Does car insurance cover your belongings if they’re stolen from your car?

What if your belongings are stolen from your car

What if your belongings are stolen from your car

If you drive around a lot and tend to keep your life in your car, you might keep a lot of your stuff in your vehicle. And since you keep a lot of treasured possessions in your car, you might be wondering if your car insurance would protect your stuff. What if your car is broken into and your belongings are stolen? You’d want to be able to replace your possessions. Well, you may be a little surprised at the answer, but we’ll explain what you need to know about insurance for this unfortunate situation.

What happens if your stuff gets stolen out of your car?

So – would your car insurance cover your belongings if they’re stolen out of the vehicle?

The response to that completely reasonable question is no. Your car insurance would most likely not cover your stolen belongings. If you have comprehensive coverage, it may cover the car itself if it’s stolen…but no, car insurance won’t cover your stuff if your window gets smashed and someone swipes your belongings.

But wait – listen to the rest of the answer to the question.

Your car insurance won’t cover it, but don’t despair. The bright side is that your home insurance or renters insurance might. The thing is that these policies typically come with personal property coverage that protects, well, your personal property. The nice thing about this coverage is that it typically follows your belongings, whether they’re tucked away neatly in your home or tossed across the backseat of your car.

To recap – does car insurance cover the items stolen from your car? No. Are these items covered? Quite possibly yes, but by your home insurance or renters insurance. See, you just have to know which insurance company/policy to ask for money.

Don’t forget your deductible.

The catch is that your home insurance or renters insurance comes with something called a deductible. Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay if you have a claim. For example, you might have a $500 deductible. If you have a covered $2,500 claim, you’d pay $500 and your insurance would pay $2,000. However, if you experience a car break-in and your stuff is stolen, you might not meet your deductible amount…which means your insurance may not be terribly helpful. You really have to consider the amount that the claim would be as it compares to your deductible.

What does car insurance cover?

So, this might leave you wondering about what exactly your car insurance will do for you in this situation. Shouldn’t it do something to help you? Well, yes, it can. If you have comprehensive coverage, your car insurance could help you cover the costs of repairing the broken window if it was smashed. (Comprehensive coverage is the one that can help you repair your car if it’s damaged by a covered loss such as fire, vandalism, theft, falling objects, and so on – basically, damage not caused by an accident.) And like we said, if the car itself is stolen, your comprehensive coverage could also help you cover that.

(If you only have liability coverage for your car, however, it isn’t going to help much in this situation. You’d be out of luck. You’d need to have comprehensive coverage.)

There is that little catch called your deductible once again, though. You have to consider the amount of your deductible and the cost of the damage to evaluate whether it’s worth filing an insurance claim.

Anyways, it’s super frustrating to have your car broken into, and it might leave you feeling shaken. But if necessary, you could go through your home insurance or renters insurance to replace your belongings, and you could go through your comprehensive coverage to repair the window if it was broken.

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

How to insure a haunted house

How to insure a haunted house

How to insure a haunted house

We all know that home insurance can cover some pretty scary stuff, but what if your house is scary all by itself? If you’ve got creaky doors, bubbling brews, and spooky, scary, skeletons, you might need more than your average coverage. So, here are some of the things you may consider when insuring a haunted house.

How to insure a haunted house.

Liability

Let’s start with the basics: A heck of a lot of liability coverage. Liability coverage for your home is the part of your insurance that can help you pay for medical bills, legal fees, and settlements if someone is hurt in your home. Considering there would probably be a lot of ghosts scratching people, making people fall people down stairs, throwing objects at people, and generally exacting their vengeance on all who dare to enter, the house would probably have to have a high limit of coverage, to say the least.

Personal property

On the same token, whoever owns that house (the living ones) should have plenty of personal property coverage, which can help you cover damage to your belongings due to:

A haunted house would be particularly prone to these types of risks, especially if the “throwing plates” thing is considered vandalism. So, the homeowners will need a lot of overall personal property coverage. They may possibly need high-risk home insurance carrier because of the heightened risk, since it may be tough for them to get normal home insurance.

Jewelry & valuable items coverage

The homeowners may or may not need this type of coverage, depending on if they have expensive items lying around or if the poltergeist was brought into the home through a valuable item. If they did need this coverage, though, they would need to add it to their policy. Homeowners’ insurance policies typically only cover valuable items up to a certain amount – and that amount is usually low. So, if a haunted ring was somehow destroyed by a covered loss because of the dark energy inside it, it might be a good idea for the homeowner to have valuable items coverage so that they could replace the ring with a similar, less haunted one.

Loss of use/Additional living expenses

If the situation got so out of hand that the homeowners were forced out of the home by the activity, they’ll want to check their policy for Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage. ALE coverage can help give you additional funds to keep up your quality of living while you’re forced outside of your home due to a covered loss. For example, after a house fire, your property coverages could help you replace your items and rebuild your home. Your loss of use coverage, however, could help you bridge the gap between the cost of paying your mortgage for the month and renting an extended stay hotel room while your home is repaired.

Vacant home coverage

It would also be a good idea for the homeowners to read their insurance policy through to see how long their home insurance covers a vacant house. Even if the house is full of spirits, a carrier would probably still consider the home empty, which poses a huge risk for them. If a person isn’t living in the house, it becomes more prone to squatters and vandalism. If there were a fire, there would be no one to “alert the media” and protect the homeowner’s and the carrier’s investment.

