Swimming safety tips for fun in the Atlanta sun this summer

Making sure that kids have the proper supervision is essential to swimming safety.

Making sure that kids have the proper supervision is essential to swimming safety.Swimming is high up on the list of fun things to do during the summer. It’s a great way to cool off and stay refreshed throughout the dog days of the summer months when the Atlanta humidity and high temperatures make it very unpleasant to be outside. Although swimming is tons of fun, it also comes with lots of risks. Whether you’ve got your own pool or you take your kids to the neighborhood pool, it’s important to teach your kids swimming safety and to keep an eye on them. We’ll go over some pool safety tips to help you keep your young charges from getting hurt when they’re swimming.

Check out these swimming safety tips:

1. Have your kids take age-appropriate swim lessons.

Sign your children up for swimming lessons taught by a qualified teacher. If your kids are comfortable in the water, they can become strong swimmers. Plus, you’ll give yourself some peace of mind, too, knowing that your kids know how to swim and that they’ve had plenty of practice.

2. Never leave a child unsupervised around water.

This is a swimming safety essential.

Children should never be unsupervised around water. Make sure that you or a trusted grown-up is keeping an eye on the kids at all times. If you’re responsible for supervising, avoid any distractions and keep your attention on the kids. Stay alert for any signs of trouble. Small children should be kept within arm’s reach.

To help you keep track of the kids, teach them to ask permission to go in the water. They should know that they have to ask you before they get in the pool so that you’re aware. They need to know that they can’t swim unless you say it’s okay.

3. Lay down some ground rules.

If you’re planning a day at the pool, lay down some ground rules ahead of time. The pool itself probably has some posted rules, which your kids need to follow, but you might want to take some time to go over them and set some rules of your own. For example…

  • No playing around the filters, grates, or drains.
  • No running.
  • No breath-holding contests.
  • No diving in shallow water.
  • Ask permission before getting in the water.
  • No roughhousing.

4. Use the buddy system.

Nobody should swim alone. Teach kids to swim together and have a swim buddy. Although children need to be supervised by adults, not other children, you can still establish a buddy system and ask them to look out for each other.

5. Make sure there’s a certified lifeguard.

Swim only where there is a qualified lifeguard. Lifeguards are great. They know a lot of stuff that could come in handy if there’s an emergency.

6. Check that life jackets are US-Coast Guard approved.

If you have young kids who need to wear life jackets or other swim safety accessories, check that the life jackets are US-Coast Guard approved. And remember, don’t rely on only the life jacket – you still have to keep swimming safety in mind. Kids still need appropriate supervision and shouldn’t go in water that’s too deep for them.

7. If a child is missing, check the water first.

Should a child go missing, check the water first. Don’t waste any time. In drowning situations, every bit of time counts.

8. Keep an eye on the weather.

As you can imagine, thunder and lightning and swimming pools don’t mix well. If you hear thunder or see lightning, everyone needs to get out of the water for thirty minutes. If there’s another flash of lightning or another boom of thunder, start the thirty minutes over again. This is a severe thunderstorm safety must.

(Oh, and speaking of weather – well, sunshine – don’t forget to wear sunscreen and protect your family from the sun.)

Safety tips for your home swimming pool…

If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, it’s your responsibility to make it as safe as possible. Keep the following tips in mind.

1. Keep the pool secure.

Make sure that you prevent people (and children) from getting to your pool without your permission. Swimmers should never be unsupervised, so you need to make sure that no one swims without your knowledge.

To lock up your pool…

  • Have a fence around the entire pool area.
  • Have gates that are self-closing and self-locking.
  • Make sure any latches or locks are well out of the reach of kids.
  • Clear away the area around the fence so there’s nothing anyone could use as stairs to climb over it.
  • If you have an above-ground pool, be sure to remove the ladder and cover the pool when it’s not being used.

2. Make sure that your fence is sturdy.

If your fence or gate is broken or has a hole in it, that doesn’t exactly make your pool very secure. You have to properly maintain your pool.

