is very similar to a home insurance policy in how it can cover liability and property damage for the home itself. DP policies are generally written on a yearly basis.

Does my insurance cover my tenant’s belongings?

It’s important to note that a dwelling fire policy only helps protect you as a landlord and your investment in the house’s structure. If something were to happen to your tenant’s things inside the home, it probably wouldn’t be covered under your dwelling fire policy.

That’s why it’s important to talk to your tenants about getting their own separate renters’ insurance. That could offer the type of coverage they need to repair or replace their things if they’re damaged by an event like a fire, theft, or even falling objects. Renters insurance can also give your tenant their own liability coverage.

What if I can’t find a tenant for my rental home?

Sometimes the rental market isn’t all that friendly to landlords. However, even if your insurance company knows that the home is a rental, you may not be covered for perils that happen to the home when it’s vacant. That’s why it’s vital to check your insurance policy to make sure you know how long the policy will cover a vacant house.

Typically, a policy will allow at least 30 days of vacancy. So, while you do have a buffer of time for your tenant search, don’t cut things close!

What factors affect my rental home insurance rate?

Some of the factors that might affect the cost of your dwelling fire policy are:

Rates can also greatly differ from carrier to carrier and from plan to plan. Usually, it’s a good idea to have your DP policy with the same carrier as your primary home insurance since doing so could help you get a better rate. Plus it’s just easier that way.

Consider umbrella insurance

You may also want to consider personal umbrella insurance if you’re renting out your house. Hospital bills can get expensive. So, if one of your renters is hurt on your property, it’s nice to have a bigger cushion of coverage with those medical bills if necessary. Personal umbrella insurance can help provide liability coverage that goes above and beyond the coverage offered by your underlying insurance policy. (It essentially sits on top of your underlying policy…like an umbrella! Get it?)

Overall, if you’re renting out a second house in Atlanta, you want to make sure that you and your money-making investment are protected for years to come. There are plenty of risks to consider when different people rent out your home year after year. And our insurance experts can help! Call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent to find out just how much you can save while you rake in the dough on your Atlanta rental home!

What to do if you’re moving and have to leave your Atlanta house vacant

If you're moving and you're trying to sell your old house, you may need vacant home insurance.

If you're moving and you're trying to sell your old house, you may need vacant home insurance.

If you’re moving, you might have to leave your current house vacant when you pack up all of your stuff and get it to the new house. But what happens then? You still need to sell your old Atlanta house, and it’s still a large investment. It’s worth money, so you want to protect it…but what’s the deal with home insurance? Will it still protect the empty house from loss? We’ll explain what you need to know in this situation.

First things first – look at the home insurance policy.

It’s important to look at the home insurance policy of the house that you’re moving out of. Typically, a home insurance policy will specify a certain amount of time that the home can be vacant. (For example, this limit might be 30 days or something like that.)

There is a reason for this. Vacant homes present more risk to the insurance company because there’s no one home to deter trespassers or vandals. There’s also no one to raise the alarm if a fire breaks out. Insurance companies don’t really like risk, so that’s why they tend to place these limits on vacancy.

Anyways, it’s always a good idea to know what your policy says. A claim could be denied if that time limit is up. And that would be bad – then you’d be on the hook to repair the home and recover from the loss. That could turn out to be a real financial hit without insurance to help cushion the blow.

But that’s not the only reason to know how long you can leave the home vacant if you’re moving and selling the house.

If your Atlanta home insurance carrier were to find out that your home was vacant and it’s past the allowed time, they may cancel or drop the policy. And that’s also not a great situation to find yourself in.

Moral of the story: stay in touch with your insurance company and let them know about your situation. They can help you.

How to insure a home if you’re selling the house and have to leave it vacant.

So, you’re probably wondering what you can do to protect that vacant house while you’re selling it. As we said, talk to your insurance company. They’ll be able to take a look at the specifics of your policy. You can talk about your situation with them and get some guidance as far as how to proceed.

For example, you might have someone moving into your house in a week and it’ll only be vacant for that long – and then it won’t be yours anymore. In that case, you might be fine to just leave your home insurance as-is.

But you might not have someone ready to move into the house. Maybe it appears that it’ll take a good amount of time to sell the home. (That can happen.) That might be a situation where you need to consider a vacant home insurance policy. What’s that? We’ll explain.

