Deductible, premium, and limit: 3 Atlanta home insurance words to know

It's important to know about your premium, deductible, and home insurance limit.

It's important to know about your premium, deductible, and home insurance limit.When you’re dealing with your Atlanta home insurance, there are a lot of vocab words – and numbers – that are important for you to know. You know that you need to get home insurance, but what do all those numbers and words mean? What are some of the things that you need to pay attention to? We’re going to explain three home insurance terms you should know: premium, limit, and deductible.

What is a home insurance premium?

Okay, let’s be real – this is probably the number you’re most concerned about.

And for good reason:

To put it simply, your home insurance premium is basically your home insurance rate. It’s what you pay for home insurance. So, yes, it makes perfect sense that this would be a number you’d want to pay attention to.

Now, you might be wondering how the insurance company decides how much your bill is going to be. Believe it or not, it’s not some sort of trick or mumbo jumbo like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It’s not a random number that comes from midair.

The truth is home insurance companies look at a lot of different factors about you and your house when they’re setting your premium. They don’t exactly do “random” or “detail-free” when it comes to insurance rates. For example, they may look at the following factors when setting your home insurance rates:

  • Your location
  • The crime rate where you live
  • The building material your home is made of
  • Your credit score
  • How close you are to a fire station
  • Your roof
  • Whether or not you’ve bundled
  • How much it would cost to rebuild
  • How old your house is
  • Any discounts you qualify for

So, that’s home insurance premium in a nutshell. The best way to find out how much your home insurance will cost is to get insurance quotes – and you can do that by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.

What is a home insurance deductible?

Another word to know (and number to be aware of) is deductible.

Your home insurance deductible is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim if you have a loss to your home. You have your portion of the “bill” per se and your home insurance will help you cover the rest of your claim. (You might feel better about the whole thing if you consider that they’ll probably be paying a lot more than you will!)

It’s easiest to explain the concept of how a deductible works by giving an example.

Let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible on your home. A tree very rudely decides to fall and hits your roof. Thankfully no one is hurt, but the tree did cause $5,500 worth of damage. You would pay your $1,000 and your insurance company would pay the remaining $4,500.

Your deductible can also play a part in your Atlanta home insurance rates. It can affect your premium (see, using those vocabulary words already!) because if you choose a higher deductible, you’re less likely to file a claim. And that means you could see lower premiums. However, you don’t want to set your deductible so high that it would be a huge financial burden to pay if you had a claim. You need to consider how much you could comfortably afford to pay if you had a loss.

What is a home insurance limit?

Your home insurance limit is simply how much your insurance would pay out for a claim. (It’s essentially how much home insurance you’ve purchased.) Your home insurance would tap out if your claim hit that amount.

When you’re setting your home insurance limit, it’s important to make sure you have enough home insurance to:

  • Completely rebuild your home from the ground up (meaning you should insure your home for its replacement cost)
  • Cover your liability
  • Replace your personal belongings

Again, it’s important that you have enough insurance. Protecting yourself financially means making sure you have a safety net that will actually catch you – not let you crash to the ground. So, make sure that your limits of Atlanta home insurance are high enough.

Protecting your home with the right Atlanta home insurance is easy when you work with our team. Get started with quotes by filling out our form or giving us a call today.

Will filing a home insurance claim make my rates go up?

Filing a home insurance claim may raise your home insurance rates.

Filing a home insurance claim may raise your home insurance rates.

You might have heard that filing a home insurance claim will make your insurance rates go up. And maybe it doesn’t seem quite fair – the whole reason that you have insurance is to use it when you need it. And the thing is that while your Atlanta home insurance will protect you from financial loss, it’s important to understand the effect that certain claims could have on your Georgia home insurance rates. It’s not a given that a home insurance claim will make your rates go up, but it’s also not a given that it won’t. We’ll explain about how claims can affect your home insurance rates.

Will filing a claim make my home insurance rates go up?

A 2014 study from InsuranceQuotes.com examined the effect of filing claims on home insurance rates. They broke it down state by state. And they found that, on average, filing a claim could raise Georgia home insurance rates by about 8-10%. Of course, that’s not a guarantee – it’s not like any claim causes an automatic 10% increase in your rates. It really depends on the type of claim it is, how big a claim it was, and whether or not you file claims frequently. For example,  if you’re filing your first claim and it’s from a weather-related loss that you had no control over, you might not see an increase. But if you’re filing two or three claims in a short time, you might have a bit more trouble.