Even if the homeowner was trying to sell the house, they may still need vacant house coverage if the home is on the market for longer than their home insurance policy will cover. Depending on the level of the haunting, it may take a long while before anyone takes the house off the owner’s hands.

Are perils that exist only inside of the home covered under a home insurance policy?

One of the more interesting questions our horror movie buffs had are from movies like 1408. When perils like fires or earthquakes happen inside of the home, but there are no visible signs of the event outside, are they covered by home insurance?

First and foremost, flooding and earthquakes are typically excluded from home insurance coverage. So, unless the homeowner specifically had policies for those perils, they wouldn’t even be able to start this conversation. That being said, what if the homeowner did have an earthquake or flooding policy?

One could argue that the damaged items inside the home could be covered. You could also argue that there’s no proof of widespread damage in the neighborhood. So, a carrier couldn’t be sure that the damage was due to a covered loss or just the actions of the homeowner. Either way, we suppose they would have to check with their carrier about if and how they would file a claim.

And so marks the end of our basic theories. These coverages may be the absolute minimum a homeowner should worry about if their house was haunted. Still, there could be a lot more coverage needed or a few more caveats that your homeowners’ insurance carrier might have about insuring the haunted house.

For now, you don’t have to be haunted by the thought that you don’t have enough home insurance. Just call our experts today! We’ll get you quotes from different carriers on the affordable home insurance coverage that fits you. To start getting your free quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

Trick-or-treat tips for this Halloween

Trick-or-treat safety

Trick-or-treat safety

Trick-or-treating is one of the first things that come to mind when people think of Halloween. But whether you spend all year or all of the previous week picking out costumes, there are a few other things you’ll need to prepare.  Here are some trick-or-treat tips to keep your Halloween, safe, fun, and more treat than trick.

Tips for safe Halloween trick-or-treating

Choosing a safe Halloween costume for trick-or-treat

When deciding between a fantastic fantasy character or creepy critter costume, you’ll want to consider how safe they can be while roaming the night. The easiest factors to consider are:

1. Avoiding bulky or loose-fitting costumes

A Transformers costume made out of boxes or a long and flowing fairy dress may be cute for pictures, but when your little one is walking, running, and jumping around in excitement, it can be easy for them to slip or trip over their own two feet. Plus, tons of bulk or extra fabric can make it easier for other kids to trip someone up. Therefore, make sure your tiny ghoul’s garb fits properly and any loose ends can be tied or held close.

2. Using face makeup instead of masks or hoods

It’s already dark outside. You don’t want to make it harder for your child to see by covering their face with a mask. Instead, try using non-toxic, FDA-approved face paint or makeup. Before the big night, test the paint on a small portion of your child’s skin that’s not on the face. That way, an itchy or irritated face won’t put a stop to their night.

3. Looking for fire-resistant costumes

An iconic part of Halloween is the Jack-o-lantern. However, there’s no guarantee that everyone will use LEDs to light up the night. In this case, it never hurts to look for flame-resistant Halloween costumes. That may seem a little tough if you already have a costume in mind, but it’s important!

Additionally, consider the ways to reduce fire hazards during the holiday by using LED candles and never leaving lit candles unattended. While fire may be covered by your home insurance, your carrier and rates may thank you later for not filing a claim.

4. Brightening up your costume

If your child’s costume is more cute than creepy, you may just want to opt for a lighter-colored costume. Bright colors can help your child better stand out to drivers and surrounding groups.

If your child is dead set on a darker costume, add a bit of reflective tape. There are tons of colors available at hardware stores and around the internet, so you don’t even have to ruin the aesthetic!

Stay safe during trick-or-treat this year

While Trick-or-Treating

This spooky night doesn’t have to be scary for other reasons if you know what to watch on your night out. While you’re out with your trick-or-treaters, keep these tips in mind:

1. Teach kids not to play in Halloween traffic

Just because the streets are full of trick-or-treaters doesn’t mean it’ll be empty of cars. Reinforce the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street and not darting out into traffic. Teach children to walk facing the direction of cars so that drivers can clearly see them and vice versa. They should also watch for cars backing out of driveways and not to look at electronics while crossing the street.

2. Use flashlights or glow sticks to light up the night

Light sources can not only help children see better while walking around, but glow sticks and accessories can be a fun add-on to a costume that will increase their visibility.

3. Bust out the buddy system for trick-or-treat

Children under the age of 12 should NOT trick-or-treat without an adult. Even if you reinforce safety rules, young minds tend to forget in all the excitement. You’ll need to go with young groups to act as an extra set of eyes and ears.  If you feel comfortable letting children over 12 go door to door without you, at least make sure they’re trick-or-treating in a group. There’s power in numbers!

4. Only allow kids to trick-or-treat at well-lit houses

It’s a long-spoken rule for a reason. Houses with porch lights on are ready for trick-or-treating fun because the lights offer a highly visible, safer environment.

5. Reinforce Stranger Danger

Even if they’re trick-or-treating around your neighborhood, chances are you don’t personally know everyone who lives around you. So, reinforce the concept of stranger danger. Remind your child never to go inside of someone’s house or to accept candy from strangers in cars.