How does a vacant home insurance policy work?

To start, you might not be going through one of your super well-known insurance carriers with commercials on TV every ten minutes. You might have to find a different carrier that specializes in writing “riskier” homes – meaning they might write vacant home insurance. (And again, this might not be through the carrier that wrote your original, primary home insurance.)

But what about when someone buys the house and moves in? That’s kind of the goal, right? You don’t want to be in the position where you’ve gone and bought a vacant home insurance policy…only to not need it a month or two later. Insurance carriers are, fortunately, prepared for this very situation.

The first thing to know is that you might be able to get a vacant home insurance policy with a shorter policy period – for example, one month, three months, or six months. That way things are a little more flexible.

The other thing you should know is that you’re probably going to be able to get a prorated refund if someone ends up buying the house during your policy. You’d get reimbursed for the insurance that you didn’t need because the house sold. Ask about how the refund works with the vacant home policy you’re considering – and if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. At any rate, knowing ahead of time how you would be refunded for the extra vacant home insurance if the house sells can help put you at ease when you’re getting your policy.

So, that’s what you need to know about your vacant home in Atlanta if you’re moving. Make sure that it’s properly covered with the right insurance so you can avoid a major financial loss. You may need a vacant home policy to make sure that the house you’re trying to sell is covered.

Get Atlanta home insurance quotes by filling out our quote form, messaging us on LiveChat, or giving us a call.

8 things to check on your Atlanta home insurance policy this summer

It's important to check over your home insurance policy.

It's important to check over your home insurance policy.

The summer months are upon us, and that means it’s a great time to give your Atlanta home insurance policy a once-over. (Well, you could do that at any time of year, but why not sooner than later?) It’s important to keep an eye on your home insurance policy to make sure it still suits your needs. To help you with doing an insurance check, we’ve come up with a list of eight questions to ask yourself. (Don’t worry – this is an open notes quiz. We encourage you to dust off your home insurance policy and use it.)

8 things to check on your home insurance policy.

1. Have you taken a home inventory?

A what now?

A home inventory is basically just a list of all the belongings in your home, plus their value. It’s generally easiest to organize it by room. We know that the idea of wandering around, writing down a list of all your stuff might sound excruciatingly boring, but hear us out.

A home inventory can be extremely helpful. If you ever have to file a home insurance claim, you’ll know exactly what needs to be replaced. It can help make the entire process easier. You can even use your phone and create your inventory in Google Drive.

Plus, if you do file a claim, having a nearly-organized inventory can help add credence to your situation. It’s not that the insurance company doesn’t want to trust you and take your word for it; they’re just leery of insurance fraud.

Pro tip: Include photos and/or videos in your inventory.

2. Do you have enough coverage?

It’s also important to make sure you have enough insurance. It’s a good idea to cover your home for its replacement cost, which is the amount it would take to completely rebuild your house from the ground up. (You have to consider things like materials and construction cost.)

Also, make sure that you have enough coverage for your personal belongings. Replacement cost coverage can help you replace your belongings at today’s prices while actual cash value coverage gives you their depreciated value (which may not be enough to replace them.)

And, of course, you can’t forget about liability coverage. Your liability coverage can help you cover your legal responsibility to someone if they get hurt on your property or if you accidentally damage their property. It can help cover things like their medical expenses and your legal bills if they sue.

3. Do you have all the endorsements you need?

You may need to add endorsements (which are simply additions to the policy that amend coverage) to your home insurance to cover certain losses. For example, sewer back up is typically not covered by home insurance – but you can add a sewer backup endorsement to your policy so you’re protected from this, ah, unpleasantly smelly situation.

4. Are your valuables insured properly?

Many home insurance policies have a limit on the amount of coverage offered for valuables such as jewelry. (Sometimes it can be as low as $1,000.) If you have any expensive jewelry, artwork, valuables, or collections, it’s really important to make sure they’re covered. Have you acquired or inherited anything recently that might warrant getting some more insurance?

5. Have you thought about bundling your home and auto insurance?

Your home insurance and auto insurance can be bundled together if you get them from the same company. Bundling, or getting multiple types of insurance from the same carrier, isn’t just convenient – it’s also a way to score some possible savings. That’s because many carriers offer a decent discount for bundling. It’s definitely something to think about.

