What is the personal liability section of my Atlanta homeowners’ insurance?

Personal liability insurance can help you if you're found responsible for causing someone bodily injury.

Personal liability insurance can help you if you're found responsible for causing someone bodily injury.

Your home insurance does a lot more than just fix your house if Mother Nature sends a disaster your way or you have a fire. It can also protect you financially with personal liability coverage – it’s a part of what your home insurance covers. We’ll explain how personal liability coverage works and how it can provide a safeguard around your bank account.

What is the personal liability insurance coverage section of my policy?

Personal liability insurance will protect you if you (or a member of your family who’s covered under the policy) are found legally responsible for causing someone bodily injury or property damage. For example, if a guest tripped while walking down your driveway, you could end up shouldering the legal blame. You could end up facing a lawsuit, and that lawsuit can become very expensive very quickly – expensive enough to threaten your assets and even your future wages.

What does personal liability insurance cover?

No-fault Medical Payments.

Medical bills aren’t cheap. If someone gets hurt on your property, they’ll need to get the care they need. There could be a medical payments coverage included in your liability insurance, which allows the injured person’s medical bills to be paid without the ado of a lawsuit.

Your personal liability insurance can also help you if there's a lawsuit.

Legal expenses/Lawsuits.

Should the person who got hurt on your property decide they’re in a litigious mood, they might sue you. Which means you’d need a lawyer. Liability insurance could cover the legal costs – which add up very quickly. Whether or not you’re guilty of what you’re being accused of, you still need that lawyer. And you need to pay them. Jury awards or settlements from a lawsuit can also be very, very expensive, but the liability section of your home insurance would help you out.

Property Damage.

If you’re responsible for accidentally causing property damage to another person, your home insurance can help you cover the costs of a lawsuit (if one happens) or repairing or replacing the property that was destroyed. So, if your kid accidentally smashes your neighbor’s priceless, rare vase, you could get some help from your home insurance.

How much liability insurance is included in my home insurance?

Many home insurance policies offer $100,000 of liability insurance, but you can increase those limits. ($100,000 is often the minimum amount you can get.)

It’s important to check your limits of insurance to see how much liability coverage you have. If your current limit isn’t high enough, you can talk to your agent about raising it. You can also consider getting a personal umbrella insurance policy to really boost your liability coverage. (A personal umbrella policy sits on top of your existing liability coverage to provide additional coverage.)

Can personal liability insurance cover me if my dog bites someone?

Well, it could, yes. But it’s really important that you talk to your insurance agent about your dog and check to see what your policy says about dog bites. It’s better to know exactly what’s covered than to think something’s covered…only to find out it’s not. Dogs and home insurance don’t always mix.

Some insurance companies are leery of insuring homeowners who have dogs of certain breeds (like Pitbulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, or bulldogs) because of their history of aggression. Some carriers won’t even offer coverage to those who own certain breeds.

Anyways, it’s not impossible to get insurance if you have a dog or to get home insurance that will cover dog bites, but take care to understand how your insurance would handle a dog-bite situation.

So, that’s a brief look at how personal liability insurance can protect your finances. It’s easy to get caught up with the coverage for the house and for personal belongings, but it’s important not to overlook the liability portion of your policy. Don’t underestimate how expensive lawsuits can be!

If you’re looking to get quotes for home insurance, our team can help. We’ll shop for your insurance so you can get great coverage at a great rate. To get started with your quotes, fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

Source:

https://www.thebalance.com/personal-liability-insurance-coverage-3957084

10 fall home maintenance tips to prepare your Atlanta house for winter

Prepare your home for winter with fall home maintenance.

Prepare your home for winter with fall home maintenance.

Fall in Atlanta is a great time to get some home maintenance done. Okay, truthfully our winters may not be as harsh as in other areas of the country, but still, it’s important to strengthen your home before the winter and do some fall home maintenance. Cold weather and maybe – yikes – snow is really hard on a house. We might want to think our home is an indestructible Super House, but that’s (unfortunately) not true. We’re going to go over several home maintenance tasks so you can prepare your home for winter.

Fall home maintenance tips.

1. Look after your roof.

Have your roof inspected. Replace loose or broken shingles. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against weather – kind of like a super fancy helmet. A helmet with cracks or holes in it isn’t super effective, right? And besides, your roof affects your home insurance rates.

2. Check the caulking around your doors and windows.

The caulking around the doors and windows serves as a seal against the weather. The delightful, cozy warm air inside your house can leak out of the home. That makes your heating system work harder. Repairing any caulking that needs it can help you keep your home nice and toasty – and it will make your home more energy efficient (and thus lower your heating bill.) Take some time to inspect your caulking and make necessary repairs.

3. Maintain your heating system.

Enlist the services of a trustworthy technician and have them check over your furnace and your heating system. It’s better to find out about a problem before the temperatures get super cold. Otherwise, you might find yourself with your teeth chattering as you shiver and wait for someone to fix the heat…when they’re available. By getting a maintenance check of your heating, you can make sure that your home will stay nice and warm all winter.