6. Inspect the spoils of trick-or-treat

Once the kiddos bring in their Halloween haul, inspect their treats before they dig in. Candy should be factory-wrapped, and don’t let anyone eat anything that has been unwrapped or looks homemade. For younger children, you should also sort out smaller candies that could be choking hazards.

Halloween may be prime time for some good-natured frights, there’s no need to fret over your child’s trick-or-treat fun with these tips. There’s also no need to worry about getting the best home insurance when you work with our agents. Our team is made up of experts in the industry who know how to save you money while getting the policy you need. To start getting free, customized homeowners’ insurance quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

Source:

https://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/index.htm

https://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips

Am I covered if someone drives into my house?

What happens if someone accidentally drives into your house?

What happens if someone accidentally drives into your house?

It’s a far-fetched scenario that even the most prepared homeowner may not think of – what if someone drives into my house? If you’re in a townhome or along a long street, you may not be too worried about it. But if you’re at the end of a cul-de-sac or at the corner of an intersection, it may have crossed your mind once or twice. This incident is a very real threat to your home. So, would you be covered for this mishap? Let’s see.

What happens if I drive into someone’s house?

If you, as a driver, end up crashing into someone’s house, your car insurance should be able to help you cover the damages to the house. At minimum, Georgia requires $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodiliy injury liability per occurrence, and $25,000 of property damage coverage. The property damage portion could help you repair the structure of the house and any belongings you may have crumpled in the process.

The catch is, you have to have the right amount of coverage. Although Georgia requires $25,000 of property damage coverage, that may not be enough to fix the damage you’ve caused. If your limits aren’t above the state minimum, you may be on the hook for what your car insurance doesn’t cover.

What about my car?

If you’d like to get your car repaired or replaced, you’ll have to go through your auto insurance’s collision coverage. Collision coverage is the part of your car insurance that can cover damages to your car if you, well, collide with something. The “something” in this case, would be the house. However, collision coverage is typically not required by law. It can be required by a bank or loan company to get the loan for the car. So, it’s important to look over your policy and be sure that you actually have the coverage. Otherwise, you may be out of luck.

Whose insurance should I file the claim with?

If you’re the homeowner, though, you may want to go directly through the driver’s car insurance to get the repairs done. After all, your house couldn’t have really run into their car. So, filing through the driver’s property damage coverage is probably the easiest route to go. Plus, it could save you from having to make a home insurance claim – which is always nice.

Will my home insurance cover if someone drives into my house?

Let’s say that you can’t or don’t want to go through the driver’s insurance. Your home insurance could help you cover the damage to your house. In fact, your homeowners’ policy can cover all sorts of kooky things. But you’ll have to read up on your policy to tell exactly what’s covered by your insurance.

The most common home insurance policies cover perils like:

 So, you’re probably covered if someone drives into your house. Now, the question is, how much are you covered for?

What will my home insurance cover if someone drives into my house?

As with car insurance, you have to have the right amount of coverage to repair or replace your house’s structure and your belongings. There are two ways that home insurance can cover perils for both your structure and your personal property.

Market Value vs. Replacement Value

Your home’s market value is not the same as its replacement cost. If you want to repair or rebuild your house after an incident, the market value may not be enough. The market value of your house may be enough to buy a similar house on the market, but it might not cover things like contractors, materials, and other costs associated with building. That’s what insuring your home for its replacement cost could help with.

Actual Cost Value vs. Replacement Cost Value

Your belongings, on the other hand, can be covered for its actual cash value (ACV) or their replacement cost value (RCV). If your things are insured for their actual cash value, your home insurance can reimburse you for the value of your belongings, plus depreciation. So, if someone drives into your kitchen and takes out the $600 oven you bought a year ago, ACV coverage may only reimburse you for $450 because the oven has depreciated since you bought it.

However, if you’ve insured your belongings for their RCV, your home insurance could help you replace the items at today’s prices. So, if the oven you bought or a similar oven that sold for for $600 last year is now $750, your home insurance could help you replace the oven at the $750 price point.

That’s why it’s vital that you read your homeowners’ policy all the way through. Your policy details the coverages you have and knowing what they are can save you a lot of money and headache later.

Speaking of which, we want to save you a lot of time, money, and headaches early on. That’s why our experts can take on the heavy task of finding the right home insurance (or car insurance) for you! We’ll work with you to find out the best home insurance policy for you, and then give you free, customized quotes on affordable coverage. We can even bundle your insurance for more savings! To get started, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an expert today.

What is service line coverage?

Service line coverage

Service line coverage

Every bill and service that you have as a homeowner has to be connected to your home somehow. The water you use, the electricity that turns your lights on, even the sewer system that carries water to and from your toilet have to have ways to get into and out of your home. But what if one of these pipelines breaks? We’ll explain what could happen and give you some details about service line coverage.

Does home insurance cover if a pipe, cable line, or electric wiring breaks underground?

Normally, people think that it’s the job of the service provider to fix the thing that’s, well, providing the service. The scary reality is that if the line is on your property, it’s your job as the homeowner to get it fixed. So, especially if the break isn’t just affecting your house, you could end up paying the repair costs out of pocket if you don’t have the right insurance. However, there is an endorsement that can save you from this headache: Service Line Coverage.

