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. 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.

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

https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0212/common-things-that-improve-and-lower-credit-scores.aspx

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/05/09/credit-score-how-boost-your-fico-score-quickly/1142041001/

The 10 Best Georgia Homeowners Insurance Companies

Here are our top 10 best Georgia homeowners insurance companies

Here are our 10 best Georgia home insurance companies

If you’re looking to buy a home in the Atlanta area, you might be wondering what the best Georgia homeowners insurance companies are. Choosing a company to insure and protect your home is a big decision – your house is probably your biggest investment, so it’s important that you have an insurance company that’s going to be there for you. If you’re trying to get Atlanta home insurance, we can give you some quotes from a variety of different insurance carriers. Here are our picks for best Georgia home insurance companies.

Top 10 Home Insurance Companies in Atlanta

Nationwide

Nationwide is one of the largest insurance companies in the country. They’re also a Fortune 100 company. They started out in 1925 with the mission of providing low-cost auto insurance for farmers, but they’ve since expanded into many other types of insurance. Homeowners insurance from Nationwide will protect your home against theft, fire, and covered storm or weather-related losses, and they offer numerous home insurance discounts. They received an A+ rating from A.M. Best, an A1 rating from Moody’s, and an A1 rating from Standard and Poor’s. And that’s what makes Nationwide one of the top home insurance companies in Atlanta.

Progressive

Progressive has striven to be ahead of the game in insurance since it started in 1937 as an auto insurance company. They offered drive-in claims service and were the first insurance company to establish a payment system where customers could pay for their insurance in payments and not all at once. Of course, Progressive has since expanded into offering different types of insurance – homeowners insurance being one of them. You probably recognize Progressive from their commercials featuring Flo with her fashionable blue headband and white outfit.

MetLife

What makes MetLife one of the best home insurance companies in Georgia? Well, MetLife Insurance began as The National Life and Limb Insurance Company in 1863. By 1868, the company had become more focused on life insurance. Now, MetLife offers many different types of insurance, such as home, auto, and renters. As far as home insurance goes, MetLife offers 24-hour claims service and payment plans so that you can get your homeowners insurance on the budget that works for you. With MetLife, you can tailor your home insurance to fit your needs.

American Modern

Another home insurance company in Atlanta is American Modern. American Modern got its start in the insurance industry in 1965 by selling insurance for mobile homes. American Modern offers named-perils home insurance policies, meaning that your home will be protected against the losses specifically named in the policy. However, you can add coverages to your policy. If you’re having trouble getting an insurance company to take on your home for whatever reason or you can’t get a price you feel is reasonable, you may want to consider American Modern.

Hanover

Hanover offers different home insurance packages so that homeowners can pick which plan best suits their needs. However, they can still choose to add additional coverages for equipment breakdown, water back-up and sump pump overflow, and siding or roofing restoration coverage. Bundling your home and auto insurance together is another option you can choose, as is guaranteed replacement cost coverage. And thus Hanover makes our list of the top home insurance companies in Georgia.

The Hartford

The Hartford is the only home insurance company that’s endorsed by the AARP. They can help AARP members get a customized homeowners insurance plan because they offer different coverage options. They even offer discounts to help people save money. They’ve been around since 1810 when they began as a fire insurance company. Some of their more famous clients were Yale University and Abraham Lincoln. The Hartford also helped organize the US Paralympics in 2003.

Safeco

One of the Atlanta home insurance companies we work with is Safeco. Safeco started as The General Company of America in 1923, but it was nicknamed The General. In 1953, a subsidiary company called The Selective Auto and Fire Insurance Company of America (or Safeco) was created, and the company enjoyed so much success that The General eventually just became Safeco. Liberty Mutual is Safeco’s parent company. Safeco home insurance helps homeowners protect their houses, their personal property, and their guests. There’s also the option to add additional coverage for things like jewelry.

Foremost

Foremost also got its start in selling mobile home insurance. The company started in 1952, and by the 1960s they’d created insurance that was specifically tailored to mobile homes, not just auto policies with homes attached. In 2000, Farmers acquired Foremost. Foremost offers customizable home insurance policies so that homeowners can get the coverage they need – you can choose to add coverages to your policy, such as additional insurance to cover jewelry and other valuables.