3. Learn first-aid and CPR.

To be responsible for the pool, it’s a good idea to get proper training. Consider getting lifeguard certified, first-aid certified, and CPR-certified. Be prepared for emergencies by getting the right training.

4. Clean the pool.

Pools can get icky and germy. Check out the following tips for keeping your pool clean.

  • Change the filters in the pool when needed.
  • Treat the pool with the proper chemicals and follow the instructions carefully. Store the chemicals properly.
  • Don’t allow anyone to drink the water.
  • Don’t allow pets in the water.
  • Don’t let people swim if they have wounds or if they’re sick.
  • Make sure all babies wear appropriate swim diapers.

5. Have swimming safety equipment in an easily-accessible place.

Keep life jackets and floatation devices near the pool. It’s also a good idea to have a phone by the pool so you can call 911 if there’s an injury or if there’s a drowning incident.

6. Get the right insurance coverage for your pool.

If you’ve got a pool, you need to have enough property and liability insurance to fully protect you from the risks that come along with it. You need to let your agent know if you’re thinking of having a pool installed. You may also want to think about getting personal umbrella insurance to add liability insurance to protect yourself from any potential lawsuits.

It's important to have swimming safety rules in place for your kids.

If you’re planning on swimming this summer, it’s important that you keep everyone safe. Pool safety is a must if you and your family are going to be around the water to beat the Atlanta heat. Minimize the chances of injury or drowning by employing the above swimming safety tips.

Are you looking for home insurance? Are you trying to save money on home insurance? We can help. Our team can shop for the best rate for the best coverage so that you know your home is protected from whatever life can throw at you. Get started with your home insurance quotes by filling out our form or giving us a call today.




What kinds of water damage are covered by Atlanta home insurance?

Certain types of water damage are not covered by home insurance.

Certain types of water damage are not covered by home insurance.

Okay, so you have a slight problem: your kitchen is underwater. As much as you enjoy swimming, you would rather not swim…inside your house. In the kitchen. There’s something not quite right about that. At any rate, the question you’ve got now is what types of water damage are covered by home insurance?

We’ll explain what types of water nightmares are and are not covered by home insurance.

Read moreWhat kinds of water damage are covered by Atlanta home insurance?

What do I do if my Atlanta homeowners insurance gets canceled?

If your home insurance is canceled, you can seek out new insurance.

If your home insurance is canceled, you can seek out new insurance.

You know how important it is to have home insurance to protect your investment in your house. But what if your insurance company cancels your policy? You might feel very vulnerable and stressed without your home insurance, but maybe you’re at a loss for what to do now. What’s your next step?

Well, it’s a bad-news, good-news situation.

The bad news is that it can be difficult to get new insurance after your policy is canceled or nonrenewed, depending on your company’s reason ending your policy.

The good news is that there are things you can do to find new insurance, and we’ll explain our tips. Not all hope is lost!

What to do if your home insurance is canceled.

1. Get a copy of your CLUE report.

The CLUE is the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. It’s a record or database of the claims history and coverage inquiries of homeowners. You have a CLUE report detailing your claims and losses, and insurers use it to find out how much of a risk you are (so it plays a part in your premium.) Your insurer may have decided that you present too much of a risk, leading to them canceling your policy.

As a place to start if your home insurance got canceled, you can request a copy of your CLUE report and give it a thorough read. You should make sure that all the claims and losses presented there are correct. If you notice any errors, you can have them fixed and explain what happened to your insurance company.

Now, you can get a free copy of your CLUE report if you’ve been canceled or nonrenewed for a reason other than the insurer leaving your area entirely. That’s just bad luck.

2. Apply to other insurance companies.

You can always shop around and look for new insurance. Insurance companies are all comfortable with insuring different amounts of risk, so you might find coverage that suits your needs elsewhere. There are a lot of home insurance companies in Georgia, after all.

It would be helpful to understand why your original company canceled your policy. Was it because of nonpayment? Having all the facts can help as you embark on your quest for new insurance – finding new homeowners insurance after being canceled can be difficult, but at least you’ll be prepared.

3. Go to the state for a FAIR plan.

Okay, what if applying to other companies doesn’t work? You’re pulling your hair out and at this point, you’re over it.