4. Put away garden hoses.

Before you put away any outdoor garden hoses, make sure to drain them of water. If there’s water in the hose and it freezes, you hose will probably be toast. And that would be a real drag to have to replace your hose first thing in the spring when you go to water the plants.

5. Clean the gutters and downspouts.

Yep, we know that gutters are gross. Cleaning the gutters is on no one’s “favorite things to do” list. But it’s got to be done. Leaves and debris are problematic because they can block water that needs to escape. That water can cause damage to your home because it builds up and just sits there. Before the rainy, gross weather of Atlanta winter hits, clean out the gutters.

Cleaning the gutters is a part of fall home maintenance.

6. Take care of your trees.

If there are any tree branches that are getting too close to the house, you might want to have them trimmed before they crash-land into your house. Dead trees aren’t stable and they can fall easily, so you should also have any dead or diseased trees removed. Though most likely your home insurance covers fallen trees, it’s best to not have to deal with it at all.

7. Get your chimney checked.

Who doesn’t love a warm, crackling fire in the fireplace in the winter? It’s great. But it’s a good idea to get your chimney inspected or cleaned before you start a fire in the fireplace this winter. And the best time to do that is in the fall before there’s a huge upswing in demand for these services. Chimney-cleaning businesses get super busy in the winter, as you can imagine, so you’ll have much less hassle scheduling an appointment earlier in the fall.

8. Prevent your pipes from freezing.

Pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures can freeze if the weather gets cold enough. You may want to go ahead and add preemptive insulation to your pipes to prevent them from freezing when the temperatures drop.

9. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Make sure that you’re regularly checking your smoke detectors. The batteries also need to be changed at least once a year. Winter is the prime time for electrical fires, so it’s important to make sure that your smoke detectors can do their job. There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor and preferably one outside each bedroom.

10. Look over the outside of your home.

As part of your fall home maintenance routine, take a minute to walk around your home. Look at the roof, the siding, and foundation. Look at your driveway, your porch and steps, your walkway. Make sure to repair any areas that need to be repaired while the weather is still decent.

The winter can really put a beating on your home. By taking the time to put some TLC into your house and do some fall home maintenance, you can help it stand up better to the cold, rain, and maybe snow. Your house endures a lot. Take time this fall to baby it a little.

And of course, it’s important to protect your home with the right Atlanta home insurance. Out agents can help you get great coverage at a great rate. We’ll help you get the coverage you need to fully protect your home. Get started with your home insurance quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.

What perils are covered by Atlanta home insurance?

Home insurance covers a variety of perils.

Home insurance covers a variety of perils.

“Peril” may seem like a five-dollar word used only in stage plays and the literature of old, but it’s actually used a lot in terms of homeowners insurance. A peril is usually defined as a serious or catastrophic threat to your home – including storms, heavy vandalism, and any other Independence Day type of catastrophe that strikes your humble abode.

We’re here to tell you which perils are covered by most policies, which perils you’ll need additional coverage for, and what type of plans you should look for in the Atlanta area.

What is Peril Insurance for Homeowners?

Perils in insurance usually include wind, hail, civil commotions, vehicular damage, smoke, aircraft damage, and explosions. (No, we’re not making this up.)

However, different perils are covered in different ways or may not be covered at all depending on location. Typically, insurance carriers will offer two types of perils insurance: Named Perils Insurance and All Risks Insurance.

What is Named Perils Insurance?

Also called “Broad Form”, Named Perils insurance is a common type of policy when it comes to comprehensive homeowners insurance. Basically, if the policy names a certain natural disaster or general threat to your home, you’ll be covered for it.

This can be useful if you want to directly focus your coverage on certain threats and disasters that you know are common to your location. So, for Atlanta, you may not be as worried about earthquakes as you are about heavy storm damage from the latest hurricane.

These policies are usually less expensive and will probably be the first ones offered when you speak with your broker about homeowners insurance.

What is All Perils Insurance?

Unlike the Named Perils insurance that will explicitly list items that you ARE covered for, All Perils (or “Special Form”) insurance will cover anything EXCEPT what is explicitly listed as excluded from the policy. For example, if you have All Perils insurance and the policy doesn’t explicitly exclude earthquakes, you’ll still be covered for earthquake damage (in the event that that stray Georgia earthquake decides to wreck your house).

However, buying an All Perils insurance policy does not mean that you’ll be completely covered for all of the unlisted threats. Your insurance carrier will still usually direct coverage funds toward the perils that are most likely to happen for the area. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to speak with your agent about the specific concerns that you have. Our Atlanta Insurance agents are here to learn all about your homeowners woes and are experts in finding the perfect perils insurance plans and endorsements for the perfect price. Call us at 404.352.0304 to get a quote on the best insurance plans for you!

What Perils Are Included in My Atlanta Homeowners Insurance?

The most common type of homeowners insurance plan is a basic HO-3 plan, which will generally cover natural disasters, accidents, and property damage. More specifically, they’ll probably cover the following perils:

Fire

Note that most insurance carriers will consider fire damage as being different than smoke damage. So, if there happened to be a fire where fires usually don’t go in a house, you’ll be covered for what was unintentionally burnt to a crisp.