What kind of home insurance claims will make your rates go up?

Liability.

Usually, claims that are related to liability could cause your rates to rise. For example, if your dog bites someone, that would be a liability-related claim. (Dog bite claims can be very expensive, which is why some insurers have a “dangerous dog list” of breeds that they won’t insure.) Another example is slip-and-fall claims, meaning that someone fell on your property and got hurt because of a hazard. This kind of claim can cause your premiums to increase. It could also cause your coverage to get nonrenewed.

What’s a CLUE report and why does it matter to my rates?

But wait – how do insurance companies know what claims you’ve made and when?

Your CLUE report comes from the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is a database of home insurance-related information that insurance companies can access. A CLUE report is essentially a record of all the claims you’ve made – it gives your name, the address where the loss occurred, what the loss is, and the amount the insurance company paid out. Your CLUE report goes back about seven years, and if your insurance company looks at your report and decides you’ve had too many claims, they could decide not to renew your insurance or raise your rates.

There’s no hiding the fact that you’ve made claims. It’s right there in the CLUE.

How can you keep your home insurance rates from going up?

Now, it’s probably best not to have your home insurance rates rise at all. Though there’s no guarantee that your rates won’t ever go up when your renewal rolls around, there are a few things you can do to keep your rates down.

1. Try not to file minor claims.

Try to reserve your home insurance for major catastrophes that you can’t cover on your own. If there’s minor damage to your home from a storm or another loss, you might want to consider taking care of it on your own and paying out of pocket rather than filing a claim. Yes, your insurance is there to help you when you need it. But you might not want to use it for every minor thing – if you do, you risk making your rates go up.

2. Consider your deductible.

Your deductible is the amount of money that you agree to pay if you have a claim. You pay your deductible and your insurance covers the rest of the claim. You probably don’t want to file a claim that’s close in value to your deductible because you’ll still have to pay your deductible – insurance would only cover a small portion of the claim anyway, and then you’ve got that home insurance claim on your record.

For example:

Let’s say your deductible is $750. You have a home insurance claim for $1,100. Yes, you could file the claim and insurance would pay the $350 that’s left after you pay the deductible. But is it really worth filing that claim when you already have to pay $750 anyway? At that point, it might just be more prudent to take care of the entire claim on your own.

3. Check your CLUE report.

Your CLUE report, as we mentioned earlier, gives a history of your claims – and possibly even claims inquiries. If you’re concerned that your claims history isn’t looking too great, get a copy of your CLUE report and check for any mistakes that could be hurting your rates. If you find any, politely ask for them to be corrected.

4. Really think about filing that second claim.

You might want to give some real thought to filing that second claim if you’re worried that your coverage could be renewed or your rates could go up. Remember, filing too many claims could lead to that outcome. So, take out your calculator and think about your finances and if it’s worth filing a claim based on your deductible.

If you face a loss and there’s damage to your home, you’ll have to decide whether or not to file a home insurance claim. There are many reasons that your rates could go up at renewal time, and it is possible that your rates could go up if you have lots of claims or a really large claim. So, it’s important to really consider when filing a home insurance claim. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t use your insurance when you need it – that’s what it’s there for, after all.

Do you want to save money on home insurance in Atlanta? We can help. Our agents are experts at helping homeowners shop for their rates and get the coverage that they need at a great price. All you have to do to get Atlanta insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Source:

https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/can-one-home-insurance-claim-bump-your-annual-premium/

http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/19/real_estate/homeowners-insurance-claims/index.html

Does my roof affect my Atlanta home insurance rates?

Your roof can make a difference to your home insurance rates.

Your roof can make a difference to your home insurance rates.

As long as your roof isn’t leaking and turning your home into a swimming pool, you might not give too much thought to it. It protects you from those pop-up Atlanta summer storms, the cold in the winter, and the stifling Georgia summer heat. While the roof on your house may not always be at the forefront of your mind, your home insurance company definitely gives it a lot of thought. Why? We’ll explain. We’ll also explain how your roof affects your home insurance rates, discuss roof-related home insurance discounts, and talk about how you can insure your roof.

Question 1: Does my roof affect my home insurance rates?

Roofs do indeed have an effect on the cost of home insurance. Its material and age can impact your premium – it’s your house’s first line of defense during storms. It takes the brunt of the beating, and its job is to protect your home. The stronger it is, the better it can do that. And your insurance company probably has an interest in any factor that can protect your house and minimize damage to your house.