In that case, you can go to the Georgia Underwriting Association and ask about getting a FAIR plan. Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) insurers provide insurance to high-risk homeowners, so you might have more luck finding insurance there.

There are still conditions you may have to meet in order to get a FAIR plan. Most likely, you will have had to try to get insurance on the standard market. You may have to make improvements to your house, such as getting a new roof, to reduce your risk. (But if the improvement means you could get insurance on the standard market, you might want to go that route – you’ll probably get more competitive pricing and more coverage options.)

4. Go to the insurance commissioner and file a complaint.

Let’s say you feel that your original insurer’s reason for canceling or nonrenewing you wasn’t right or fair. You can file a complaint with the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. They can investigate the situation and help you with how to proceed.

5. Go to the insurance company.

You can also present your case to the insurance company directly and see what happens. You will need to present a strong argument against having your insurance canceled. Explain any changes in your lifestyle or any events that have made your risk go down.

You’ll also want to provide possible solutions that you can implement to be less of a risk to the insurer – for example, taking a higher deductible to accept more responsibility. Or maybe there’s a way to exclude a particular type of loss if you’re continually having problems with a specific type of loss. Then you’re taking the risk for that loss, not the insurance company. And they might be good with that. Getting basic insurance that excludes your “problem loss” might be a better option than getting high-risk insurance or having no insurance at all.

If your home insurance gets canceled, your initial reaction might be to get stressed out. But don’t worry – there are things you can do to get new insurance so that your home is protected. You can shop with other carriers. You can seek out a FAIR plan. You can go to the Insurance Commissioner’s Office to ask if they have any recommendations.

In other words, don’t panic. We can also help you as you try to shop for new insurance. Our agents are experts at helping people find the insurance they need that fits within their budgets. All you have to do to get home insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call.





Is termite damage covered by homeowners insurance?

Unfortunately, termite damage is most likely not covered by home insurance.

Most people aren’t too fond of bugs. And Atlanta has plenty of them. As far as your home goes, one of the more destructive bugs out there is the termite. Termites can wreak havoc on your house. Yikes. So, what if termites take up residence in your home? Does home insurance cover termite damage?

We’ll answer this question, explain how to prevent a buggy nightmare, and tell you some signs of termite infestation below.

Does home insurance cover termite damage?

Unfortunately, the answer to that is most likely no, homeowners insurance will not cover termite damage.

There’s a reason:

Home insurance is intended to protect your home from sudden and accidental loss – for example, a fire. It’s not meant to cover maintenance issues or “preventable” gradual losses…and unfortunately, termite damage fits the bill of “not covered.”

Something to know about termites:

It’s important to spot the signs and protect your home before the damage gets too bad. You need to be on the alert. Termite damage can be severe and can even cause structural damage to your home.

And that leads us to our next topic of joyous, bug-related discussion.

How can I prevent termite damage to my home?

It’s important to be on the alert for termite damage and catch it early on.

Termites actually swarm – meaning, fly from their former colony to descend on a new place. The swarmers strike in summer typically, so you should pay attention to any signs of termites in your area. So, if you see creepy-crawlies coming out of wood or soil, be on the alert. You also might notice wings from termites around windowsills and doors.

Anyways, keep your eyes out for wood that looks blistered, wood that soft when you touch it, or wood that sounds curiously hollow when tapped.

Now, we say all that not to gross you out – yes, termites can fly – but to explain that now is the time to fortify your home.

Here’s how to do that:

1. Take away the termites’ food and water.

Make sure your home isn’t a termite buffet by…

  • Placing firewood at least 20 feet from your home
  • Leaving a 6-inch gap between mulch or soil and wooden pieces of the house (mulch attracts them because it retains moisture.)
  • Making sure wooden siding is 6 inches above ground.
  • Angling sprinklers away from the foundation

2. Don’t bring home wood.

Don’t bring wood or lumber to your home unless it’s been specially treated to deter termites.

3. Take care of moisture problems.

It’s important to take care of moisture problems around the house – particularly in the attic or basement crawlspace. Repair any leaks from air conditioning pipes, gutters, or plumbing.