Lightning

Ah, Mother Nature. When she strikes, she strikes quickly and without warning. Luckily, most perils insurance will cover damage caused by natural electricity. If a lightning strike fries your flat screen, cooks your CPU, or annihilates your air conditioner in the dead humidity of the Georgia summer, talk to your insurance agent about how much coverage you have to fix it. Remember though, your insurance will only cover damage made by a strike to your electrical system, not problems coming from your electrical company’s side.

Explosions (No. We’re still not kidding.)

Whether there’s a catastrophic meltdown happening outside or a science project gone horribly awry in your kitchen, your perils insurance will usually cover the fallout. Now, that doesn’t mean you should start mixing chemicals with reckless abandon. Some carriers don’t include this part in their regular homeowners insurance, so it’s always important to consult your agent about if you’re covered and how much you’re covered for.

Windstorms

When that light summer breeze gets a little too aggressive in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, or cyclones, your insurance can help you cover the cost of repairs to both the outside and inside of the house if the storm suddenly makes a new door or window. Keep in mind, though, that in the event of a hurricane or heavy rain, your normal HO-3 plan will not cover flooding from surface water that’s been on the ground.

Hail

When rain acquires the strange ability to clobber your property in the form of ice chunks, your perils insurance can help you plug up the holes. Just make sure you skip out on the hailstorm show through an open window – homeowners insurance won’t cover any internal damage caused by hail that enters through an existing opening in your home.

Riots & Civil Commotions

A riot, in insurance terms, is defined as three or more people causing damage. Similarly, a civil commotion is when a large group of people causes damage to a property. So, check with your insurance agent the next time your next-door neighbor hits a home run into your window – you may be covered.

Aircraft Damage

Anything from balloons to helicopters to airplanes to spacecraft to self-propelled missiles is included in this part of your homeowners policy. So yes, if part of a UFO crash lands into your roof, don’t worry, you’re protected. (At least from the damages.)

When in doubt, your insurance policy declaration page will tell you what is covered by your insurance and/or if you have Named Peril or All Perils insurance.

What Perils Are NOT Covered by Homeowners Insurance in the Atlanta Area?

Luckily, Atlanta is located fairly inland and is not prone to natural disasters. Many of the peril exclusions on Atlanta home insurance are ones that that are standard across the board. Most homeowners insurance policies will not include these events in a normal policy or cover them on a very limited basis:

  • Flood Damage
  • Mold
  • Sewer backups
  • “Earth Movement”
  • Construction Work Damage
  • Jewelry and Fine Art
  • Termites
  • Trampoline Accidents
  • Dog Attacks, and
  • Pool Accidents

Keep in mind that any piece of coverage may have dollar limits on the object and repairs that they cover. Also, if you have concerns about covering damages to your home because of the above perils, there are plenty of options for supplemental insurance that is specifically tailored to these types of disasters and emergencies.

Call Atlanta Insurance at 404.352.0304 or fill out our online quote form for a free quote on some of these supplemental plans so that you can rest assured that all of your home concerns are addressed.

Sources:

https://www.insuranceopedia.com/definition/130/named-peril

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/named_perils.asp

https://www.thebalance.com/homeowners-insurance-peril-2645726

What is Atlanta renter’s insurance?

Atlanta renter's insurance can protect your personal belongings.

If you’re like many Atlantans, you might rent an apartment or a house. Lots of people are apartment dwellers. You love your place, but the question to ask yourself is are you properly insured? Sometimes Murphy’s law gets in the way and creates a bit of chaos. And when that happens, you might need renter’s insurance to set things right.

What is renters’ insurance, you might ask? Why needs renter’s insurance? Does my landlord’s insurance cover me? These are just a few of the questions you might have, and we’re going to answer them.

What is renters’ insurance?

Atlanta renter’s insurance is like home insurance, but it’s intended for people who, well, rent a house or apartment instead of owning a home. It provides coverage for your personal belongings and liability. However, it won’t provide coverage for the building or structure. (Your landlord’s insurance would cover the building itself.)

So, renter’s insurance would help you build a financial safety net for your bank account so that you won’t get totally cleaned out if something happens at your apartment and things go a little haywire.

Who needs renter’s insurance?

If you rent an apartment or a house, you might want to consider it so you can protect yourself financially. Imagine if a fire tore through your apartment or a crafty burglar made off with your stuff. Imagine if a guest tripped and took a bad – and expensive – fall…and you’re found responsible.

You might be scratching your head and thinking, well my stuff isn’t all that expensive…But chances are you have more stuff than you think crammed into your place. Think about your electronics, furniture, clothes, shoes, and so on. It would probably cost quite a bit to replace all of your belongings. And if someone tripped and fell, like in our scenario above, their medical expenses (or even a lawsuit) could get super expensive.

Does my landlord’s insurance cover me?

Maybe you’re wondering: What’s the point of renter’s insurance? Doesn’t my landlord’s insurance cover me?