First, let’s talk about the roofing material. Roofs can be made of many different materials. Your roof could be made of asphalt shingles, or maybe it’s made of clay tile. Then there’s concrete tile, wood, slate, metal…There are a lot of possibilities. The point is that certain roofing materials hold up better against wind and hail damage (which insurance companies like.) Some materials are resistant to rotting or insect damage, and some are fire-resistant.

Okay, now on to your roof’s age, which can also affect your home insurance. Newer roofs have weathered fewer storms and sustained less damage than older ones. An older roof has most likely been worn down from the weather, and it may not protect your home as effectively as a newer one would. So, not that the insurance company means to insult your roof by calling it old, but they might be leery of providing coverage for houses with roofs over a certain age. Or they might ask you to get a roof inspection. Now, different roofing materials have different lifespans – some last longer than others. Asphalt shingle, for example, lasts about twenty years (and is the most common roofing material.)

The material your roof is made out of can make a difference to your home insurance rates.

Question 2: Can I get a home insurance discount because of my roof?

There are many potential home insurance discounts you could qualify for, and some of them are related to roofing. Of course, each of the Georgia insurance companies offers different discounts for different amounts, so you’d have to check with your specific company. However, the following are some possible discounts to look into…

New roof discount:

If you just got a brand-new roof, let your insurance company know. They might throw a discount your way because it’s going to protect your home from storm damage – and it’s still tough and able to hold up against the weather.

Pro tip: If you know you need a new roof, reach out to your insurance agent first to check if there are any requirements it has to meet to qualify you for a discount.

Impact-resistant or metal roof:

Certain materials are less likely to be damaged by wind or hail damage – they’re a little tougher. Because of the lower chance of damage, some insurance companies offer a discount for impact-resistant roofs.

Fire-resistant roof:

Insurance companies really don’t like fire. If you have a fire-resistant roof, your home could experience less damage if you ever have a fire. That’s why some insurance companies might offer a discount for it, although it’s a little less common than a discount for impact-resistant roofs. Still, it could be worth reaching out to your agent if your roof happens to have fire-resisting superpowers.

These are just a few roof-related discounts that could be available to you. Do some research on discounts offered by your insurance company to see what opportunities they have to save money on your Georgia home insurance rates.

Question 3: How can I insure my roof?

You have a couple of options here. You can insure it for its replacement cost value (RCV) or actual cash value (ACV.) What’s the difference? We’ll explain.

Actual cash value: With ACV coverage, your insurance company would subtract the cost of depreciation and your deductible from what they’ll pay to repair or replace your roof. Since a roof’s value depreciates over time, you could end up paying a large portion of the bill. But premiums for this type of coverage are often lower than replacement cost coverage.

Replacement cost value: With replacement cost value, your insurance company will cover the costs of repairing or replacing your roof, but they won’t subtract the cost of depreciation. Only your deductible will be subtracted from what the insurance company will pay.

So, that’s the deal with roofs and home insurance. The age and material of your roof matter to your insurance because roofs function a little like armor and protect the houses they’re attached to. Roofs are more than just glorified umbrellas.

Getting a new roof can help you get a home insurance discount.

Wondering how you can save money on your home insurance? Our team of insurance agents can help you shop your rates and save. Getting multiple quotes will allow you to compare coverages and pricing. And all you have to do to get in touch with us is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

Source:

https://www.schulteroofing.com/latest-news/top-5-insurance-discounts-roofing

How is an Atlanta homeowners insurance premium calculated?

Your home insurance premium is determined by many factors.

Your home insurance premium is determined by many factors.

Along with being a homeowner comes the need to get home insurance. Whether you’re in the process of buying your first home or you’re just switching insurance companies, you might be wondering what affects home insurance rates. Maybe you have a general idea of the average cost of home insurance in Georgia, but how do insurance companies come up with your premium? They don’t just pull a number out of thin air (though it may feel that way sometimes.) We’ll explain how home insurance premiums are calculated by giving a run-down of the factors that affect your rates.

1. Your home’s replacement cost influences your premium.

If your home was completely destroyed by a fire, you would need enough insurance to be able to rebuild it. That means insuring your home for its replacement cost, which takes the expenses of the building materials and the contractors’ labor into account. The replacement cost is different than the market value of your home and the amount left on your mortgage.

2. Your claims history.

The more claims you’ve filed, the higher a risk you are to insure. Insurance companies tend to avoid risk where possible, so you’ll probably pay more in premium if you’ve had a few claims in the past few years.