ASI

ASI was founded in 1997 and began with offering coverage in Florida. By 2001, they’d started offering coverage in Texas, and by 2015 ASI was one of the top fifteen providers of home insurance in the US. Now they offer home insurance in 40 states, Georgia being one of them. ASI home insurance policies can be tailored to suit your home insurance needs. Whether you’re looking to switch insurance companies, get insurance for a new home, or find homeowners insurance for your first-ever home, ASI can help.

Universal Property and Casualty

Universal Property and Casualty offers different options for homeowners insurance. They have home insurance policies intended for homeowners who are currently living in their homes and dwelling coverage that will provide protection against named perils like fire and hail. You can also get other structures coverage to protect things like sheds and fences, and you can get coverage to protect the belongings in your home.

So, there you have it, Atlanta – our ten top Georgia home insurance companies. If you’d like to get home insurance quotes from any of these carriers or you want to shop around to compare rates, we would be happy to help you with that. All you have to do to get in touch with one of our insurance experts is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

10 pro tips for handling a home insurance claim in Atlanta

Here are our pro tips for handling a home insurance claim.

Filing a home insurance claim can seem like a daunting process. Dealing with damage to your home puts a lot of pressure and stress on you, the least of which is grappling with the insurance claim itself. That’s why we’ve put together our pro tips for handling a home insurance claim. Hopefully, these tips will help the claims process go as smoothly as possible.

1. First things first – be safe.

If you come home and discover a loss or damage, be extremely careful in entering your home. It might not be safe. Exercise your judgment, and if you need to, contact the appropriate emergency personnel to figure out how to proceed.

Report any downed power lines to the utility company, and keep your electricity turned off if there’s standing water in your home.

If it’s really not safe, get out. Don’t take any chances.

2. Contact your insurance company.

Fire is covered by home insurance, as are lightning strikes. Home insurance will also cover storm damage, such as trees falling on your home or a damaged roof. Your insurance company will want the who, what, where, when, and how of the situation. They can guide you as far how to move forward with the claim. They’ll connect you with a claims handler, which leads us to our third pro tip.

3. Note the claim handler’s information.

Make sure that you take some notes when you talk to your insurance company. Take down the name and phone number of the claims handler so that you can get in touch with them easily.

4. Keep detailed records.

You’re going to have to become the ultimate note-taker. Keep a record of any contact that you have with the insurance company. Note the date, the time, the person that you spoke with, and the details of the conversation. Keep all of this information organized and in one place so that you can reference conversations from any point in the process.

5. If it’s safe, protect your home from further damage.

Take steps to protect your home from additional damage if it’s safe to do so. That might include things like boarding up windows and using tarps to prevent damage from the weather. This is important because your policy might require you to protect your home from damage after an incident. But don’t put yourself at risk – don’t even enter the home if it’s not safe to do so.

6. Prepare a list of items that have been lost.

You’re going to need to be able to present your insurance company with a list of items that need to be replaced. This is why taking a home inventory is so important – that way you know exactly what was in your home in the first place and the value of your belongings.

If you have any accessible receipts of major purchases, dig them out and have them ready to present to your insurance company.

7. Don’t move damaged items out of your home.

The claims adjuster will want to see the scene as it is. You can even take pictures or videos of the damage to keep in your personal file – you never know when those could come in handy.

8. Save any receipts for additional living expenses.

If you have to move out of your home temporarily, keep any receipts from your accommodations or other living expenses. Your insurance might cover these expenses, too, so this will make it easier to get reimbursed.

9. Do the paperwork.

The claims adjuster will send over some paperwork and documents that you have to complete. Do the paperwork and return it promptly – don’t delay.

10. Let your mortgage lender know about the loss.

You should let your lender know what happened. They might want to talk to you about contractor bids for reconstruction, and they might have their own protocol for rebuilding or repairing the home and inspecting the work.

We hope that you never have to face a loss to your home. It’s not fun to think about the worst-case-scenario, but that’s what insurance is for. Our goal is to help you build an insurance plan that will help you protect your home and your family. We understand that insurance can be complicated, so we want to make the insurance process as easy on you as possible. Contact us at Atlanta Insurance if you’d like to get a free quote on your home insurance, auto insurance, or renters insurance – all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call!