Well, to answer the question simply, no. Your landlord’s insurance will probably not cover your personal belongings, and it might not cover your liability if someone gets hurt in your apartment or rented house.

Like we said earlier, your landlord’s insurance only covers the structure of the building itself. So, if there’s a fire, their insurance would pay to rebuild it, but it won’t pay to replace your belongings. You’d be on your own.

Atlanta renter's insurance provides liability insurance.

What does Atlanta renter’s insurance cover?

Your personal property.

If you have a covered loss (i.e. fire, burglary, or vandalism) your renter’s insurance would replace the belongings that were destroyed.

But a quick tip – check and see if the policy has actual cash value coverage or replacement cost coverage.

Here’s why:

Actual Cash Value will only give you the depreciated value of your belongings (their value at the time of the loss.) This may not be enough for you to replace your belongings with similar models at today’s prices.

Replacement cost coverage will allow you to replace your belongings with similar models no matter what their depreciated value is.

So, that’s just something to be aware of when you’re choosing the renter’s insurance that’s right for you.

Liability.

You could be found liable if someone gets hurt in your apartment or if you cause property damage. Your renter’s insurance would help you cover the expenses you’re obligated to pay.

So, if a visitor trips in your apartment, gets hurt, and decides to sue, you might be responsible for their medical expenses and legal or court-ordered judgments. But your renter’s insurance would come to the rescue.

Additional living expenses.

What would happen if you’re apartment had a fire and you couldn’t live there anymore?

Here’s another cool trick that Atlanta renter’s insurance does:

Your renter’s insurance policy might cover additional living expenses. That means that if a covered loss forces you to leave your home because it’s uninhabitable, your “extra expenses” would be covered. For example, you might have to stay in a hotel or eat at restaurants way more often than you normally would. Those are expenses about your normal living costs, so your renters’ insurance may reimburse you. (Just be sure to hold onto your receipts!)

Those extra bills could become a real burden, but with renter’s insurance, you can put that money back into your wallet.

Am I required to have renter’s insurance?

Your landlord might require you to have renter’s insurance. This just ensures that you’re covered and that any potential liability situations would be taken care of.

And you can get an Atlanta renter’s insurance policy by working with our team of agents. We can help you get the coverage you need for your rented house or apartment. Getting started with quotes is easy – all you have to do is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

Don’t fall for these 8 Atlanta home insurance myths

We'll explain the truth and debunk eight home insurance myths.

We'll explain the truth and debunk eight home insurance myths.

When you’re dealing with something as important as Atlanta home insurance, it’s crucial to have the facts. There are many assumptions and myths out there about home insurance. We’re going to turn some of these home insurance myths upside-down and discover the truth.

1. MYTH: I should use my home’s market value when I insure it.

The truth: You need enough insurance to completely rebuild your home from the ground up.

The goal is to have enough home insurance to completely rebuild your home from the ground up if it were destroyed, including building materials and the labor of the contractors. That means insuring your home for its replacement cost. The market value of the home, or the amount that a house would reasonably sell for, may not accurately reflect the amount you would need to rebuild the home.

2. MYTH: Home insurance covers flooding.

The truth: It doesn’t. This is one of those home insurance myths that is not true.

Many homeowners only find this out after their home sustains flooding due to heavy rain. But flooding simply isn’t covered by Atlanta home insurance, even though certain types of water damage are. To protect your home against flooding you would have to have a flood insurance policy in place. You can get flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through an agent.

3. MYTH: Home insurance covers all of my personal belongings.

The truth: Kind of. This is one of those home insurance myths that you need to talk to your agent about.

Yes, a typical home insurance policy will provide coverage for your personal belongings – electronics, furniture, clothing, and so on. But there are a few things to consider. First, you need to check and see what the limit of coverage is for your personal belongings (the maximum amount of money insurance will pay out.) You also have to check to see what losses and perils are covered under your policy.

Jewelry and valuables are something else you have to think about. Your policy may only provide limited coverage for jewelry, art, and other valuables – and this coverage might not be enough to fully protect your treasures. You might have to explore options for covering your jewelry, valuables, art, and collections.

4. MYTH: Home insurance will cover termite damage.

The truth: Termites are pestilential beasts and damage by these tiny demons is not covered by home insurance.

If termites go to town and turn your home into their own personal buffet, the damage and cost of extermination would not be covered by home insurance. Termite damage is considered to be a maintenance thing, and home insurance typically doesn’t cover maintenance-related issues.

Pro-tip: Have regular pest-control and termite inspections. Squash the bugs before they cause serious damage – or emotional distress.

Be aware of the home insurance myths that are out there.

5. MYTH: Home insurance will replace my belongings like new.

The truth: Well, it depends on your policy.

You can insure your personal belongings for their replacement cost value or their Actual Cash Value.

Actual cash value coverage means that your insurance company will give you the value of the belongings at the time of the loss as reimbursement. (This is the depreciated value, and it may not be enough to replace your belongings with similar models at today’s pricing.)