3. Your credit score.

The main reason why your credit score impacts your home insurance premium is that it’s an indicator of risk. A high credit score shows that you’re a low risk while a poor credit score makes you a higher risk. Basically, that means the better your credit score, the better your home insurance premium.

4. The age of your home.

Newer, younger homes tend to have lower premiums because they’re made of updated materials and have safer wiring. Older homes may have unsafe electrical wiring that could cause a fire, and they may be made out of materials that aren’t easy to upgrade or replace.

5. Whether you have a pool or trampoline.

Pools and trampolines are called attractive nuisances because they’re irresistible and dangerous. Someone could get hurt while swimming in your pool or bouncing on your trampoline, which opens you up to more risk. So that means you could end up having higher premiums.

6. How close you are to a fire department.

If you’re close to a reliable fire department, they’ll be able to respond fast to a fire at your home. You may end up facing less damage to your home, and that means that you could get lower home insurance premiums.

7. If you have jewelry that requires extra insurance.

If you own expensive jewelry, artwork, or collectibles, you may not have enough coverage included in your policy to fully cover them. So, you’ll need to figure out how best to insure your jewelry, and that could mean adding a rider or endorsement (basically extra coverage) to your policy.

8. If you have a dog.

Yes, it’s true – your dog can affect your home insurance rates in a pretty big way. Insurance companies usually have a “dangerous dog list” that consists of breeds that are known for their aggression. The list includes breeds like pit bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and even huskies. Dog bites are a major cause of liability-related home insurance claims, so if your dog has bitten someone or you have a high-risk breed you may face significantly higher premiums.

Yes, we know Fluffy is completely harmless. It’s just that the insurance company isn’t convinced.

9. How long you’ve been with your current insurance company.

Insurance companies really value loyalty. You may receive some sort of discount if you’ve been with them for years and years.

10. Discounts.

If you qualify for discounts on your home insurance, you could be looking at getting some pretty nifty savings on your premiums. For example, having a home security system could qualify you for a homeowners insurance discount, as could bundling your home insurance and your auto insurance. And you could get a discount if you go for a certain amount of time without having a claim.

At any rate, check and see what discounts could be available to you. They play a significant role in how much home insurance costs.

These are some of the most common factors used to determine home insurance premiums. Risks are a major part of calculating home insurance premiums; the lower a risk you are, the better your insurance rates could be.

If you think you’re paying too much for home insurance, we can help. Our agents are experts at saving people money on their insurance by helping them shop around for the best coverage at the best price. 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.

How to choose a homeowners insurance deductible in Atlanta

It can be hard to know how to choose a home insurance deductible.

It can be hard to know how to set your home insurance deductible.If you’re a homeowner, you know the drill with getting home insurance. You’ve done the whole “insurance shopping” thing and done your research about the best Georgia home insurance companies. You had to choose a deductible, and maybe you looked at all the different options, shrugged, and picked one. But maybe now you’re wondering how your deductible affects your home insurance rates, or maybe you’re considering raising it to save money on home insurance. At any rate, you’re wondering how to choose a home insurance deductible – and, perhaps, what a deductible is. Well, sit tight – we’ll answer both of those questions!

Your home insurance deductible explained.

To explain briefly, your deductible is the amount you agree to pay if you have a claim before the insurance company will step in to cover the claim. Basically, it’s your portion of the loss (you have your piece, the insurance company has the rest.)

For example, let’s say you have a house fire. You end up with $18,000 worth of damage to your home. If your deductible is $1,500, you’d pay $1,500 and your insurance company would pay the leftover $16,500. Essentially, you’d file a claim for $18,000 and receive $16,500 from insurance.

How does your deductible affect your home insurance rates?

That’s the question. See, the thing is that your deductible influences your home insurance premium (the amount you pay for insurance.) The higher you set your deductible, the lower your premium. That’s because you’re accepting more risk, and at the same time you’ll be less likely to file a small claim – it’s not worthwhile to file a $1,800 claim if your deductible is $1,500. You would only get $300 back, and filing too many minor claims can lead to your coverage being nonrenewed. If you have a lower deductible, you’ll most likely have higher premiums to compensate.

So. It’s more than just a number to pick out of thin air.

Pro tip: When you’re shopping, ask if you can compare deductibles to see how changing it would affect your premium. That will give you an idea of exactly how much you can save if you can comfortably afford a higher deductible.

What is a typical deductible?

Deductibles can range from $500 to a few thousand. You can choose the amount that’s right for you – and we’ll explain how to do so.