What is service line coverage?

Service line coverage is a home insurance endorsement that can help you repair:

  • Power Lines
  • Electrical wiring
  • Phone & Cable lines
  • Drainage
  • Fuel lines
  • Water pipes
  • Waste disposal
  • Sewer piping and backup
  • Private wells and septic systems

that are on your property.

Even if the damage is caused by something outside of your control, service line coverage can help you repair leaks, breaks, tears, ruptures, collapses, or arcing of service lines due to:

  • Corrosion
  • Frozen surrounding ground or service lines
  • Root systems blocking or growing into the service line
  • Lightning
  • Landscaping accidents
  • Rodents and pests

Why doesn’t my property insurance cover service lines?

You may be wondering, “If service lines are a part of my property, why doesn’t the property damage section of my home insurance cover damage to service lines?” The answer mainly lies in the wording of your policy. If you’ll remember, property damage coverage usually covers:

  • Fire
  • Smoke damage
  • Lightning
  • Windstorms
  • Falling objects
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Hail
  • Damage caused by the weight of snow, sleet, or ice
  • Explosions
  • Damage caused by vehicles or aircrafts

Basically, (and specifically noted in your homeowners’ policy), your home insurance is built to deal with damages that are freak accidents, not damages due to a lack of maintenance. Most damage to service lines is due to a lack of upkeep. So, even though you can’t exactly dig up your yard every so often to check on your service lines, your homeowners’ insurance won’t cover those types of damages.

Additionally, most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover damage done to the actual land that your house is on. (Weird, right?) Instead, it’s built to cover the structures that sit on the land, such as the structure of your actual home and most other structures that may be in your yard, such as fences, sheds, gazebos, pools, etc.

How much does service line coverage cost?

Like home insurance itself, there are tons of factors that go into determining your rates for service line coverage. So, there’s no real way to tell what you would pay to add the coverage, although it’s usually not that much.

If you want to add this endorsement to your home insurance or you just want better rates on your homeowners’ policy, contact our agents today. Our experts will get to know your particular needs and use our connections with various carriers to get you the best rates on quality coverage. To get started, give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

10 must-see things to do in Atlanta

Things to do in Atlanta

Things to do in Atlanta

Whether you’re moving to Atlanta or you’ve been here a while, you probably know that there are tons of places to see and things to do. Atlanta, and even its surrounding areas, are always busy and bustling. While there are tons of places to spend your weekends in the city, we only have time to focus on a few. So, here are the top 10 things to see and do in Atlanta.

10 must-see things to do in Atlanta

1. Skyview Atlanta

If you want to start with a bird’s-eye view of all that you can see and do in the city, head over to Skyview Atlanta. If you’re near Centennial Park, the Georgia Aquarium, of the World of Coke, it’s hard to miss this giant ferris wheel in the middle of town. Skyview offers regular, VIP, and Elevated Date Night packages from varying hours depending on the season. But honestly, any time of day is a great time to take a ride on their “gondolas.” We would recommend a sunset or nighttime ride, though, if you want to take in all of the city lights.

2. The Vortex

We couldn’t talk about things to do in Atlanta without mentioning one of the most famous eateries in the area. The Vortex Bar & Grill is the perfect place to pig out if you’re craving great burgers, a bustling atmosphere, and a sassy menu. Their portion sizes are definitely something to write home about, even if you’re just getting an appetizer for a meal (and trust us, you can). They even offer veggie options! There’s a polarizing argument between Atlanta natives as to whether the Little 5 or Midtown location is better. So, we’ll let you go and decide for yourself.

3. The Coca-Cola Factory

This touristy attraction is a favorite for locals and visitors alike. There are a number of exhibits to feed the soda fanatic in you. Go on a 4D adventure through a Coca-Cola story, meet the Coca-Cola bear, or follow your souvenir bottle of Coke down the building-wide conveyor belt. It all ends with a trip to the tasting room, where you can sip a series of Coke flavors from all over the world!

4. The Georgia Aquarium

Here’s another place where you can awaken a sense of childlike wonder. The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Western hemisphere, but that doesn’t mean you’ll just watch fish swim. Of course, you’ll get to see your favorites like dolphins and whales, but you’ll also have a chance to learn about the playful otters and the aquarium’s dedication to wildlife preservation and rehabilitation. Plus, you can take an in-depth look at the aquatic life there through everyone’s favorite exhibit, the tunnel, where you can watch the creature of the water come to life and swim right over your head!

5. The High Museum of Art

“The High,” as it’s called around Atlanta, is an awe-inspiring experience for art lovers and perusers alike. This colossal museum houses tons of artwork from all over the world, with visiting exhibits year-round – including Yayoi Kusama’s famous exhibit, “Infinity Mirrors.” For those who want to expand their art knowledge or skill, there are numerous talks, tours, and workshops for visitors to take advantage of.

Must-see things to do in Atlanta

6. Downtown Decatur

It can be tough to choose just one location to feature in Downtown Decatur. So, we’ve decided to include it all! There’s no shortage of interesting shops, centers, restaurants, bars, and general places to have fun in downtown Decatur. If you’re a fan of the eclectic and off-the-beaten-path adventures, this locale is definitely for you. Check out the city’s small coffee houses, like Java Monkey, discover new dishes at restaurants like Leon’s, or just walk around the Square to poke around in the local shops and support small business owners. One thing is for sure, you’ll never be bored.