Replacement cost value coverage will replace your belongings with similar models, regardless of the depreciated value of your belongings at the time of the loss.

The point is you need to read your policy to see how your personal belongings are covered and to determine if you have enough insurance.

6. MYTH: If an injury occurs in my home, it’s covered.

The truth: Liability coverage takes care of your legal responsibility to your guests if they’re injured, not your family.

If a guest trips over your garden hose and breaks an arm, your liability would be covered by home insurance. (For example, their medical bills or expenses if they sue you.) But if a member of your family trips over the same hose and breaks an arm, you would have to use your health insurance.

7. MYTH: Home insurance covers my home-based business.

The truth: You need to check your home insurance policy (as with many of these home insurance myths.)

Home insurance might provide limited coverage for any business-related equipment or inventory you have, or it may not provide any coverage at all for business-related things. And even if there’s coverage for business property, it might not be enough. And you also have to consider your liability.

Anyways, the point is that you need to make sure your home-based business is properly insured. You might need to add coverage to your home insurance policy through an endorsement, get a home-based business policy, or get a business owner’s policy.

8. MYTH: Home insurance is too expensive to be worth it.

The truth: Home insurance is a financial safety net.

The house you live in is a big investment, and insurance can help you protect that investment. Consider what would happen if your home was burgled, caught fire, or got in the way of a falling tree.

As far as home insurance being overly expensive, we’re happy to bust that myth. Our agents are pros at helping people save money on home insurance and get great coverage at a great rate. We can shop your rates and get you the insurance you need to protect your home. All you have to do to get started with Atlanta home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today. Let’s crush these home insurance myths together.

Does Atlanta home insurance cover burglary?

Home insurance should cover burglary.

Home insurance should cover burglary.

Your Atlanta house is more than just a structure with a roof and walls. It’s your home. You know you need to protect it with the right insurance, even though it’s scary to think about what-ifs – like burglary and what would happen if your home is burglarized. The thought is terrifying. But you might have this question – does home insurance cover burglary? We’re going to answer that question and give you some quick tips to prevent a break-in at your home.

Does Atlanta insurance cover burglary or theft?

Most home insurance policies do cover burglary, yes. Your policy should include personal property coverage, and that will provide insurance for your belongings. So, if someone breaks into your home and steals some of your possessions, you could file a home insurance claim and you would be covered. You’d have to read your policy carefully to find out exactly how your insurance would handle a burglary.

Your policy will probably have a limit for coverage for your personal property. That limit could be a percentage of the dwelling coverage on your home. Anyways, it’s really important to make sure that you have enough coverage to replace all of your belongings, so you need to check that your personal property coverage limit is high enough. (And we can help you make sure that you have the home insurance you need. Get started with Atlanta home insurance quotes by filling out our quick online form.)

To get an idea of how much coverage you need for your belongings to protect yourself against burglary, you can take a home inventory, which is basically a list of all of your belongings and their value. This will come in handy if you ever need to file a home insurance claim for burglary because you’ll easily be able to tell what’s been taken. You’ll know exactly what you need to include in your claim.

What if my belongings are in my car when they’re stolen?

If you have a bunch of stuff in your car and your car gets broken into or burglarized, your home insurance should cover those belongings and replace them. Most policies will cover your personal belongings even if they’re not in the home (although there could be limitations.)

Now, if your car is stolen from your driveway, however, your home insurance won’t cover it. You would have to have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, which is a type of car insurance that will repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident (such as fire, falling trees, animal strikes, vandalism, and yes, theft.)

How to prevent a burglary at your Atlanta home.

No one wants to see their home get broken into, and it’s important to secure your house. The following tips can help you prevent a burglary at your house:

  • Keep the doors and windows locked. Contrary to popular belief, most burglaries occur during the day – not at night.
  • Consider getting timers for your indoor lights.
  • Make sure you have plenty of outdoor lighting.
  • Consider getting a security system.
  • Secure your valuables.
  • Keep your bushes and trees trimmed to eliminate and potential hiding places for burglars.
  • Be familiar with your neighbors.
  • Don’t leave boxes from expensive purchases outside on the curb.

So, that’s the scoop about home insurance and burglary. Your home insurance policy most likely covers burglary and theft. There is a section of your home insurance that covers your personal belongings, and that’s the piece that’s going to replace your belongings. So, hopefully, you can find a little peace of mind knowing that your home insurance covers burglary.

Want to save money on your home insurance? We’d be happy to help you get an Atlanta home insurance quote. Our agents are experts at helping people get great coverage at a great rate. To get started with your quote, fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

Does Atlanta home insurance cover my personal belongings?

Your home insurance covers your personal belongings.

Your home insurance covers your personal belongings.

You purchased Atlanta home insurance to be an invisible financial safety net in case you have some sort of loss to your home. That house was a big investment, after all. But you might have this question floating in your mind: does home insurance cover personal belongings? We’re going to answer that question, but we’re also going to explain how much insurance you need for your personal belongings and how to insure your belongings.

Are personal belongings covered by Atlanta home insurance?