How to choose a home insurance deductible

There are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • How much cash or savings do you have set aside for emergencies?
  • How financially secure are you?
  • Would you rather pay more if you have a claim and have a lower premium, or pay more in premium and have insurance cover more of a claim?

It’s kind of like giving yourself an insurance-related interview. You have to consider how much money you can comfortably afford to pay if you have a home insurance claim. Sure, you may want to save some money on your home insurance, but you don’t want to be staring forlornly at an empty piggy bank, turning out your pockets and scouring the couches for change if you have a claim. The idea is to not go broke if you have a claim.

Pro tip: Set aside an emergency fund that can cover your deductible in case you have a claim.

So, you have some choice when it comes to choosing your deductible. You get to set it, but take care not to select an amount that’s more than you can afford to pay if you have a claim. Yes, it’s highly tempting to shave some money off of your home insurance bill, but you need to find the balance that works for you.

If you’re looking to save money on your Atlanta home insurance, we can help you. We can get home insurance quotes from some of the top carriers in the nation, and we would love to team up with you to help you save money on your rates. All you have to do is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

How to get homeowners insurance with poor credit in Atlanta

Getting home insurance with poor credit can be difficult.

Getting home insurance with poor credit can be difficult.

You may have heard that your credit score has an effect on your home insurance rates. Maybe your score isn’t at its best and you’ve noticed a significant hike in your rates. Maybe you’re having a hard time finding homeowners insurance and you fear that your looming, dread-inducing bad credit is the culprit. The realization that this could be hurting your home insurance might make you feel a bit blindsided. You may be silently (or not silently) fuming at the injustice of it all. But fortunately, we have some tips on how to get home insurance with bad credit.

Why does your credit score affect your home insurance rates?

Some insurance companies calculate what’s called an “insurance score” using your credit information. Your insurance score can depend on your outstanding debt and how you’re paying it off, how much credit history you have, if you’ve been on time with paying your bills, and the number of accounts and applications you have.

If you have a good score, you may be able to save money on your home insurance. That’s because insurance companies use these scores to indicate how likely you are to file a claim. The better the score, the lower the risk you’ll file a claim. If you have a poor insurance score, the insurance company may see you as a higher risk. As we said, that could lead to higher insurance rates or difficulties in getting insurance at all.

Now, not all insurance companies calculate an insurance score, but some of them do. It’s one of those things that insurance companies use to evaluate risk.

How to get home insurance with bad credit.

Unfortunately, there is no magic cure that will solve the homeowners insurance and bad credit debacle. However, there are some things that you can do to help get you on your way to getting home insurance at a reasonable rate. Here are our tips:

1. Check your credit report for errors.

This is one way you can improve your score – taking a look at your credit report, finding errors, and having them corrected. Remember, you can request one free report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experion) once a year. Put on your detective hat, comb through your report thoroughly, and see if you can spot any mistakes or oddities. If you do find a mistake or error, don’t be shy about asking to have it fixed.

Pro tip: You may want to check your credit report before applying for home insurance in the first place.

2. Improve your credit score.

Taking steps to improve your score can help you get the home insurance you need. It could also help you get lower home insurance rates – your home insurance premiums could go up the worse your credit score is. Some things you can do to bolster your score are…

  • Pay off your debt. Try to get rid of the debt on your cards.
  • Pay your bills on time. Late payments do not a happy credit score make. Use calendars, phone alerts, or whatever it takes to make sure that you keep up with all of your payments.
  • Set up your payments so that they’re automatic. Find out if there’s a way to set up automatic payments so that your bills are always paid on time.
  • Don’t use your cards so much. Try not to charge so many purchases to your cards.

3. Shop around for home insurance.

Every home insurance company is different, and they’re all comfortable with different levels of risk. They evaluate risk and applications with their own criteria. So, if you don’t find home insurance with the first or second company you try, don’t lose hope. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, right? One insurance company is not the same as the next, and it may pay off to keep on looking at different Georgia home insurance companies.

(And remember, Atlanta Insurance can help you shop around for your insurance and help guide you through the process of getting home insurance. You don’t have to be in this alone. We’d love to help.)

So, as you can see, your insurance score can play a huge part in determining your home insurance rates and eligibility. If you’re having trouble getting home insurance and you suspect bad credit could be to blame, check your credit report for errors, take steps to bolster your score, and shop around for home insurance. Don’t despair – not all is lost.