7. Ponce City Market

If you’re looking for something similar to Downtown Decatur but a bit more central to the city, check out Ponce City Market. The area is full of popular shops as well as local businesses. Plus, there are tons of great local bars with comedy and music events at any given time of the week. This is definitely an area where style meets eclectic and eco-friendly, the southern way.

8. Stone Mountain Park

For fans of the great outdoors, drive a little bit east of the perimeter to Stone Mountain Park. The park hosts tons of paths with varying difficulty. No matter where you choose to stake your walking stick, though, you’ll have a beautiful view to take in at the top of each trail. The park’s campgrounds and seasonal events may even make you forget that you’re minutes away from the busy city.

9. The Fernbank Science Center

If you want to get science-y, the Fernbank Science Center is the place to go. The center not only hosts exhibits about the final frontier, but it also features sales, live animal exhibits, workshops, and an observatory. Plus, if you really want to dive deep into space, check out Fernbank’s planetarium events to learn more about the universe we live in.

10. The Chattahoochee River

Last, but not least, one of the favorite past times of area locals is “shooting the Hooch.” The Chattahoochee River has multiple touch points with parks all over North Atlanta. However, be sure to find a tubing rental company to float along the river with great friends and a cooler or two. Spend the afternoon floating your worries away, or just hike along the water to take in the scenery. Either way is a wonderful way to spend a long, lazy afternoon.

Again, this is only a taste of what Atlanta has to offer. There are a lot more people to see and places to go all around the city and its suburbs. So, the best way to get to know the “Hollywood of the South” is to explore!

If you need some home insurance quotes, give us a call! You can also fill out our online quote form or message us on LiveChat.

How does Atlanta home insurance cover storm damage?

Storm damage and home insurance

Storm damage and home insurance

So, being in Atlanta, we certainly get our fair share of storms. Those thunderstorms can be scary, what with the lightning storms, kabooms, and swaying trees (there are a LOT of trees in Georgia.) We often want to hunker down inside under a blanket with a cup of cocoa when that happens, and we want to stay safe and sound. But what about the house? What if your house takes a beating during a storm? Well, home insurance can help. We’ll explain about how storm damage could be covered by home insurance.

What storm damage losses can be covered by home insurance?

Well, let us start by saying that it’s very important to read your home insurance policy. It’ll outline what losses are covered and which are not. It’s important that you’re clear about how your policy protects your home and what your responsibilities are as the insured. Don’t underestimate the importance of slogging through your policy. It’s maybe not “fun” but losses related to storms can get tricky, so it’s necessary.

Anyways, let’s move along. What storm damage losses are typically covered by home insurance?

Lightning.

Lightning is scary. If your home is struck by lightning and catches fire, home insurance may cover it. As far-fetched as that might sound, it does happen. It just does. But that’s where home insurance can become a lifesaver. (And in case you were wondering, a power surge that happens because of lightning can also be covered.)

Wind damage.

Storm-level winds can put a beating on your house. Have you ever noticed that the trees bend and sway like crazy when a storm hits? Georgia storms are no joke, but thankfully home insurance may cover wind damage.

Hail damage.

Hail? In Georgia?

Yep.

If your house gets caught in the line of fire of dastardly chunks of ice, home insurance could cover you. Hail can really pummel your roof and siding, after all. But hey – home insurance may cover it!

Trees falling.

If a bad storm causes a tree to fall onto your house, you could be covered. Trees don’t really know how to be considerate and fall away from houses and fences, so there’s that. Anyways, whether it’s your tree or a neighbor’s tree that crashes into your home, you could be covered. Then you get to have the last laugh, not the dumb tree.

Rain that blows into your house because of damage caused by wind.

Let’s say wind puts a major beating on your house and leaves some holes that allow that wind to blow rain into your house. Home insurance could cover you for the water damage that results. Phew.

What’s NOT covered by home insurance: Flooding

One thing you need to be aware of is that flooding is not covered by home insurance. (In this case, when we say “flooding” we mean that a lot of water has accumulated on the ground outside where there usually isn’t water.) Heavy Georgia rains can get intense, so it’s important to be aware and prepared. Many homeowners find out that flooding is excluded after they’ve experienced a loss, and then it’s too late. Even if you’re not in a “flood-prone” area, necessarily, you could still find yourself on the wrong side of floodwaters.

But not all hope is lost. You can protect yourself by getting flood insurance, which you can get through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program). Make sure that you get enough coverage for your home and your belongings – and keep in mind that flood insurance often has a waiting period of 30 days before it becomes effective, with very few exceptions.

Recap about storm damage:

So – to recap about storm damage…

Home insurance may cover wind damage, hail, lightning, falling trees, and even wind-driven water that enters your home if the roof or walls have been damaged. It won’t, however, cover flooding, so you may want to consider flood insurance, which you can get from the NFIP through an agent. Read your policy so you know what your insurance covers and what your responsibilities are if you have a claim.

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

Get your home ready for fall with this checklist

Get your home ready for fall 2

Get your home ready for fall 2

Autumn is the time to start breaking out the sweaters, warm soups, and hot drinks. For homeowners, it’s also prime time for fall maintenance and to get your home winter-ready. Fall can bring a lot of rain and wind to Georgia and a lot of ice and snow to the Atlanta area. So, start preparing your home for the cold weather with these fall tips.