6. Do you have all possible discounts?

Speaking of discounts, have you gone on an epic quest for home insurance discounts? You might be able to save money just by qualifying for a discount. Talk to your insurance agent and see if you’ve added all discounts you’re eligible for. Has anything changed recently that could help you get a discount – for example, have you had a security system installed? (This is a common discount.)

7. Have you had lifestyle changes?

Have you had any recent life events happen? Maybe getting married? It’s important to let your agent know about that sort of thing. Also, if you’ve made any significant renovations to your home, it’s a good idea to let your agent know. It may mean your coverage needs to be adjusted.

8. Have you put together a disaster kit?

Okay, maybe this one isn’t strictly insurance-related, but it’s still important. If you don’t have a disaster kit, now’s a great time to put one together! A disaster kit is basically a bag of all the emergency necessities you would need in case a severe storm happened. Include things like non-perishable food, water, clothes, blankets, a flashlight and batteries, a first-aid kit, and so on.

It’s important to ask questions about your Atlanta home insurance policy and make sure that you have the coverage you need to protect your house. So, take the time this summer to go over your home insurance policy!

Get home insurance quotes by filling out our online quote form, messaging us on LiveChat, or giving us a call.

How to get insurance for an Airbnb in Atlanta

It's important to get the right insurance for your Airbnb.

It's important to get the right insurance for your Airbnb.If you’re thinking about turning your Atlanta home into an Airbnb, you’d be in good company. Tons of people in the U.S. alone have decided to start earning fairly easy money by renting out their homes to travelers. However, many Airbnb hosts start their experience without truly knowing the risks. So, how can you protect yourself as an Airbnb host? How do you insure an Airbnb? Let’s take a look.

Will my home insurance cover me as an Airbnb host?

A typical Atlanta home insurance policy is only built to handle everyday risks, such as visitors getting hurt or disaster perils. Even if your policy does allow you to have temporary tenants, insuring any space in your home as an Airbnb will be a bit different because of the sheer volume and variety of visitors you’ll have.

This means that you’ll need to insure the Airbnb as a type of commercial rental property. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need as high of a coverage limit or premium payment as an apartment complex. In fact, there are a few ways to go about insuring your home as an Airbnb. Each way, though, will depend on how much of your home is being rented out and how often you plan on listing the location.

Host Protection & Host Guarantee vs. Insurance for your Airbnb

It’s important to note that Airbnb does offer host protection and host guarantee plans per guest booking. These plans can cover up to $1 million in general liability claims and property damage to your home.

However, Airbnb specifically states that these plans DO NOT take the place of insurance. In fact, there are tons of conditions and exclusions that must be fulfilled for Airbnb before a host can be compensated using the guarantee. One of the conditions even suggests that the host would have to file a claim with their own insurance first before the guarantee would apply.

At any rate, it’s usually better all around to talk to your insurance agent first so you can get the coverage you need and not depend solely on the host guarantee.

Make sure you have the right insurance for your Airbnb.

How can I get insurance for an Airbnb?

The type and cost of commercial property insurance you’ll need for your Airbnb will mainly depend on your house’s primary use.

  • If you still live in the home and are renting out a few rooms: Some carriers may require you to add an endorsement that lets them cover the risk of increased occupancy.
  • If you’re using the property solely as an Airbnb: You’ll probably need a separate commercial rental property policy. Remember, though, that insuring a single house or rental unit usually isn’t as expensive as insuring an entire apartment building, even if you rotate guests on a regular basis.

How much insurance do I need for an Airbnb?

Most carriers will require you to insure your house’s structure at its replacement cost value (RCV) if you have a mortgage. If you don’t have a mortgage, you can choose to insure the structure for its Actual Cash Value (ACV.) Insuring your house for its ACV, though, might mean that you won’t have enough funds to properly rebuild your home if there was a total loss.

When insuring personal belongings or decorations inside of your home/Airbnb, your carrier may let you choose how high your property damage coverage limit is. This is why it’s vital to take a home inventory so that you know which belongings are in which rooms and the condition that they were in previously if something happens to them.