We can help you shop for your home insurance. We can get multiple quotes for home insurance and find the coverage that suits your needs and your budget. All you have to do to get in touch with our team of insurance experts is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/your-money/poor-credit-history-can-affect-homeowners-insurance-rates.html

Why a security system can help you save on your Atlanta home insurance premiums

A home security system can help you save on your home insurance.

A home security system can help you save on your home insurance.

If you’ve ever gotten a quote for your home insurance, you’ve probably been asked the question, “Do you have a monitored burglar alarm?” At the time, you might have wondered why that’s any of the agent’s business. Why should they care if you do or don’t have a security system in your home? Well, it all comes back to risk. The thing is, having a home security system lowers your risk of burglary, and a lower risk means that you have a reduced chance of having a loss that the insurance company would then have to cover.

Okay, having a security system isn’t a guarantee that your home won’t be broken into. There’s a chance that you could still face a burglary by an intrepid and fearless thief who just has to have your 60” flat screen (which is why you should take steps to prevent a burglary.) Insurance companies know that. But the logic is that with a home security system, the burglar will be scared off more quickly and will take less property from your home if the alarm goes off. Plus, the police are alerted that much quicker, giving them a better chance of catching the thief.

So, insurance companies like monitored burglar alarms. They like them so much that they just might give you a discount on your home insurance if you have one. If your agent hasn’t ever asked if you have a security system or you have one installed to protect your family, give them a shout and let them know. It never hurts to ask if there’s any kind of discount on your premiums because of your snazzy security system!

Et voila – your security system gains an added bonus. It protects your family, helps you feel more secure, and saves you money! It’s a win-win-win.

Pro tip: While you’re thinking about your security system, you should also consider taking a home inventory. This can help you with filing a home insurance claim if you do ever have a burglary or fire.

Now, if you’re thinking that getting a security system sounds like a great plan, we’ve got some tips to help you pick one that will suit your needs.

It's important to choose a reputable home security system company.

1. Choose a company that has a strong reputation of quality products and trustworthy service.

2. Find out if their products are listed with Underwriter’s Laboratories, a consumer testing service, and check out their Better Business Bureau rating.

3. Ask to see references and contact them about their experience with the company.

4. Make sure that you have a good monitoring service for your system.

5. Check and see if the monitoring service has backup plans if the power lines go down. Do they have a cellular or radio way to monitor your home if you lose power?

6. Find out how the monitoring service tests their system, how often they run tests, and how they handle problems if they find them.

7. See if they offer annual maintenance as part of their cost.

8. Ask if there’s a way to turn your security system turned into a fire alarm system. This will help the fire department respond faster if a fire starts when you’re not home. Extra protection for your home!

A home security system can also be turned into a fire alarm system.

A home security system can grant you peace of mind. It can help you protect your family and your home, making you feel more secure and safe. Those are some pretty big benefits right there. But that’s not where the perks stop. You might qualify for a discount on your homeowners insurance if you have a monitored security system. You can also consider turning your system into a fire alarm that will alert the fire department. So, even though it might seem expensive to have that security system installed, there are plenty of reasons to do so. And one final thought – don’t forget to make sure that you have enough home insurance for your house.

If you would like to get a free quote for your home insurance, we can help you out with that! All you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today and we would be more than happy to get you a free quote – taking your home security system into account.

Why some dog breeds are blacklisted by home insurance companies

Having a breed of dog that's considered dangerous can affect your home insurance.

You might have heard that insurance companies will deny coverage for homeowners who have “dangerous” dogs – dog breeds that are on the insurance doggie blacklist. That can leave people in the dilemma of choosing their pet or their home insurance, which is a position that no one wants to be in. Your four-legged pal is a member of your family! We’ll tell you what you need to know about why insurance and dogs don’t always get along and what it means for you.

What breeds are considered “dangerous”?

Insurance companies usually come up with their own lists of breeds that they consider to be dangerous. That could be based on their past dealings with claims or with popular perceptions of breeds. You’ll have to check with your insurance company to see which specific breeds they classify as dangerous, but the most common ones are…

  • Pitbulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Dobermans
  • Huskies (Alaskan malamutes and Siberian huskies)
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Chow Chows
  • St. Bernards
  • Great Danes
  • Akitas
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Boxers
  • Perro de Presa Canarios

Pitbulls are often included on dangerous dog lists.

The top four on the list are the most commonly denied, but it’s not just the insurance companies that have deemed some dogs dangerous. Certain communities won’t allow dangerous breeds. Keep in mind that if your dog has bitten someone, it will most likely be considered dangerous regardless of its breed.