The gutters & downspouts

Before these important fixtures get clogged with leaves, debris, and possibly become iced over, make sure to:

  1. Clean out your gutters – Seriously. Gutter systems are meant to displace water away from your home to prevent rot and mold. Rot can not only start to eat away at your roof and sealants, but it can open the door to pests who are looking for warmth in the winter. So, keep your gutter clear and avoid paying for a new roof (home insurance usually doesn’t cover issues due to a lack of maintaining the home.)
  1. Check between the gutters and your home to make sure no water has seeped behind them.
  1. Remove water that has pooled on the ground, especially from the downspouts. – Again, if rainwater isn’t displaced, it could result in rot, cracks, and foundational issues later.

Windows & Doors

Windows and doors might add a nice aesthetic to both the inside and outside of your home, but they keep unwanted pests and debris out. So, before or during the Fall:

  1. Repair any cracks or holes in your doors and windows
  1. Make sure the area around the doors and windows is properly sealed. – This not only helps keep pests out, but it can also help you keep in heat, which can help you save money on your energy bill.

Your home’s exterior

Your home’s job, after all, is to protect you from the elements. Make sure that the outside of your home can do that by:

  1. Scheduling a roof inspection – You should have someone check your roof at least once a year. Fall can be the perfect time to schedule an inspection, right before potential hail and snow damage weighs and wears on your roof. Choose a reputable roofing company who will identify and report any potential problems you may see in the near future. Some companies even offer FREE inspections because it means you’re more likely to call them for a repair if needed. Beware, though. If someone offers you a free roof, it’s a scam.
  1. Visually inspecting the outside of your house. – Look for cracks in your foundation, mold growth, fallen siding, wood rot, or anything else that needs to be patched up before freezing becomes an issue.
  1. Sealing up any gaps. – Winter is an especially hard time for pests too. So, there will be a lot more of them trying to make a cozy home inside your humble abode. Don’t give them the chance! Close any holes that you see and block any potential entrances that bugs or rodents might use, big or small.

Additionally, check your walkways and steps for gaps that could trip you up. Snow and ice are already hard to navigate. Plus, if gaps are wide enough in these areas, water can seep in, freeze over, and cause even concrete to expand and crack.

  1. Checking your deck, porch, or patio. – Look for rusted bolts, rotting boards, etc. and replace them before the extra fall and winter water make the issues worse.
  1. Making sure your outdoor lights work. – This safety feature won’t do you any good if the lights themselves aren’t working. So, take a look at your outdoor lighting. Replace blown light bulbs, check motion sensors if you have them, and arrange to have any wiring issues repaired. Remember, it stays darker for longer in the winter, which means more time for burglars to hide in the dead of night. Maintaining your outdoor lighting can help you prevent burglary and help keep your home safe overall.

Get your home ready for fall

Your yard

Depending on your preference, you may or may not get a lot of use out of your yard in the winter. However, the land is still important to maintain. Before they become larger issues, check on these items in your lawn:

  1. Long or fallen tree limbs – Trim down shrub and tree limbs that are too close to power lines or rotten enough to possibly fall on your roof or a neighbor’s property. Loose branches are no match for heavy winds, rains, and the weight of snow.
  1. Your sprinkler systems, hoses, and exterior fountains – Chances are, you won’t be watering your lawn much in the winter. If you don’t, drain and store your hoses and sprinkler system somewhere water-resistant. If you do still use an automatic sprinkler system, remember to lower the frequency or amount of water used. Doing so can help you save on water and energy bills as well.
  1. Your pool – If you have a pool, make sure you have it drained or covered before the weather gets too cold. Keeping water out in the open like that could create a hazard or throw off the pH balance when you are ready to swim.
  1. Fallen leaves – Even if you jump in them afterward, rake up your leaves and put them in large trash bags to be thrown out. If you leave them on the ground, water could get trapped underneath and rot not only the leaves, but your lawn.
  1. Outdoor furniture – Leaving your patio furniture outside year-round decreases its lifespan. So, wipe down and clean off any outdoor furniture and find a safe place to store it for the fall and winter seasons.

Your home’s interior

Making the inside of your home comfy and cozy means more than just turning your central air system from cool to heat. These items will need your attention now so that you can be safe and warm later:

  1. Having your chimney inspected – Before you light the first fire of the season, open your flue and clean your chimney. Have a professional come and inspect the system before winter weather officially comes. There’s a higher demand for chimney inspections as it gets colder. So, if you wait to schedule, you may be waiting a lot longer for an inspector to come out.
  1. Having your HVAC/furnace inspected – The same goes for furnace inspections. Make sure your heat works before the cold weather hits, and have a specialist inspect your furnace before the rush. You don’t want to be stuck without heat for an extended period of time.
  1. Cleaning your dryer – This is more than just emptying the lint trap. Clean out your dryer vents before the greater amount of static electricity makes its shocking appearance known – in the form of a house fire.
  1. Checking your air filter & vents – If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your air filter, it might be time to change it. Plus, cleaning out dust and debris in your vents can help your heating run more efficiently and with less of a burning smell.
  1. Making sure your pipes are well-insulated – If you can gain access to your piping system, make sure that they’re still well insulated to avoid them freezing over.
  1. Knowing where your main water line is and how to turn it off. – It can be useful if your pipes do freeze and you need to turn it off.
  1. Doing a semi-annual check on your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  1. Checking your insulation, especially in your attic. – If there are any rooms that feel unnaturally cold compared to the rest of your house, you should probably check the insulation in that room. Additionally, take a peek at how the insulation in your attic is doing. Heat rises; so, if your attic isn’t properly insulated, that’s heat that’s escaping through your roof, and less heat that’s reaching you. Add more insulation if needed or if your current insulation is rotted or molded.