4. Fix any possible “doors.”

You’ve got to fill in or fix any cracks in your home’s foundation to prevent any unwanted guests from moving in.

5. Prevent moisture from accumulating along your home’s foundation.

Termites love moisture. Make sure the ground or landscaping slopes away from your house, your sprinklers point away from the house and your downspouts are arranged properly. Fix any leaks that could be causing a buildup of moisture.

The signs of termite damage

It’s important to recognize termite damage so that you can call in professional pest control folks early on. The sooner you catch the infestation, the better.

Here are some warning signs:

  • Wood that looks blistered
  • Wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it
  • Wood that feels soft
  • Decimated wood
  • Termite droppings
  • Wings that look like scales
  • Mud tubes along the side of the house
  • Airborne termites

It’s generally a good idea to have a termite inspection once a year. That way you can catch a termite disaster before it gets out of control.

So that’s the scoop about termites. Unfortunately, termite damage is not typically covered by home insurance. However, there are steps you can take to prevent a termite infestation. Be sure to keep your home safe from this many-legged peril.

Looking to save money on home insurance? We would be happy to help with that. Our team of home insurance agents can help you shop so you get the best coverage at the best possible rate. To get in touch with our team, all you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call.




Here’s what you should know about bundling your Atlanta home and auto insurance

You could save money on your premium if you bundle your home and auto insurance.

You could save money on your premium if you bundle your home and auto insurance.

If you’ve got a home or a car, chances are you’ve heard about bundling your home insurance and auto insurance. Maybe you’ve even heard that bundling can help you save money on your insurance. But is that true? Should you bundle your home insurance and auto insurance? It almost sounds too good to be true. We’ll tell you what bundling is, the reasons for bundling, and some things you should check before you make your final decision.

Read moreHere’s what you should know about bundling your Atlanta home and auto insurance

What Atlanta home insurance discounts am I eligible for?

Home insurance discounts are an easy way to save money on your premium.

There’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with owning a home. You have to maintain it. You have to cut the grass so that HOA won’t send snide letters. You have to manage the bills. And you have to get home insurance. But that sounds expensive…so you’re probably trying to find out how to save money on home insurance. Well, have we got some good news for you – discounts are an easy way to save on your premiums.

And it just so happens that we’ve got a list of 15 common home insurance discounts that you could qualify for.

15 common home insurance discounts

Before we start, we have an important note:

Each home insurance company offers different discounts and different levels of savings. In order to find out how discounts could help you save, you need to find out what discounts your particular company offers.

That being said, below are 15 common home insurance discounts that you could qualify for.

1. Bundling.

Bundling is when you get multiple policies from the same company. If you get your home insurance and your auto insurance from the same carrier, you may be able to get a discount. In many cases, bundling is less expensive than getting each policy separately.

Pro tip: Make sure you get the coverages and limits you need on both your home and auto insurance.

2. Home security system.

There are many reasons why a home security system can help you qualify for a discount. Many carriers offer a discount if you have a monitored burglar alarm because alarm systems serve as deterrents for burglary and help the police respond more quickly to a break-in.

3. Claims-free.

Some insurance companies will give you savings if you’ve gone a long time without a claim. Check and see if your carrier will lower your premiums for being claims-free and how many years you have to go without a claim.

4. Roof.

There are a few potential discounts that depend on your roof. You could get a discount if you have a new roof or if you have an impact-resistant roof. Be sure to let your agent know if you get a new roof or if your roof is resistant to hail damage.

5. Loyalty.

Some insurance companies will offer a discount to customers that have insured their homes with them for many years.

6. New home.

If you purchase a home and thus become a new customer to the insurance company, you could qualify for a “new customer” discount. Normally you must have purchased the house within the past 12 months to be eligible.

Different home insurance companies offer different discounts.

7. Home improvements.

Home improvements that make your home safer or stronger might help you get a discount. For example, new wiring, new plumbing, a new air-conditioning unit, or a new roof could qualify you.

8. Home fire safety.

You could get a discount if you have home fire safety measures at your home, such as a monitored fire alarm system. The faster the fire department can respond to the fire, the less damage your home will sustain. And thus the discount.