Why do the insurance companies not like dogs?

It’s not that insurance companies don’t like dogs, and you may never have had any problems with your pet. It’s not personal against your four-legged friend, or against you. It’s the fact that dogs with tendencies of aggressive behavior are a major risk – they could bite and seriously hurt someone. According to the CDC, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year. Many of those bites require medical attention. Bites could mean lawsuits, which insurance companies don’t love.

What happens if I have a dog on the dangerous dog list?

If you have a dangerous dog, you might have a hard time finding home insurance, and if you do it might be more expensive than if you didn’t have the dog. You also may have to consider additional liability insurance.

Of course, it all depends on your insurance company. If you’re shopping around for insurance, be sure to ask about your dog and what that means for your home insurance. Keep in mind that if you don’t tell the insurance company about your pet when you’re applying for insurance or if you get a canine friend without informing your current insurance company, they could deny future claims.

Your insurance company will likely have its own dangerous dog list.

What if I really want to get one of the “dangerous” breeds?

You might be a dog lover and experienced trainer who can handle one of the above breeds. You need to do your research by calling your insurance company and telling them what kind of canine you’re planning on bringing into your home. You need to ask about any consequences of adopting your new best friend. If they say that they won’t cover you anymore if you get the dog, you’ll need to research how expensive it will be to insure your home and canine elsewhere. The cost may be significantly higher.

Reduce your risk by being a responsible dog owner.

Regardless of your pet’s breed, it’s important to be a responsible doggie parent. You need to reduce the risk of aggressive behavior, even if your buddy has never been mean in his or her life. There are a few things you can do to lower your risk.

1. Use a leash and have tags on the collar.

When you’re walking your dog, use a leash that’s strong enough for your dog. Make sure that you’re always focused on your pup and their behavior. Also, put tags on the dog’s collar – you can even consider microchipping them.

2. Have a fence for your yard.

The fence has to be tall enough to keep your dog in. It should be six to eight feet depending on how big your pooch is. Make sure that the fence is in good repair and that there aren’t any ways for your dog to stage a great escape – i.e. holes in the fence or ways they can burrow under. Just be sure that you choose a reputable fencing company to install or repair your fence.

3. Socialize puppies properly.

Make sure that your puppy gets familiar with both people and other dogs. Take them to puppy obedience school to ensure that they’re trained properly – the point of the classes is to train the owner, too!

4. Spay or neuter your dog.

Getting your pet fixed can curb their territorial and aggressive instincts. Plus, it’s just being responsible.

5. Train your dog not to nip, bite, or chew on hands or furniture.

If your dog starts growling or chewing, distract them by clapping your hands. Present them with a toy that’s appropriate for them to play with and chew on. You need to redirect their attention. Praise your dog’s good behavior and don’t reward bad behavior.

6. Give your dog lots of positive attention

Show your canine friend love and kindness while also being a leader for them.

7. Contact your vet if your dog seems off.

If your dog seems anti-social or unusually aggressive, talk to your vet. They can refer you to behavior specialists that can help you work through the problem. Take extra care when taking your dog out.

Being a responsible pet owner is crucial.

If you have a “dangerous” dog breed, you might have a harder time finding insurance. You might face higher premiums. It’s not that insurance companies have anything against dogs or pets. It’s just that they see certain breeds as coming with more risk than others. That’s why the “dangerous dog” list exists.

Need a quote for your home insurance or renters insurance? We’d love to help you out with that. All you have to do to get your free quote is fill out our quote form or give us a call today. We’d be happy to help you with any of your insurance needs and answer any questions you might have. 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cateyhill/2012/05/30/11-riskiest-dog-breeds-for-homeowners-and-renters/#104c7ad36d9a

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/index.html 

Can a drop in your credit score hurt your home insurance rates?

Your credit score has an effect on your home insurance rates.

Your credit score has an effect on your home insurance rates.

Everyone knows that filing claims can cause your homeowner rates to go up. But the latest news shows that your bill paying habits (and your credit score) could work against you too.

You probably know that your credit score can affect your mortgage rates, right? The better your credit score, the better the mortgage rate that you can qualify for. But what about your home insurance rates? You might want to hold onto your hat.

The latest reports show that paying your credit card bills late can hurt you when it’s time to renew that home insurance policy next year. While you might wonder what your credit score has to do with your insurance rates, underwriters tend to think it’s pretty important. In fact, the industry will often use a credit-based score to calculate your rates. That means that you level of debt and your late payment history count. Bottom line: paying those credit cards late will hurt you insurance-wise.