Yes. A typical Atlanta home insurance policy should pay to replace the contents of your home (such as your furniture, your electronics, your clothes, and so on) if they are destroyed by a covered loss. Your policy should have a certain “limit” for personal belongings coverage. Home insurance is there for you – it’s got your back. (And if you’re looking for Atlanta home insurance quotes, we can help. Just fill out our online quote form or give us a call and we can help you get the insurance you need to protect your house.)

What losses are covered?

Well, that depends on your policy, which will outline the losses that are covered. However, some examples of losses that are usually covered by home insurance are:

Like we said, you really have to go over your policy carefully to understand exactly what is covered and what is not. There’s a lot of helpful stuff in your insurance policy. Admittedly, it might not be the most riveting read, but still – you’ve got to read your policy.

Taking a home inventory can help you find out how much insurance you need for your personal belongings.

What losses aren’t covered?

Some losses are typically not covered by Atlanta home insurance. The following are excluded from most policies.

  • Flooding: To protect your home against a flooding disaster, you would need flood insurance. You have to purchase flood insurance from the NFIP through an agent, and you would have to make sure to include coverage for personal belongings in your flood insurance policy.
  • Sump pump failure/Sewer backup: To be protected against losses stemming from a sewer backup or sump pump failure incident, you would have to add coverage for sewer backup to your policy.
  • Jewelry: It’s not that home insurance excludes jewelry and other valuables, but usually policies offer a very limited amount of coverage for them. You may need to add extra coverage for your valuables.

These are just a few home insurance exclusions to be aware of. You need to spend some quality time with your policy to find out how certain losses are handled.

How much coverage do I need for personal belongings?

The next question is how much insurance you need for your personal property.

Taking a home inventory can help you find out how much coverage you would need to replace your belongings. A home inventory is basically a list of all the items in your home and their values. The easiest way to organize it is to break it down room by room.

Having a home inventory can also come in handy if you ever have to file a home insurance claim. It’ll be a lot easier to list the items that need to be replaced because you’ll have a prepared, detailed list of your belongings. Just make sure to keep your inventory somewhere safe – maybe consider a safe deposit box or Google Drive to ensure it doesn’t get destroyed if something happens to your home.

Pro tip: Pay extra attention to jewelry and other valuables. Like we said, you may need to add coverage for these things.

How should I insure my personal belongings?

You can insure your belongings for their Actual Cash Value or their Replacement Cost Value.

Actual Cash Value (ACV): If you insure your belongings for their ACV, your insurance company will reimburse you for the value of your belongings at the time of the loss (meaning the depreciated value.)

Replacement Cost Value: Replacement cost value does not take depreciation into account and will allow you to replace your belongings with similar models at today’s prices.

The bottom line is that you might want to insure your belongings for their replacement cost value to ensure that you receive enough reimbursement to replace your belongings at today’s prices.

So, that’s the scoop about home insurance and your personal belongings. While your home insurance should have coverage for your belongings, you have to read your policy to find out which losses are covered and which aren’t. Having a loss to your home could be a huge financial blow, but that’s why home insurance is there – to be your safety net.

To get started with some Atlanta home insurance quotes, you can fill out our quote form or give us a call today. Our team can help you find great coverage at a great rate. And we’ll help you make sure that your house and all of its contents are fully covered by insurance.

8 times you need to talk to your insurance agent

It's important to keep your insurance agent informed about changes to your life or home.

It's important to keep your insurance agent informed about changes to your life or home.

Your insurance agent is there to help with many things. As life goes on, changes happen and your insurance might need to be adjusted. Your coverage needs to be customized to you, and if you have a change in your life or to your home, you need to have your coverage tailored so it fits like a glove again. It’s important to keep your agent in the know so that you don’t have any coverage gaps. Here are 8 times you might want to pick up the phone or write an email to talk to your agent.

8 times that you should talk to your insurance agent.

1. When you buy a house.

Buying a new home insurance means getting home insurance, and that means calling an insurance agent. You need to make sure your home is protected from fires, burglary, falling trees, and so on by getting the right home insurance. This is why an agent can be a big help. They can help you make sure you have enough home insurance.

Keep in mind that you probably want to insure your home for its replacement cost, which is the amount it would cost to rebuild your home from the ground up if it were destroyed by a fire or another loss. The replacement cost value includes the expenses associated with building materials and the labor of the contractors. And of course, it’s also important to have enough coverage for the contents of your home.

2. When you’re renovating your home or when you’re making home improvements.

Home renovations can affect your home insurance. You could end up increasing the value of your home if you make significant changes to the house, which means you may need to increase your limits of home insurance. It’s a good idea to let your agent know about any major changes or renovations to the home and have a conversation about your insurance. It’s essential that you have enough insurance to cover the costs of rebuilding your home so you can put it back to the way it was before the loss.

Apart from renovating, home improvements that make your home stronger or safer – such as getting a security system, getting a new roof, or getting a new electrical system – can qualify you for home insurance discounts. So, if you’ve made an improvement to your home that makes it safer or stronger, you could be eligible for a home insurance discount.