9. Non-smoker.

Fire is definitely not something insurance companies like. Many house fires are started by smoking or smoking materials, so some insurance companies offer a non-smoker discount. (Just keep in mind that the percentage of savings will vary from company to company.)

10. Gated community.

If you’re in a gated community, there’s less risk of burglary. You’ve got some extra security. And since your home is more protected against theft, you might get a discount from your carrier.

11. Mature homeowner.

Those who are retired tend to be home during the day more often than someone who works. Most burglaries occur during daylight hours – contrary to popular belief that nighttime is a burglar’s prime time – for that very reason. But if you’re home during the day, your presence might deter a thief (most thieves look for the easiest target.) Plus, if you’re home you can head off a catastrophe like a burst pipe before it turns your kitchen into a swimming pool. You’ll also be able to raise the alarm if there’s a fire.

12. Homeowner’s association.

Your community’s HOA most likely has strict standards for home maintenance. Plus, many HOA communities have neighborhood watches that can deter crime.

13. Married/widowed.

Some carriers offer discounts for homeowners who are married or widowed. If that’s you, it could be worth looking into.

14. Water/Natural gas leak sensor.

Some homes are high-tech and have sensors that will alert you to a water leak – and the sooner you find out about a leak, the better. Some sensors even turn off the water if they detect a leak, reducing the potential damage even further. And some homes have detectors for natural gas leaks.

15. Paying in full.

Some home insurance companies offer a discount if you pay for the policy in one go rather than paying your bill monthly. The insurance company will be happy to have all their money.

If paying in full won’t work for you, that’s okay. You could also get a discount for setting up automatic payments.

So, those are some common home insurance discounts that you could be eligible for just by being you. Be sure to talk to your agent and ask them if there are any discounts you could be eligible for. And keep them informed of any significant changes to your home – for instance, getting a new roof or a home security system. And let them know about life changes, like getting married. Remember, they can’t give you a discount if they don’t know you qualify for it!

Looking to save money on home insurance? We would be happy to help. We can shop for the best coverage at the best rate so you get some peace of mind. All you have to do to get in touch with our team of insurance experts is fill out our online quote form or give us a call.

The anatomy of an Atlanta homeowners insurance policy

It's important to read through your home insurance policy thoroughly.

It's important to read your home insurance policy carefully.

As a homeowner, you want to protect your investment, and home insurance was designed to do just that. Your coverage protects you against the risks you face every day.

There’s just one problem:

Your policy looks like it belongs on a shelf next to the dictionary. It’s long. It’s boring. It’s wordy.

Despite all of this, it’s extremely important that you understand your home insurance policy. And that means reading your policy carefully. Thing is, your policy is an important legal document that defines the agreement between the insurance company and you (the insured.) There are a ton of important details about your coverage, your obligations, and exclusions packed into that paperweight. And those details could mean the difference between something being covered…and something not being covered.

At any rate, to help you understand how your policy is broken down, we’ve laid it out section by section below.

1. First of all, we present your Declarations Page:

The declarations page (a.k.a. the dec page) is the first portion of your policy. Its job is to give you an overview of what the policy is and what it covers. The dec page tells you:

  • Who’s being insured
  • What the policy protects you from
  • The property that’s insured
  • The dates that the policy is effective

Pro tip: Your auto policy also has a dec page that functions in much the same way.

2. Continuing on, behold: your Insuring Agreement.

Now we get into the good stuff.

The insuring agreement explains what the insurance company will do if you have a loss and end up filing a home insurance claim. This section will also lay out what’s covered by your policy. When you paid for your insurance and finalized everything, the insurer agreed to specific things – for example, paying for covered losses or providing legal defense for liability lawsuits.

You can have one of two different types of insuring agreements: named-perils and all-risk.

Named-perils coverage will only protect you from losses that are specifically written out in the policy.

All-risk coverage will protect you from all losses except for those that are excluded by the policy. (Many life insurance policies are written out like this.)