Do I have enough Atlanta home insurance to cover the cost of my jewelry?

Check your home insurance policy to see what it's limit of coverage is for jewelry.

Check your home insurance policy to see what it's limit of coverage is for jewelry.

Your home insurance is designed to protect you and your family from loss. But unfortunately that homeowners insurance comes with limits – knew there had to be a catch somewhere! One thing that might be subject to a strict limit is jewelry. You know that you need to protect your home from burglary, but you also need to consider what your insurance will cover where valuables are concerned. Some homeowners and renters policies have a limit as low as $1000 for jewelry. Depending on the bling you have, this may not be enough to cover everything if your jewelry is stolen or destroyed. You’ll have to review your policy carefully to see what your jewelry limit is.

If you find that you don’t have enough coverage for all of your jewelry, you have a few options to make sure it’s fully protected.

Valuable items endorsement:

An endorsement is an addition to your policy that can change it. In the case of valuables or jewelry, items included in the endorsement are scheduled onto a list. Basically, an endorsement for jewelry can provide coverage for the treasures that you want to protect by giving you an appropriate limit of coverage.

Floater:

A floater is another way to add coverage for your jewelry. It covers items that are easily moved, and they’re used to increase the limit of coverage for valuable belongings. If you have a pricey bracelet, brooch, ring, or necklace, for example, a floater can help you increase your coverage for the piece.

Valuable items policy:

If you have a very expensive piece of jewelry, for insurance a diamond necklace worth more than $10,000, you can get an entirely separate policy to cover it. Items that are very expensive may not get enough coverage from a floater or endorsement, which is why you might need to consider taking out a completely separate policy rather than adding it to your home insurance.

How much coverage do I need?

That depends on the item you want to insure. At any rate, you need to make sure that whatever method you use to insure your jewelry will cover replacements made of similar materials and type. Also, you should consider taking a home inventory so that you know exactly which pieces of jewelry you need to get additional coverage for.

To figure out what kind of limits you should be looking at, you’ll need to have your jewelry appraised by a specialist. Ask them to list each item you’re having appraised separately and to note a description and the value. Keep in mind that you’ll need to update your appraisals every once in a while because prices change and markets fluctuate. You need to have a current appraisal so that you can keep your insurance up-to-date and make any necessary changes to your policy.

Pro tip: Don’t forget that your monitored security system can qualify you for a discount on your home insurance.

In conclusion:

Home or renters insurance policies usually have strict limits of coverage for jewelry, and these limits may not be enough to fully cover all of the valuables in your possession. You need to review your policy, and if the value of your jewelry exceeds the limit specified in your policy, you’ll have to talk with your agent about ways to get the right coverage. Make sure you have the insurance you need to protect your jewelry and don’t underestimate the value of your belongings. When in doubt, have the jewelry appraised. It’s worth it to ensure that you’ll get the money you need to replace the piece of pieces that were stolen or destroyed.

Do you need home or renters insurance? We’d love to get you some free quotes for your coverage – it’s what we do. We can help you build an insurance plan to protect your home, valuables and all. Just fill out our online quote form or give us a call today to get started.

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”?

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.

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. 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.

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.

(You may also want to consider getting additional liability insurance – just in case.)

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 

You need to know these 10 surprising Atlanta home insurance exclusions

Do you know what exclusions your home insurance has?

Do you know what exclusions your home insurance has?How well do you know your home insurance policy? Are you best buddies, or casual acquaintances that only talk when they need something from each other? The reason that we ask is that it’s important that you’re familiar with your policy. See, there are these things called exclusions, meaning things that aren’t covered by the policy. We encourage you to reach best-buddy status with your policy so that you aren’t surprised by any losses that aren’t covered. It’s better to know what isn’t covered before one of those not-covered things strikes.

We’ve come up with a list of ten things that aren’t usually covered in your home insurance policy. You might be surprised at some of them!

Read moreYou need to know these 10 surprising Atlanta home insurance exclusions

How much home insurance do I need for my Atlanta house?

Do you know how much home insurance you need?

Do you know how much home insurance you need?