Also, keep your deductible in mind if you do want to file a claim in the future. If the damages to your home or property are less than your deductible, then your home insurance may not be able to help anyway. In any case, check with your agent about your insurance requirements, what your policy already covers, and how high of a coverage limit you’ll need to choose to properly protect your home.

What will an agent need to know to get a quote for Airbnb insurance?

An Airbnb will face more risks than a typical owner-occupied house. So, there are specific details that your insurance agent may need to know when signing up for insurance or adding coverage to your policy. These are some of the questions you should be prepared to answer when insuring your Airbnb:

  • Is the property deeded in your name or under a business organization?
  • How many units are you renting out in the home?
  • How long will each guest be staying on average? What is the minimum amount of time a guest will stay?
  • What is your address?
  • What is the square footage of the home?
  • How many bathrooms are in the home?
  • What kind of finishes are in your house? (i.e. custom, builder-grade, etc.)
  • If the home is over 40 years old, have the plumbing, electrical, and A/C systems been updated? When?
  • How old is the roof?
  • What deductible would you like?
  • How much personal property coverage would you like?

Local laws and regulations.

As Airbnb and other sharing services grow, more and more city governments are regulating their practices. Some cities and towns may require specific notice or permits when running a short-term rental. Other towns may not allow Airbnbs at all. So, check your local laws on short-term rentals before setting up your home as an Airbnb.

Overall, Airbnb can be a great way to earn money and open up your home for travelers to experience more of your city. As a homeowner, though, it’s important to keep your house, as your investment, safe. While Airbnb’s host protection and guarantee plans may offer extra protection, it’s important to have the right insurance for your short-term rental so that any hosting-related claims aren’t denied when you need it most.

Our experts can help you find affordable rates on Atlanta home insurance whether you need a typical owner-occupant policy or you need to add specific coverages. LiveChat with us, fill out our online form, or give us a call today to stop missing out on great home insurance coverage for the rates you deserve.

Does Atlanta home insurance cover meteorites?

Does home insurance cover meteorites?

Does home insurance cover meteorites?

As Space X puts us closer and closer to colonizing other planets, it’s natural to wonder if we’re truly prepared for all the dangers of space. Well, the home insurance world may be a little more prepared than you think. Insurance policies are created to help you in worst-case scenarios. But can your Atlanta home insurance or even your car insurance help you if you’re hit by space stuff like meteorites, asteroids, or falling satellites? Let’s find out.

Why should I be worried about asteroids, meteors, or meteorites right now?

First, it might help to break down what each of these terms mean. (And no – scientifically, they aren’t the exact same thing.) Let’s start big and go small.

Asteroids are huge chunks of rocks that orbit the sun, hence why we use the term “asteroid belt.”

A meteor is a piece of asteroid that breaks off and gets caught in Earth’s atmosphere.

A meteorite is a piece of a meteor that actually makes it through the atmosphere and crashes to Earth.

Many, many meteors make it to Earth’s atmosphere each year, but not a lot of meteorites are actually big enough to leave any kind of mark by themselves. One of the biggest things to worry about if a meteorite comes to Earth is not the impact of the rock itself, but the shockwave of it breaking apart in the atmosphere.

So, even if a meteorite actually hitting Earth is a rare happening, you may want to be a little more prepared for the danger that you can’t see in the shockwave.

Does my home insurance cover an asteroid, meteor, or meteorite hitting my house?

As odd as it sounds: More than likely, yes.

Normal home insurance policies could help you cover damages to your house caused by asteroids, meteors, meteorites, and all types of other space debris that physically hits your home. That’s because home insurance policies typically cover falling objects in general. However, you’ll want to check your specific policy for any specific scenarios in which they exclude falling object damage. It’s also important to note that your insurance probably won’t cover repairs to your home if it’s damaged by a meteorite crashing near your home. (More on that in a second.)

Usually, this type of coverage is used for falling trees. But you know, it’s nice to know that your home insurance can cover random space stuff too. It is your carrier’s job to expect the unexpected, after all.

Does my home insurance cover damage from the shockwave of an asteroid, meteor, or meteorite?

This is where things can get tricky. (As if a shockwave hitting your house isn’t a tricky enough situation.)

Damage to your home from the shockwave itself actually would NOT be covered by a typical HO-3 policy.