3. Well, there had to be a catch somewhere – here comes the exclusions section.

This is a really important part of your policy. Exclusions are losses that just aren’t covered by your insurance. What that means is if you ever experience one of these losses, your insurance company will not take care of the expenses.

You can see why you need to really understand this section – you don’t want to have a loss only to find out that it’s excluded. (Flooding is a common insurance exclusion – but there are many home insurance exclusions you should know about.)

But don’t worry: we’ll explain how you can add coverages to your policy in a second.

4. So, moving onto the conditions section.

Okay. This is another section that you need to pay attention to. The conditions section lays out situations in which the insurance company may not have to pay out a claim when you file one. The conditions mostly have to do with things that you as the homeowner have to do. The insurance company may not have to pay out a claim if the conditions of the policy have not been met.

For example, you might be required to file proof of loss with the insurance company within a certain amount of time. If you fail to do that, the insurance company may not accept the claim. To make sure that you’re meeting all the requirements of your home insurance policy, take some time to read through the conditions section. Ask any questions you have about them so that you understand your responsibilities as the homeowner.

5. Definitions, definitions, definitions.

This section could be on its own, but it could also be hiding in another section. This section exists to help you understand all the fancy words in your policy – how helpful! Insurance vocabulary isn’t always the most intuitive or the clearest, which is why your policy may have this handy-dandy section.

6. And for the grand finale, we have the endorsements and riders section.

An endorsement is basically an addition to your policy. It can add coverage, take away coverage, or change coverage. This is how you can add various coverages that are otherwise excluded. For example, if sewer backup is excluded, you can add an endorsement to make sure it’s covered. You can also add coverage for jewelry or other valuables here.

Something to keep in mind:

Every year when the insurance company renews your insurance, the coverage or language might be slightly different. So, be sure to review this section carefully to make sure you have all of the coverages you need.

Okay, that was a lot of information! The above is just a general outline of the sections included in your policy. Yes, there are many, many words included in your policy, and it’s not the most riveting read. But it’s still an important thing to do.

If you have to save money on your home insurance, we would be happy to help you with that. Our agents can help you shop for your insurance so that you can make sure you’re getting the best coverage at the best possible rate. All you have to do to get home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

10 pro tips for buying homeowners insurance in Atlanta, GA

We've got some tips for buying home insurance.

When buying home insurance, it's important to make sure you have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home.

Home insurance may not be your favorite thing to think about. We get it – home insurance can get complicated. Maybe you had a stressful experience in the past, or maybe you’re getting coverage for your first home and you’re a little overwhelmed. Or maybe you’re shopping for rates.

But don’t worry: we’ve got eight pro tips for buying home insurance coming your way.

1. Bundle your home and auto insurance.

Bundling is when you get multiple types of coverage from the same company. Some companies offer discounts for bundling your home insurance and auto insurance, so this could be an easy way to get some savings. Of course, it’s still a good idea to get multiple quotes for home and auto insurance and shop around to make sure you’re getting the best coverage at the best price.

2. Don’t sacrifice coverage for price.

It might seem like a great idea to jump at the lowest price you can find. But before you do, you need to take a good look at the various coverages and limits offered by each policy. One policy may be more expensive, but it might include more extensive coverage and protect you from more losses than another, less expensive one. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. And don’t sacrifice coverage for the sake of paying less – this is your home you’re insuring, remember.

3. Be aware of any exclusions.

Knowing exactly what your policy does and does not cover is important.

Here’s the thing:

Home insurance comes with certain exclusions (or losses that simply aren’t covered.) For example, flooding is a common home insurance exclusion. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with any exclusions and limits in your policy so you can add coverage as needed, such as extra coverage for jewelry or valuables. It’s always best to be prepared, right?

4. Insure your home for its replacement cost.

If your home was destroyed by a fire, you would want insurance to be able to rebuild it from the ground up, right? To make sure homeowners insurance will do that, you need to insure your house for its replacement cost, which takes the costs of building materials and the labor of the contractors into account.

When buying home insurance, it's important to make sure that you have enough coverage.

5. Insure your belongings for their replacement cost, not their actual cash value (ACV.)

Here’s the difference:

Replacement cost coverage allows you to replace your belongings at today’s prices.