Your Atlanta home is one of your greatest assets. A house is a big investment, but we know that it’s more than that. Your house is your home, your shelter. Sure, you might have the occasional maintenance issue, but you wouldn’t trade it for anything. And to protect your home, you need to make sure that you have the proper home insurance.

But that begs the question – how much home insurance do you need?

The answer depends on several things, but a lot of it comes down to how you choose to insure your home in the first place. You have different options. Let’s break it down into two parts – insuring the home itself (meaning the structure) and your personal belongings.

The House:

To make sure that you have enough insurance for your home, you need to check that you have enough coverage to handle rebuilding your home entirely if it were destroyed by a disaster like a fire. Now, you also have to take into account the cost of the contractors’ labor and building materials. This is your home’s replacement cost.

You need to take construction costs into account for your home insurance.

How do I find out the replacement cost of my house?

To figure out how much your home would cost to rebuild or replace, you need to consult a trustworthy builder. Find a builder that’s reputable to give you an estimate of what it would cost to rebuild your home, taking into account the materials it’s made of.

Will the replacement cost ever change?

Okay, so here’s the thing – you need to let your agent know anytime you make a significant change to your home. These could be home improvements, like an addition or renovation. By renovating or doing home improvements, you could be altering the value of your home and thus how much home insurance you need. Even something that seems relatively small, like replacing your countertops for marble ones, warrants a call to your agent. You might be changing the value of your home enough to need to adjust your limits of coverage. Another time to consult with your agent is when you have a significant lifestyle change, like getting married.

It might be tempting to go with a lower premium for your home insurance, but it’s worth it to get robust insurance with plenty of coverage. Besides, there are other ways to lower your insurance premium while still keeping high levels of coverage.

Personal Property:

When it comes to insuring your personal property, again, you have options. You can insure your belongings for their actual cash value or their replacement value.

Actual cash value means that your home insurance company will reimburse you for the price of the items at today’s value, minus your deductible.

Replacement cost value means that you get reimbursed for the full cost of replacing the items, minus your deductible.

That might not seem like a big difference. But it is. We recommend insuring your belongings for their replacement value because of depreciation. Basically, the value of your belongings might have gone down since you bought them, so the cost of replacing the item might be more than its current worth. With replacement cost, you’ll be able to replace the item with a new one without worrying about depreciation. With actual cash value, you might not get enough money to replace the item.

We recommend insuring your belongings for their replacement value.

The easiest way to further explain is with an example.

Say that you bought a television a couple years ago. At the time it cost $4,000. It’s a nice one. Your home gets burgled and the thieves take off with your flat screen. The only thing is that the TV is only worth $3,000 today, but it’ll cost $4,100 to replace it with the same model and brand. Yikes. With replacement cost insurance, you’d get the $4,100 (minus your deductible.) With actual cash value, you’d get $3,000 (minus your deductible.)

Now, depreciation depends on the type of possession and its age, of course, but things sometimes lose their value over time. You need to be prepared for that.

How do I know how much home insurance I need for my personal belongings?

Taking a home inventory is a great way to get an idea of the total amount of coverage you need. This will give you an idea of the value of all of your belongings.

Insuring Your Valuables:

Don’t forget about your expensive jewelry, silverware, furs, and antiques. You need to make sure that you have enough coverage for your jewelry and other valuables. They might exceed the limits on your home insurance policy, which means that you need to consider purchasing extra insurance for these items. You might need to get an extra floater or rider (basically an addition to your policy) to cover them.

To figure out just how much extra insurance you might need, you have to have your treasures appraised. That way you’ll find out what they’re worth in today’s market and know how much they need to be insured for. Remember, you’ll need to have these valuables appraised every couple years to take changing prices into account.

Don't forget to get your valuables appraised when it comes to your home insurance.

Remember, the name of the game is making sure that you have enough insurance to cover everything, including the home itself and its contents. Peace of mind is worth it.

Insuring your home might seem like a headache. There’s a lot to think about and a lot of factors at play. But we can help you make sure that you have the insurance you need to protect your home and your family. Just give us a call or fill out our quote form and we’ll help you create a customized insurance plan that will protect your family from whatever life might throw at you.