How much are late credit card payments costing you?

Are you the type of person that pays your bills on time? Well, that’s good! You’ll be rewarded. But if you struggle to pay your credit cards on time, that’ll be reflected in the rates that you pay annually.

Let’s find out what kind of an effect a drop in your credit score can have on your insurance rates. The latest study from Insurancequotes.com tells us that a drop from an “Excellent” to a “Fair” credit score can cause a 36% increase in your premiums. Yikes! And that’s just the “Fair” rating. What about a “Poor” credit score? Prepare for an average increase of 114% on your premiums. That’s more than twice what people with excellent credit will pay.

Now here’s the scary part. Every insurance company is different and every state is different. Some poor folks wish they were only paying 114% more! Depending on your state, you might be paying a stiffer penalty for your low credit rating.

What about here in Atlanta? Drum roll, please…

The same study from Insurancequotes.com shows us that overall, as far as premiums go, Georgia ranks 22nd out of the 50 states. But Georgia currently has 132% higher rates for people with poor credit than for people with excellent credit. So, for example, a person with excellent credit might have a $1,000.00 homeowner’s premium in Atlanta. His neighbor with poor credit would pay a $2,320 premium for the same house next door.

Improving your credit score can help lower your home insurance premiums.

Wait a second, that doesn’t seem fair!

Well, it might seem that way. Insurance companies and lenders make their decisions based on statistics. Since they’re the ones taking the credit risk, they get to make the rules. They point to the fact that the statistics don’t lie. It seems that a homeowner’s credit history helps to predict the likelihood of filing a claim. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something to help yourself.

 

How to get lower home insurance quotes.

Remember, every insurance carrier is different. That means you need to shop around! We encourage you to reach out to an independent agency like Atlanta Insurance to get a few quotes to choose from. Why do we suggest an independent agency? Certain agencies are “captive” agencies. In other words, they only work for one insurance company. On the other hand, an independent agency, like Atlanta Insurance, can provide free quotes from many of the top carriers in the nation. This means you have more quotes to choose from.

So, if your homeowners rates have gone up, it means it’s time to shop. Every dollar you save is a dollar earned that can go towards taking care of your family.

How to clean up your credit score and save some money.

If you want to raise your credit score, there are quite a few things that you can do. Doing this proactively will help you next year when it’s time to renew. Here are a few suggestions to protect your credit beginning now:

1. Set a budget.

A budget is a “four-letter word” for many people, yet setting a budget is the key to taking control of your finances and your credit ratings. Some people use the old-fashioned envelope technique. This means setting up an envelope for each of your monthly expenses. Then you pay the envelopes weekly as you get your paycheck. At the end of the month, each envelope will ideally have the money to pay the bill. This means we need to get tough with ourselves.

2. Make your lunch at home.

It’s amazing how many people buy breakfast, lunch, and coffee every day at work. This could easily add to $500 a month on your credit cards. That’s money that could go towards paying the credit card bills. It may not be glamorous, but eat breakfast at home. Make your coffee at home and put it in a thermos to drink with your brown bag lunch. Remember, saving $500 a month is equivalent to saving $6,000 a year. Now that is glamorous!

3. Pay your bills on time.

This requires self-discipline. If you can, use the auto-pay feature so that you pay on time every month. If you can’t, use “auto debit” then set an alarm on your phone to remind you every month when the bills are due.

4. Stop using credit cards.

Just because you have them doesn’t mean that you have to use them. Pay them off one at a time and stick them in a drawer. If you must use them, set a few family rules. For example, in my home, we don’t put anything on the card unless we can pay it off in full by the end of the month. If you have to carry a balance, keep it minimal.

Paying credit card bills late can hurt your credit score.

5. Consumer credit counseling.

Talk to a credit specialist to set up a plan that will help you to raise your credit score. There’s no shame in asking for some help to figure out your finances.

Some final encouragement.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy at first. So stay focused on the prize. Raising your credit score could cut your home insurance rates up to 50%. It will also allow you to get lower interest rates on your credit cards and for any future mortgages. This will save you many thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Hang in there, Atlanta. Set a budget. Reach out to a consumer credit counselor. Then contact your local Atlanta Insurance agent to get you affordable home insurance quotes to choose from.

If you’d like to get a free quote for your home insurance, let us know! Fill out our quote form or give us a call and we’d be happy to help you build an insurance plan that’s specifically designed for your family.