Actual cash value only gives you the cost of your belongings at the time of the loss. Since depreciation is the fact of life, chances are that amount you get from insurance will be less than what you paid for your belongings…and probably not enough to replace them at today’s prices.

6. Don’t skip your home inventory.

A home inventory is basically a list of all your belongings and their value. Taking a home inventory helps you get an idea of how much coverage you need to for your personal property. It can also help you if you ever have to file a claim – you’d know exactly what you need to claim, and having an inventory (preferably with pictures) adds credibility.

7. Do some research on the company you’re considering.

This is the company you’re trusting to have your back if you have a claim. Be sure to check out their financial stability, customer service record, and claims-handling process and reputation. You want a company that’s going to be there for you, so do some research about Georgia home insurance companies.

8. Don’t forget to ask about discounts.

Discounts are a great way to save money. Basically, you get a reduced price for meeting certain qualifications. For instance, you could get a discount for having a monitored burglar alarm or for bundling your home and auto insurance. Now, different companies offer different discounts, so be sure to ask about potential savings when you’re shopping for insurance.

9. Ask family and friends.

Why not ask your family and friends for home insurance recommendations? It can be hard to know where to start with insuring your home, but you might get some leads by asking around. It never hurts to ask.

10. Shop around.

Shopping around for home insurance can help you save money on your rates and find out what options are out there. Every insurance carrier evaluates risk differently, so it can pay off to get multiple quotes. You don’t have to feel obligated to take the first option you find.

Our team would be happy to help you shop for your home insurance. Our goal is to make insurance easy and help homeowners save money. To get home insurance quotes, fill out our online form or give us a call today.



What you need to know about homeowners insurance if a tree falls

If a tree falls on your house, your home insurance will most likely cover you.

If a tree falls on your house, your home insurance will most likely cover you.

Atlanta is known for being a city with a lot of trees. The local flora is picturesque and pretty, but it does raise some questions about home insurance. First and foremost: does homeowners insurance cover fallen trees? Second: does homeowners insurance cover a tree falling on my neighbor’s house? Then that raises the question of what if a tree falls on my car, on my fence…You get the point. There are a lot of possibilities involving trees. Anyways, we’ll answer all of those tree-related questions. It’ll be tree-rific.

Does homeowners insurance cover fallen trees?

Most likely, yes. Indeed it does. If that oak tree in your yard blows over and crashes into your house, your home insurance would most likely cover the costs of repairs to your roof and house. And most home insurance policies include coverage for storms and lightning strikes, so you should be good to go. Of course, it’s always a good idea to read over your policy so you understand exactly what circumstances are covered. But ideally, all it would take is submitting a home insurance claim and you can get the damage patched up.

Does homeowners insurance cover damage to my neighbor’s house?

You go to answer the door. It’s your neighbor and they do not look happy. It only takes a quick glance down the street to find out why. Your beautiful oak tree has smashed into their roof. Uh oh.

So, what happens in this scenario? Would your home insurance cover it? The answer is no. It would actually be the neighbor’s home insurance that would cover the claim, so they would have to go through their home insurance company to get the tree situation taken care of. They probably won’t be too happy about having to pay their deductible, but that’s the way it works.

On the flip side, if your neighbor’s tree falls on your home, it’s your home insurance company that will cover the claim … and you would be the one on the hook for your deductible. Basically, the rule goes that if it’s your house, it’s your insurance.

Now. There’s something else you need to know about trees. Let’s say that your neighbor informed you about a diseased tree that they fear will fall. They nag you about it multiple times because they want you to take it down. But you put it off and never got around to it. The diseased tree falls onto the neighbor’s house, damaging their roof. If they can prove that you were aware that the tree was dangerous and did nothing about it, their insurance company can come after you to reimburse the neighbor for their deductible. Just a tidbit to be aware of, the moral of which is to have any diseased or hollow trees removed safely. And to have your yard and property checked for problem trees about once a year so you can get them taken care of.

What if a tree falls on my car?