HO-3 policies are the most common type of homeowners’ insurance. But these plans mostly operate on a named perils basis for coverage, meaning that damages can only be covered if the policy specifically lists the event as a covered loss. These perils are typically:

  • Fire/Lightning
  • Smoke damage
  • Freezing
  • Damage due to the weight of ice/sleet/snow
  • Windstorm damage
  • Explosions
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Vehicle & aircraft damage
  • Falling objects
  • Volcanic eruption (yep, your homeowners’ insurance can cover you for the next Pompeii too.)

So, a meteorite directly striking your house could be covered under the “Falling object” peril. However, if all of your windows shattered because of the shockwave from an exploding meteorite, you’ll probably have to pay that bill on your own. Unfortunately, shockwaves are usually classified as a form of Earth movement, not a form of explosion, and is excluded from most homeowners’ insurance policies. (Yes, we checked.)

If you have an HO-5 policy, however, you could be covered for a meteorite shockwave if your policy doesn’t specifically exclude that event. HO-5 policies usually operate on a more open-perils basis, meaning that if a peril isn’t specifically listed as not covered, you could be covered for it! Nonetheless, you would still have to check with your carrier about how your insurance classifies meteorite shockwaves in particular since some HO-5 policies specifically exclude earth movement as well.

If we do end up colonizing other planets, the home insurance premiums to have meteorite coverage will probably be a lot more expensive. There’s a much higher risk of getting hit with meteors when you’re actually in space; so, insurance rates will probably go up because of the heightened risk. So, if you’re planning on living in a meteorite-prone area (or if you already live in one), you’ll want to talk to your agent about getting meteorite coverage sooner rather than later.

So, that’s the rundown on how your homeowners’ insurance might cover meteorites and other space debris. Like many other scenarios, your coverage will depend on your specific plan and your specific carrier. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your agent about any special concerns you have.

Whether you’re headed to space or keeping yourself Earth-bound, our experts can help you find great rates on Atlanta home insurance that fits your unique needs. So, make sure you’re not missing out on the best rates and coverage for you, and call us to start your free quotes, or just fill out our online form.

What is an HO-5 insurance policy?

An HO-5 policy is slightly different than an HO-3 policy.

An HO-5 policy is slightly different than an HO-3 policy.

When you’re talking about home insurance with your agent, they may mention a series of letters and numbers that can make your head spin. To start off, they may mention an HO-3 insurance policy, which is one of the most common in the U.S. However, what if you want more coverage than that policy has to offer? Introducing the HO-5 policy! Here we’ll tell you what it is and what exactly it can cover.

Read moreWhat is an HO-5 insurance policy?

10 tips if you’re renting out your home in Atlanta

If you're renting out your home, keep these tips in mind.

If you're renting out your home, keep these tips in mind.

In the modern age of AirBnBs and temporary rentals, it’s easier than ever to earn money with your property when you’re not even using it! However, there are several things you’ll need to know before diving headfirst into renting out your home. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind if you’re renting out your home while you’re away.

10 tips if you’re renting out your home.

1. Get references.

Home sharing and temporary rental apps will have star ratings for each guest that plans to rent out your home. However, if someone will be living in your home for more than a few days, you’ll want to have a couple of references from your guest’s former lessors. Ask your renters for a few contacts who can vouch for their sense of responsibility and trustworthiness.

2. Have a rental agreement.

As with anything, it’s best to have important arrangements taken down in writing. That way, you and your renters are clear on what your expectations are for the length of the lease. Your rental agreement should at least include:

  • The terms of renting the space
  • Any restrictions
  • Who is liable for which incidents
  • How many people can visit or live in the house at once

Your rental agreement can be as long or as short as you need it to be, but remember, it’s your house! Set guidelines that you know will protect your property the way you want.

You may also want to recommend that your tenants get renter’s insurance (since any insurance that you have as the landlord will more than likely not cover their belongings, just the structure of the house itself. )

3. Have a safe, secure place in your living space for the items you’re leaving behind.

If the lease or agreement is super temporary, you’re probably not going to take everything with you when you leave. So, make sure that you have a safe place to lock up any valuables or precious belongings. Define which spaces are okay to use and which ones are off limits to your tenants.

4. Take pictures of everything.

Before the rental period begins, take pictures of everything as you left it. Turn into a smartphone photographer and snap pictures of everything from full rooms to small scratches and scuffs. You never know what small detail can matter later on! Save your photos with an external hard drive or through a cloud service like Google Drive. It could make a great companion to your home inventory too.

5. Provide your contact information.

Make sure your tenants have a way to contact you if anything does go wrong. Hopefully, they won’t have to use your contact info. Still, even if your renters are the type to call you for small issues, you’ll at least know what’s going on in your house. You may also want to leave your current contact info with your neighbors in case they notice anything suspicious.

6. Take care of your mail.

Stopping by every once in a while to pick up mail from your tenants may seem easier for you. However, for your renters, having a mailbox stuffed with their mail as well as yours and then sorting through it can get old quickly. Check with your post office to see if you can have your mail forwarded or held until you get back home.

7. Consider having a property manager

If you’re going to be away for a while or you plan to use the house solely as a rental property, consider hiring a property manager to keep an eye on things. Again, hopefully, they won’t have anything negative to report. Nonetheless, it can give you a greater peace of mind to know that someone is consistently keeping an eye on things.

8. Request a security deposit.

People who put money initially into property are more likely to take care of the space. Plus, if you do find any damages caused by tenants, you have a fund to draw from to get everything repaired. If there are no damages to report, then you can give their deposit back. It’s a win-win!

9. Talk to your insurance agent.

There are tons of different rental situations. You may be living in the home while tenants are renting a separate space, or you could be renting out the entire home. Either way, it’s important to talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage.

A normal home insurance policy usually only covers you, as the homeowner, if you’re the one living in the house. If you ever need to file a claim with your insurance company, and they find out the damage was done by a tenant they didn’t know about, they could outright reject your claim and leave you with a hefty repair bill.

Different carriers cover different rental situations in different ways. So, make sure you give as much information on your specific situation as possible. Then, your agent can determine if you just need to add an endorsement to your policy, or if you need to get a whole new policy.

10. Get rental property insurance.

If you do need to find a separate policy as a landlord, our experts can walk you through the types of coverage you’ll need to include. Plus, we’ll even help you find great rates! Call us today to start getting free quotes for affordable rental property insurance or just fill out our online form.

What is a home insurance declaration page?

Your declaration page can give you an overview of your home insurance.

Your declaration page can give you an overview of your home insurance.

Home insurance policies can be complicated and overwhelming. There are a lot of pages, a lot of words, and a lot of insurance-speak. It would be super helpful if your Atlanta home insurance policy came with a summary that functions like a cheat sheet. Well, good news – that’s actually a thing! It’s called a declaration page, and it’s basically an overview of your home insurance. We’ll explain what this insurance cheat-sheet does.

Where’s the declaration page?

The declaration page (a.k.a. dec page) should be towards the front of the paperweight that is your insurance policy. It’s generally one of the first things you’ll find. And it should be conveniently labeled “Declaration page.”

What is in a declaration page?

Okay, that sounds all fine and good, but what stuff is actually included in this insurance cheat sheet? How do you read it? We’ll explain.

A home insurance declaration page generally includes:

The policy number:

The policy number should be listed on the dec page to make things easier for everyone.

Your name and address:

Well, that makes sense, right? The dec page should have your name and address on it, as it’s your house (and you) being insured. The dec page tells who and what is insured.

The insurance company’s information:

You may have to get in touch with your insurance agent or insurance company at some point, so their name, address, and contact information should be on your dec page.

The coverages you have:

This is the part of the dec page that gives you an overview of what coverages you’ve got for your home. The declaration page might break the coverages down into dwelling, personal property, other structures, loss of use, and liability.

Your limits of coverage:

The declaration page will outline the limits of insurance you have, meaning how much money your insurance will pay out for a covered loss. It’s important to make sure that you have enough insurance to fully cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up, replace your possessions, and cover your liability.

Deductible:

The declaration page should also provide your deductible. The deductible is the amount you agree to pay in the event of a claim. Basically, you pay your deductible and the insurance company covers the rest of the claim. For example, let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible. If a falling tree causes $4,300 of damage to your home, you’d pay $1,000 and the insurance company would pay $3,300.

Endorsements:

Your declaration page should also list any endorsements on your policy. (An endorsement is an addition to your policy that can alter or add coverage.) For example, if you have an endorsement for sewer backup coverage, that will likely be listed on the dec page.

The effective/expiration date:

The dec page should also list the effective date and expiration date of the policy – which are two dates you should pay attention to.

Discounts:

The dec page can also list any home insurance discounts that you have for your policy. There are a lot of discounts out there that could help you save money on your policy.

Price:

The dec page should also give a breakdown of your premium and how much your home insurance costs. We understand that you might not want to think too much about how much you’re paying for home insurance, but if you’re ever wondering, you can check out your declaration page.

Limits of liability:

Your declaration page should also list your limits of liability insurance.

Additional insured:

If you have a mortgagee or a lending company, they should be listed on the declaration page. They have an insurable interest in the house because they’re the ones who have been lending you money for it.

Check over your declaration page.

It’s important to look over your declaration page to make sure that all the information listed there is correct and as it should be. If you happen to notice any typos or mistakes, kindly ask to have them corrected. It’s just for the best to have the mistake fixed so that your policy reflects all the coverage you purchased, the discounts you have, and so on. Make sure your name is spelled right, your deductible is what you asked for, your coverage is correct, and so on.

If anything’s unclear or you need some decoding on your declaration page, don’t hesitate to reach out to your agent. It’s important to make sure all the ducks are in a row.

So, if you have a quick question about the coverage you purchased for your home, the declaration page is a good place to start. As we said, it’s essentially the cheat sheet for your insurance policy. Just don’t forget to make sure all the information on your cheat sheet is correct.

Get Atlanta home insurance quotes quick by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

Source:

https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-an-insurance-declaration-page-2645728 

Atlanta Home Insurance 101

Find out the basics of home insurance in Atlanta.

Find out the basics of home insurance in Atlanta.

So, you’re looking into buying a new home. You, as well as your bank, will want to protect your investment. If you’re a first-time home buyer, insurance companies can throw a lot of terms and paperwork your way that you may not understand the basics of. So, to help you make an informed choice about the home insurance you need, here’s a crash course in homeowners’ insurance 101.

What is home insurance?

When a disaster or unfortunate accident happens, home insurance is a great way to make sure you have the funds to rebuild. There are plenty of different types of home insurance, but at their core, most homeowners’ insurance policies will include ways to help you cover the costs of property damage, medical expenses if someone is hurt on your property, and legal fees if that person decides to sue. So, let’s dig a little deeper into home insurance in Atlanta:

What does home insurance cover?

There are multiple types of home insurance, but most plans will provide these basic types of coverage:

Liability

Homeowners’ liability coverage is built to help you cover the medical expenses and legal payments that might come up if someone was hurt at your home. For example, if your teenager and their friend decide to try a few backflips off the roof and your child’s friend breaks a bone, the friend’s parent could sue you for the cost of the medical bills.

If a court determines that the injury was caused by your negligence, your home insurance’s liability coverage could help you pay out the friend’s medical fees, the legal fees of defending your case and court, and any other settlement payments that may arise out of the case.

Physical Structure

What would home insurance in Atlanta be without being able to actually cover damages to your home? The property damage portion of your homeowners’ policy can help you cover damages to the actual structure of your home caused by:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorms
  • Hail
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Falling Objects
  • Explosions
  • Damages from vehicles/aircrafts

Depending on your particular home insurance policy, you may be covered for more perils than those that are listed here. Some policies, like HO-3s, will have a strict list of named perils, which means that the plan won’t cover damages caused by anything outside of the listed situations on the policy. However, some policies – like HO-5s – can also include an open perils section, where your insurance could help you cover damages due to anything that isn’t explicitly listed on the policy as not covered.

Home insurance in Atlanta covers a variety of perils.

Personal Property

Homeowners insurance can also usually help you replace the personal belongings inside your home if they’re damaged by the above perils. There are two ways to insure your personal property – for its actual cash value (ACV) and for its replacement cost value (RCV).

If you insure your belongings for their actual cost value, your insurance can only reimburse you for the value of your belongings at the time of loss – meaning its depreciated value. However, if you insure your personal property for its replacement cost value, your insurance can help you cover the cost of replacing the item with a similar model at today’s prices.

However, there’s only so much that your insurance company can help you replace if they don’t know what they have to replace. So, make sure you make a home inventory of your personal belongings so you’re not stuck replacing everything in your home in an unfortunate situation.

Other Structures

Your home insurance can also help you cover the other structures on your property if they’re damaged. The other structures portion of your policy can help you cover damages to things like:

  • Detached garages
  • Fences
  • Poolhouses and pools
  • Sheds
  • Gazebos
  • Guesthouses
  • Barns
  • Outdoor dining huts
  • Your patio
  • And even your driveway

It’s important to know, though, that even if other structures coverage is included in your home insurance policy, the coverage limit may not reimburse you for the full amount it takes to repair the structure. Again, that’s why it’s important to review your policy to make sure your other structures are insured for their replacement cost value and not their actual cost value.

Loss of Use

Your homeowners’ policy can also help you with expenses and a place to stay when you can’t physically live in your home. Additional Living Expense (ALE) or Loss of Use coverage can help you with the additional costs of living somewhere else if your house is uninhabitable due to a covered loss. This part of your home insurance can help you cover costs such as:

  • Extended hotel, motel, or AirBnB stays
  • Eating out at restaurants
  • Doing laundry
  • Storage costs for your personal belongings
  • Moving if you’re displaced by a natural disaster
  • Boarding your pet if they can’t live with you during your temporary living situation
  • Gas costs for relocation
  • Renting furniture that you’re used to having every day

Keep in mind, though, that your insurance company will want proof of the cost of your normal standard of living. They’ll also want proof of the additional costs gathered while you’re not living in your house. This is because ALE is only built for the cost of maintaining your lifestyle outside of your home. So, if you’re used to making and eating modest meals in your home, your ALE probably isn’t going to cover ordering lobster dinners every night while you’re away. So, keep plenty of receipts, especially for things like groceries, hotels, gas, etc.

It’s also important to note that your ALE coverage can only help cover the additional amount you’re paying while you’re away. For example, if your mortgage payment is $1,200/month and you have to live in an Extended Stay hotel that charges $1,800/month, your insurance can only help you cover the additional $600 you would be paying for shelter per month, not the full $1,800.

Home insurance in Atlanta can cover other structures.

What doesn’t home insurance cover?

So, with everything that home insurance in Atlanta can help you cover, you may be wondering what home insurance policies exclude. Usually, home insurance policies won’t include coverage for:

While most homeowners’ insurance policies may not include these types of coverages normally, you can usually add on an endorsement or purchase a separate plan for perils and objects you would like to cover.

How much home insurance do I need?

When considering how much home insurance you’ll need, you’ll want to make sure that your coverage limits can help you restore your home and your belongings back to normal. So, it’s important to know the ways that carriers can choose to cover your structures and belongings.

Market Value vs. Replacement Cost Value

The first thing to know is that your home’s market value is not the same as its replacement cost.

Your home’s market value is the amount that your home would sell for. Your home’s replacement cost is the amount it would take to rebuild your house from the ground up – including the building materials, contractors, plumbers, electricians, permits, and more. That’s why you might end up getting home insurance for an amount that’s different than what you bought your house for.

Generally, you’ll want to insure your house for its replacement cost value to make sure that you have the right amount of home insurance. You’ll also want to talk to your agent if you’re considering an addition to your house, a structural addition to your property, or if you’re thinking about upgrading your pipes or your electrical system (which may even qualify you for a discount).

How much does home insurance cost?

So, here’s the big question – how much does home insurance in Atlanta actually cost? The true answer is that there are tons of factors about your individual house and situation that will determine your home insurance rate. So, your individual rate depends on:

So, it’s important to shop around for your insurance. Different carriers assess risk differently, so one carrier may price you differently from others.

So, these are the basic facts you’ll need to know about home insurance! Hopefully, you feel armed with knowledge when you’re shopping around for coverage. However, there’s a lot more that goes into getting your perfect home insurance for a great rate. That’s where our insurance experts can help!

We have tons of experience with home insurance in Atlanta. So, we can take the hassle out of finding customized home insurance quotes. We’ll help you get the exact types of affordable coverage and limits you need. All you have to do to get started is call us today or fill out our easy online form.

6 things insurance agents want you to know about home insurance

There are a lot of things insurance agents want people to know about home insurance.

There are a lot of things insurance agents want people to know about home insurance.

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.

Read more6 things insurance agents want you to know about home insurance