It’s also never a bad season to review your home insurance policy and shop around. However, we know that it can be a hassle to shop for homeowners insurance. That’s why our experts are here to help. We’ve formed relationships with the best carriers in the business so we can help you find great rates and coverage. Plus, we shop for you year after year to make sure you get the best prices! To start getting quotes from our insurance specialists, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with us today!

Source:

https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/fall-checklist/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/09/26/your-fall-home-maintenance-checklist/#7d9f56791b9c

Did you know about these home insurance endorsements?

Home insurance endorsements

Home insurance endorsementsAtlanta home insurance can protect you from a lot of different sticky situations. However, certain things might need to be added to your policy so you can be sure you’re protected. (Home insurance does a lot of great things, and it’s definitely a worthwhile financial safety net, but it doesn’t protect you from EVERYTHING.) To make sure your home and belongings are protected from losses that might worry you, you can add these things called endorsements to your policy. We’ll explain what home insurance endorsements are and go over a few that you should know about.

What is an endorsement?

An endorsement is an addition to your policy that alters coverage. It can add coverage for certain losses, or it can provide coverage for certain items. Yes, it’s one of those insurance words that gets thrown around a lot – so it’s a helpful word to know. Unfortunately, Insurance-Speak 101 is not a class offered at school, so there are some words out there that agents just think people know and understand because they’re in the insurance world – which isn’t their fault, but can make people feel sheepish.

Anyways, moving on. That’s what an endorsement is, but which endorsements should you know about? As you’ve probably guessed, there are many home insurance endorsements. Things just can’t be simple, can they?

3 home insurance endorsements to know about.

1. Sewer backup.

This very unfortunate – and potentially very smelly – problem is typically not covered by your home insurance. But – yes, there’s a but – you can add an endorsement to your policy to protect yourself from losses related to sewer backup and sump discharge. You might not think this could ever happen to you, but sewer backup could strike at the most inopportune time.

The endorsement could help you cover losses related to…

  • The backup of water or waterborne materials through a sewer or drain.
  • Water or waterborne material that overflows from a sump (including if the sump fails due to a mechanical problem.) Keep in mind that damaged property is covered, but not the sump itself.

Note: Losses due to negligence (i.e. not turning on the sump) or flooding ARE NOT covered.

Okay, so that’s what the endorsement does. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid a sewer backup.

  • Do NOT flush anything other than toilet paper.
  • Toss cooled grease in the garbage instead of rinsing it down the drain.
  • Keep an eye out for tree roots. They can allow debris to infiltrate cracks in the sewer line. You might consider replacing your sewer lateral with plastic pipe if you keep having issues.

2. Personal property.

Your home insurance might offer only a limited amount of coverage for things like jewelry and valuables. It’s important to read your policy so you understand how much coverage you have for your expensive treasures like your jewelry – and what’s covered and what’s not.

If you find that the coverage offered by your home insurance isn’t going to cut it, you can consider getting a home insurance endorsement. A personal property endorsement can give you the appropriate coverage for items that are specifically listed (or scheduled, in insurance-speak.) That way you would have the coverage you need if something happened to your beloved treasures.

Make sure that you have the appropriate amount of coverage in the endorsement and that you understand what losses are covered. Also, be sure that you know how your valuables would be replaced. As always, it’s important to read the details of your coverage.

Your jewelry is valuable, both money-wise and sentimentally. Don’t skip out on getting the right coverage.

3. Identity theft.

You may also be able to get an endorsement to protect yourself from identity theft. The possibility of having your identity stolen is a scary one – and a potentially expensive one. An identity theft endorsement can help you out if you’re dealing with the fallout from an identity theft situation. If you’re concerned about what you’d do if your identity was stolen, you may want to look into this.

While your home insurance does a lot to protect you, you might want to add endorsements to your policy. It’s always a good idea to read your policy carefully and understand what’s covered and what you might need to adjust or add via endorsement.

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

15 things you need to know if you’re moving to Atlanta

Moving to Atlanta

Moving to AtlantaMaybe you’re moving to the Atlanta area because of a job transfer, or maybe you’re moving to be closer to family. Or maybe you’re hunting for a job in the Atlanta area. Whatever your reason for relocating to the ATL, you might be wondering what to expect when you settle down in the capital city of the Peach State. Whether you’ve visited the city frequently or only once or twice, we’ve put together a list of 15 things you need to know before moving to Atlanta.

15 things to know if you’re moving to Atlanta.