If a tree squashes your car, your home insurance would not cover it. However, your auto insurance would – if you purchased comprehensive coverage (if you didn’t, you’re out of luck.) Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle against damage not caused by a car accident; it usually covers fire, theft, animal strikes, and yes – falling trees. You’d only have to pay for your deductible.

What if a tree falls through my fence?

A fence, while it might ward off trespassers and keep your dog in the yard, will not deter a falling tree. The good news is that you probably have “other structures” coverage in your home insurance, which covers things like detached garages, sheds, patios, driveways, and, yes – fences. You’ll have to check your policy to make sure that it does indeed offer these coverages and to check what the limit is for other structures.

So, there you have it: homeowners insurance will indeed cover your home if a tree falls on it. Aren’t you re-leafed? (Sorry, we were on a roll with the puns.) Potential disputes with neighbors notwithstanding, you’re good to go where trees are concerned. However, it’s always a good idea to review your policy thoroughly so that you know exactly what is and isn’t covered.

Do you want to save money on your home insurance? We can help with that. If you’re looking for quotes for insurance, our team of home insurance experts would be happy to shop your rates for you. All you have to do to get home insurance quotes is to fill out our quick form or give us a call today.

Why was my homeowners insurance claim denied?

There are a number of reasons that a home insurance claim could get denied.

There are a number of reasons that a home insurance claim could get denied.

Filing a home insurance claim can seem like a daunting, draining process. Maybe after you filed your claim you felt like you ran a marathon – exhausted but proud of yourself for a job well done. You dusted off your hands and went on with your life. But then you get the bad news – your home insurance claim has been denied. Now you feel like someone hit you with a very heavy object. The big question reverberating through your mind might be, why was my home insurance claim denied? There are a variety of reasons that an insurance company might deny a claim, and we’ll go over six of them below.

1. Not filing the claim quickly.

You can’t dilly-dally about filing your claim. Your policy most likely stipulates that you have to tell the insurance company about losses right away – there are deadlines for filing claims. Make sure you understand any relevant timeframes that apply to your policy and respect them. Ask questions of the person helping you with your claim so you understand what your next steps are and what you need to do.

Taking a home inventory can help you put together your claim. A home inventory is basically a list of all your belongings. If you have that list at the ready, you’ll know exactly what’s been lost and it will be easier to create a detailed, orderly claim.

2. The loss isn’t covered by your policy.

Home insurance comes with many exclusions or losses that simply aren’t covered by your insurance. For example, floods are common home insurance exclusions – you have to purchase flood insurance separately. If you don’t have flood insurance and you file a claim for flooding or surface water damage, your claim will be denied. Likewise with any other losses that are excluded. Anyways, the moral is familiarize yourself with your policy so that you understand all of the exclusions. You don’t want to accidentally file a claim for something you don’t have coverage for and then be disappointed. If you have any questions about your coverage and what is or isn’t covered, be sure to check with your agent.

3. You didn’t take steps to protect your property from additional damage.

As the homeowner, it’s down to you to reduce the chances of additional harm coming to your house following a loss. This is usually a policy requirement. Basically, you’re trying to make sure that the situation doesn’t get any worse. For example, protecting your home could mean spreading tarps over damaged areas of the house to prevent rain or water from wreaking further havoc.

4. Not paying your insurance bill.

If you don’t pay your home insurance premium promptly, that could be a problem. Paying your premiums on time is kind of a big deal because it’s generally a good idea to pay the insurance company.

5. The claim is less than your deductible.

Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay if you have a claim – you pay your bit and the insurance company pays theirs. (Maybe you have a deductible of $1,000.) If the claim is for less than that amount, you’re probably the one who’s going to have to cover the expense.

Having a home insurance claim be denied can be stressful. Make sure you read through your home insurance policy carefully so you know about any time restraints for filing claims and any exclusions in your coverage. Keep detailed records of the loss to your home to give the insurance company. Otherwise, if you file the claim promptly, the loss is covered, and you’ve paid the insurance company on time, you should be good to go.

Do you feel like you’re paying too much for home insurance? We can help you save money on your premium by shopping around for the best possible rate. All you have to do to get home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.