3. If your teenager gets their driver’s license.

If your teen is getting their license, you need to set them up with the right car insurance. Teen car insurance can be very expensive, so you may want to add them to your policy rather than getting them their own policy. However, that’s a conversation that you can have with your agent. Talk to your agent about the fact that your teenager is about to start driving. Hopefully, they can help ease your anxiety about handing over the keys by setting you up with great teen auto insurance.

Your insurance agent can help you make sure you have enough home insurance.

4. Getting married.

Marriage means that you’ll be combining households – and perhaps cars. As far as car insurance goes, you could get a car insurance discount if you insure more than one car with your carrier. It might be worth checking to see what it would take to get you and your spouse onto the same car insurance policy.

5. Having a baby.

If you’re going to be bringing a baby into the world, you might want to consider getting life insurance. If you already have life insurance, you’ll need to add your child to your policy as a beneficiary.

6. When you get valuable jewelry or art.

Maybe you inherited valuable jewelry or artwork, or maybe you bought it. Either way, when expensive jewelry or art comes into your possession, you’ll need to let your agent know so you can chat about the best way to go about insuring your valuables. Oftentimes home insurance policies only give you a small amount of coverage for your values, so you may need to add coverage or even take out a separate policy for your valuables.

7. When you retire.

If you retire, you might qualify for a home insurance discount, so that could be worth a phone call to your agent. Also, if you’re moving residences, that’s also something to let your insurance agent know about.

8. Buying or selling a business.

You’re making significant changes to your assets if you’re buying a business or selling a business, so it’s important to let your agent know about the change. (And if you buy a business, of course, you’ll need to make sure you get the right insurance.)

The above are a few occasions where it could be worth calling your insurance agent to tell them about your new situation. Remember, it’s so important to have the right insurance for your house, your family, and your finances. Don’t be shy – your agent’s job is to ensure that you’ve got the insurance you need.

Do you want to save money on your home insurance or auto insurance? We can help you get quotes for your coverage. We strive to be your insurance partner and advisor, so we’ll help you get the coverage you need at a great rate. Get started with home insurance quotes or auto insurance quotes with our online quote form or by calling us today.

How to create a fire escape plan for your Atlanta home

You can create a home fire escape plan.No one wants to think of what would happen if they had a house fire. It’s a very scary thought. But it’s so important that your entire family knows exactly what to do and where to go if the smoke alarm goes off or the air smells like smoke. Having a home fire escape plan can help everyone get out of the home as quickly and safely as possible. We’ve put together a list of tips for creating a home fire escape plan.

How to create a home fire escape plan.

1. Find two escape routes from each room in the house.

If there’s a fire, the most obvious way out of a room could be unsafe because of smoke, flames, or heat. That’s why you need a Plan B to get out of any room and out of the house. You can get your family to help you out and come up with your escape routes together.

2. Go over fire safety with your family.

Set aside some time to go over some basic fire safety with your family. Make sure to go over the following:

  • Stop, drop, and roll if clothing is on fire.
  • How to call 911.
  • How to use the back of the hand to feel a doorknob, the top of the door, and the space at the frame of the door – and then use the second exit if the door is hot.
  • If the door is cool, open it slowly as you brace yourself against it.
  • How to crawl on the ground while covering your mouth if you have to pass under smoke.
  • How to properly store flammable objects or chemicals.
  • Space heater safety.
  • Why it’s important not to waste time gathering belongings.
  • Teach children never to touch matches or lighters. (And don’t forget to childproof your home.)
  • How to prevent electrical fires by taking care with electrical cords, outlets, and circuits.

3. Have a meeting spot for your family.

As you’re creating a home fire escape plan, plan a good spot for your family to meet after getting out of the house. Everyone needs to know where to go, and it needs to be a safe spot that’s far enough away from the house. Also, decide which neighbor’s house you’re going to go to so you can call 911.

4. Teach children what to do if the smoke alarm goes off.

Kids might get really scared if they hear the smoke detector or smell smoke, and their instinct could be to hide. Be sure to explain to your children that they need to get out of the house if there is a fire instead of hiding. Of course, you don’t want to scare them, but they need to understand how important it is to follow the fire escape plan.

5. Do a “fire drill.”

Put your fire escape plan to the test after you’ve created your plan and gone over it with your entire family. Do a “fire drill” and give your family two minutes to “escape” from the home and get to the meeting place.

You also might want to consider having everyone practice getting out of the house with their eyes closed (but please – be very careful!) It’s probable that getting out of a burning house will involve darkness and smoke. Also, take some time to practice crawling on the ground to avoid heavy smoke overhead.

6. Keep the escape routes clear.

It’s important that the way out of the house doesn’t involve doing an obstacle course. By tidying the house and keeping the floor clear, you make it easier to make a quick escape. You should also check your windows to make sure they open quickly. If there are any stubborn windows, have them fixed.

Another thought – if you have child safety gates, latches, or window bars, be sure that there are quick release features.

7. Check the smoke detectors.

Check and see how many smoke detectors you have and where they are. It’s crucial that there are enough smoke detectors and that there’s one located outside each bedroom. Test the smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. (Daylight Saving Time is a great time to do this because it’ll be easy to remember the last time you changed the batteries.)

If you have a house fire, there is not a lot of time to act and escape from the home. And that’s why creating a fire escape plan is so essential – having a plan makes it much easier to act quickly and without hesitation. Practice your plan and be sure to coach your kids on what to do. Make fire safety a thing in your household.

Are you looking for Atlanta home insurance quotes? We can help. Our team of insruance experts can get you multiple quotes for your insurance and help you save money on your home insurance. We also like to make home insurance easy. Get started with your Atlanta home insruance quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.

Source:

http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Fire-Escape-Plan.pdf 

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/A-Home-Fire-Escape-Plan-Can-Save-Your-Life 

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/home-fire-preparedness 

What’s the average cost of home insurance?

The average cost of home insurance

The average cost of home insurance

Home insurance can get tricky. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the cost of home insurance. Nonetheless, there are some areas of the country that have higher rates and some areas of the country that have lower rates. It can even go so far as certain ZIP Codes paying more or less for their insurance. So, the question of what is the average cost of home insurance is a little complicated. Still, we’re going to explain what states have the highest rates and which have the lowest – and we’ll tell you where Georgia falls in the ranking. We’ll also explain the reasons for the difference in rates from state to state.

What’s the average cost of home insurance?

Okay. First, let’s start with some nationwide numbers for the average cost of home insurance. According to a 2018 article from Insurance.com, here’s where the national averages stand:

  • $200,000 of dwelling coverage, $1,000 deductible, and $100,000 liability coverage: $1,228/year
  • $200,000 of dwelling coverage, $1,000 deductible, and $300,000 liability coverage: $1,244/year
  • $300,000 of dwelling coverage, $1,000 deductible, and $300,000 liability coverage: $1,737/year
  • $400,000 of dwelling coverage, $1,000 deductible, and $300,000 liability coverage: $2,252/year

What states have the lowest average cost of home insurance?

There are a few states that are very far below the national average as far as their average insurance rates. Check out the average rates below*:

  • Hawaii – $357/year
  • Vermont – $606/year
  • Idaho – $ 642/year

*Rates based off of a home with $200,000 of dwelling coverage, a $1,000 deductible, and $300,000 liability insurance.

What states have the highest average home insurance rates?

There are also some states with an average cost of home insurance that is higher than the national average…by quite a bit. Check out these average home insurance premiums*:

  • Oklahoma – $2,666/year
  • Louisiana – $3,011/year
  • Florida – $3,591/year

*Rates based off of a home with $200,000 of dwelling coverage, a $1,000 deductible, and $300,000 liability insurance.

What’s the average cost of home insurance in Georgia?

Since we’re in the Atlanta area, we have to see where Georgia stacks up with its home insurance rates.

Georgia actually doesn’t do too badly with its insurance rates. The average cost of home insurance in Georgia is $1,114, which is 10% below the national ranking of $1,244. Not too bad! Of course, the cost of home insurance in Georgia depends on a lot of factors, but this gives a general idea.

Why do some states have higher home insurance average rates than others?

So, why the difference in rates around the country? Why do some states get to enjoy low rates while others pay a lot of money for home insurance every year? It’s definitely not random or arbitrary. The reason that states like Florida, Louisiana, and Oklahoma see high rates is that there are many, many natural disasters that tend to befall them. Louisiana and Florida often get hit with hurricanes, and Oklahoma has a ton of tornadoes every year.

When they evaluate rates, insurance companies look at the ZIP Code and data from the area where the home is located. If there’s a high instance of weather-related events and claims, burglaries, or vandalism, for example, rates will probably be higher in those areas. The reason carriers look at the surrounding area and examine a lot of data about them is that they want to know how likely a home in that area is to experience a claim. If the data shows there’s a high risk of a claim, rates are going to be higher. If the data shows there’s a low instance of claims, rates will probably be lower.

What factors affect the cost of home insurance?

But of course, your rates aren’t determined just because of the state you live in. Insurance premiums are a little more specific than that. Like we said, insurance companies look at a lot of factors when they’re setting home insurance prices, and most of them are pretty specific to your house and your immediate area.

Here are some of the factors that can affect home insurance rates.

  • The material your home is constructed of
  • Reconstruction value of the home
  • Age of the home
  • Roof
  • Weather-related disasters in the area
  • The crime rate for your area
  • Your credit score
  • How close you are to a reliable fire station
  • Your limits of coverage
  • Your deductible
  • Home insurance discounts
  • Your claims history
  • Where the fire department is located

So, that’s what you need to know about the average cost of home insurance. Rates vary from ZIP Code to ZIP Code and from state to state. The best way to find out how much your home insurance will cost is to get a home insurance quote. And our agents would be happy to help with that. We can shop your rates so you can get multiple home insurance quotes, compare coverages and pricing, and save money. All you have to do to get started with your home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.