1. There are a lot of streets called Peachtree.

So, one of the first things you should know about moving to Atlanta: there are a ton of streets called some version of Peachtree. It’s borderline annoying. Anyway, if you’re trying to get around Midtown or Downtown, be careful of what you enter into your GPS. Peachtree Street NW is not the same as Peachtree Street, not is Peachtree Avenue the same as Peachtree Boulevard. It’s kind of a running joke that literally (not really) every street is called Peach-something. Such is living in the Peach State.

Anyway, best of luck with navigating! Truly.

2. Cars are a survival mechanism.

So, Atlanta is not exactly a walking city. There is public transit, but many people choose to drive. Having a car to get around would be super helpful. However, the abundance of vehicles also leads to a major issue – traffic. At rush hour, the roads and highways aren’t a terribly fun place to be. It is possible to avoid it if you’re able to drive at non-rush hour time, but if you’re moving to Atlanta, be prepared to share the roads and to be patient with the traffic situation.

3. Summers are hot and humid.

Atlanta can experience some very brutal summers. It gets hot and humid. The upside to the climate is that winters generally aren’t too bad…although the city does shut down if there’s a tiny bit of snow or any ice on the roads. (Seriously – you’ll laugh to see it if you’re from a northern city.)

Winter aside, summers in Atlanta are very green. The trees are lovely and there’s a lot of plant life for an urban area.

4. That green vine that eats everything is called kudzu.

So, you might be driving along and notice a wide area that’s been taken over by a leafy vine thing – possibly a monster of some sort that appears to be eating everything in sight. That’s called kudzu. It’s a thing.

5. The North Georgia mountains aren’t far away.

About an hour or so north of the city are mountains that provide some really beautiful scenery and nice hiking areas. It’s a picturesque way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and/or suburbs. Georgia boasts some very beautiful wildlife, forests, and waterfalls. If you’re the outdoorsy sort, not to worry – you can escape the urban-ness of the city or the suburb-ness of the suburbs.

6. Tennis is a big thing.

If you’re a sports person, good news – tennis is pretty big in the metro-Atlanta area. Many neighborhoods have tennis courts, and ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) has lots of different teams at different levels. So, whether you’re a newbie to tennis and want to give it a try or you’ve been playing for a while, you can probably find a team – or at least a place to hit the tennis ball around.

7. There’s plenty of stuff to do.

Atlanta has plenty of museums and other fun things to see. There are a lot of interesting things to see – and there’s plenty for kids, too. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History
  • The World of Coca-Cola
  • High Museum of Art
  • National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Center of Puppetry Arts

So, as you can see, there’s plenty to keep you busy!

Pro tip – Check out the City Pass for Atlanta. This could help you get reduced rates for popular attractions around the city.

Things you need to know if you're moving to Atlanta

8. Atlanta is home to the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Why is the airport worth mentioning, you as? Because this is no ordinary airport. It’s actually the world’s busiest airport. It’s quite impressive, and there’s a fairly new international terminal that’s pretty posh. So, as far as air travel is concerned, Atlanta has got you covered.

9. Understand OTP vs. ITP.

You also have to understand a little bit of Atlanta terminology: OTP vs. ITP.

OTP means outside the perimeter, meaning outside of I-285, which encompasses the city.

ITP means inside the perimeter, meaning inside I-285 and within the “bounds” of the city.

We’re not entirely sure why this distinction is so important, but it matters to Atlanta-folk.

10. There’s a lot of great food.

There’s also plenty of great food to be found in the Atlanta area. Whatever kind of food you’re looking for, a quick Google search will probably turn up some options. Try some different places and you’ll probably find a favorite haunt.

11. Atlanta United is pretty cool.

Atlanta recently got a major league soccer team, Atlanta United. It’s pretty fun to go to the games and get swept up in the excitement. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to visit Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta’s fancy new sports stadium. It even has a very cool, high-tech roof.

12. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System rocks.

The libraries in Fulton County (which is the county Atlanta’s in) are pretty great. Looking for a novel? A biography? Some books for the kids? The newest YA releases for your teenagers? The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has got you covered. They have an easy-to-use online catalog so you can hunt down your next read. It allows you to see what branches of the library system have the book you want, and you can also place holds and request for books to be transferred to the library branch closest to you. (All AFPLS branches are connected, so you can return the books to any of the branches.)

Anyways – bookworms have a great library system to discover.

13. There are many different neighborhoods to explore.

Atlanta also has lots of neighborhoods that have different vibes. There’s Buckhead, Virginia Highlands, Little Five Points, Old Fourth Ward, West End, Inman Park, and more.

Don’t forget that you don’t necessarily have to live Downtown. You can live in the suburbs if you’re moving to Atlanta and still stay close to the city – for example, Decatur and Sandy Springs.

14. Lots of TV shows and movies have been filmed here.

A lot of shows and movies have filmed in and around Atlanta. It’s really cool to recognize the Atlanta skyline or other Atlanta landmarks when you take a trip to the movie theater!

Here’s just a few of the shows and movies that have filmed in the ATL:

  • The Walking Dead
  • Black Panther
  • Stranger Things
  • Avengers: Endgame

Truth be told, we could go on and on. There has been A LOT of filming going on in the city lately.

15. We can help you with your home insurance.

And when you’re moving to Atlanta, you probably want some great home insurance at a great rate. We can help with that! Just fill out our online quote form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat.