We get it. The aftermath of a calamity is overwhelming. Amid the chaos of repairs and tallying damages, you stumble upon the term recoverable depreciation in your insurance claim. And just like that, another question is added to the mix: “How do I get recoverable depreciation back?” But you’re not alone. At Atlanta Insurance, we understand the intricacies of this process, and more importantly, we understand the emotional toll it takes on homeowners like you.
A home inventory is a detailed list of every valuable item in your household, complete with descriptions, estimated value, and ideally, photographs. This list includes not only high-priced items such as electronics, appliances, and jewelry, but also everyday items like clothing, books, and kitchen utensils.
Purchasing a new home is a tremendous milestone, but it also entails a great deal of responsibility. Once you settle in, there are a few things you should do to safeguard your investment and guarantee your peace of mind. This detailed new homeowner checklist covers everything you need to accomplish, from obtaining insurance to setting up utilities. Let’s get started!
As a homeowner, you’ve likely considered the usefulness and aesthetic charm of adding a fire pit to your outdoor living space. Perhaps you’re drawn to their cozy atmosphere and delicious smoky aroma. But before you invest in one, it’s important to understand all of the potential risks involved—particularly if you plan on placing it under your pergola or patio cover structure.
This blog post will discuss whether it’s safe or not to have a fire pit beneath your pergola. We’ll address common safety concerns associated with using this type of setup and outline solutions that can help ensure everyone stays safe while enjoying this warm and inviting feature within the comfort of your own backyard!
Whether you’re tired of renting or you’re moving to a new town, buying a new home can be stressful – especially in a big city like Atlanta. There are many diverse neighborhoods and various things to do around the city. You’ll feel like you don’t want to miss out on any of it!
However, there are numerous things to consider before you make that final step. To make the process easier, here are 12 tips for buying a home in Atlanta.
No home is immune to the risk of theft. Whether you’re looking to protect your home while you’re on an extended vacation or simply at the office for the day, it’s important to take precautions to help deter criminals from targeting your property.
Be sure to utilize these theft prevention tips to keep your home secure and help mitigate the likelihood of burglaries while you’re away.
Creating a home inventory checklist can help you decide how much coverage you need to protect your personal belongings. It also helps you figure out whether or not you need additional coverage for any high-dollar items. Basic home insurance policies provide limited coverage up to $1,000 or $1,500. Even though these limits keep home insurance costs low, your valuable items may be left unprotected.
If a disaster were to occur, you don’t want to be left figuring out what items are covered and which ones aren’t. This is where a home inventory checklist comes into play. We have a few tips that can help you create an in-depth home inventory checklist. Preparing this list will give you a better understanding of how much coverage you need. Let’s begin.
You purchased Atlanta home insurance to be an invisible financial safety net in case you have some sort of loss to your home. That house was a big investment, after all. But you might have this question floating in your mind: does home insurance cover personal belongings? We’re going to answer that question, but we’re also going to explain how much insurance you need for your personal belongings and how to insure your belongings.
Are personal belongings covered by Atlanta home insurance?
Yes. A typical Atlanta home insurance policy should pay to replace the contents of your home (such as your furniture, your electronics, your clothes, and so on) if they are destroyed by a covered loss. Your policy should have a certain “limit” for personal belongings coverage. Home insurance is there for you – it’s got your back. (And if you’re looking for Atlanta home insurance quotes, we can help. Just fill out our online quote form or give us a call and we can help you get the insurance you need to protect your house.)
What losses are covered?
Well, that depends on your policy, which will outline the losses that are covered. However, some examples of losses that are usually covered by home insurance are:
- Storm damage
- Falling trees
Like we said, you really have to go over your policy carefully to understand exactly what is covered and what is not. There’s a lot of helpful stuff in your insurance policy. Admittedly, it might not be the most riveting read, but still – you’ve got to read your policy.
What losses aren’t covered?
Some losses are typically not covered by Atlanta home insurance. The following are excluded from most policies.
- Flooding: To protect your home against a flooding disaster, you would need flood insurance. You can purchase flood insurance from the NFIP through an agent, and you would have to make sure to include coverage for personal belongings in your flood insurance policy.
- Sump pump failure/Sewer backup: To be protected against losses stemming from a sewer backup or sump pump failure incident, you would have to add coverage for sewer backup to your policy.
- Jewelry: It’s not that home insurance excludes jewelry and other valuables, but usually policies offer a very limited amount of coverage for them. You may need to add extra coverage for your valuables.
These are just a few home insurance exclusions to be aware of. You need to spend some quality time with your policy to find out how certain losses are handled.
How much coverage do I need for personal belongings?
The next question is how much insurance you need for your personal property.
Taking a home inventory can help you find out how much coverage you would need to replace your belongings. A home inventory is basically a list of all the items in your home and their values. The easiest way to organize it is to break it down room by room.
Having a home inventory can also come in handy if you ever have to file a home insurance claim. It’ll be a lot easier to list the items that need to be replaced because you’ll have a prepared, detailed list of your belongings. Just make sure to keep your inventory somewhere safe – maybe consider a safe deposit box or Google Drive to ensure it doesn’t get destroyed if something happens to your home.
Pro tip: Pay extra attention to jewelry and other valuables. Like we said, you may need to add coverage for these things.
How should I insure my personal belongings?
You can insure your belongings for their Actual Cash Value or their Replacement Cost Value.
Actual Cash Value (ACV): If you insure your belongings for their ACV, your insurance company will reimburse you for the value of your belongings at the time of the loss (meaning the depreciated value.)
Replacement Cost Value: Replacement cost value does not take depreciation into account and can allow you to replace your belongings at today’s prices.
The bottom line is that you might want to insure your belongings for their replacement cost value to ensure that you receive enough reimbursement to replace your belongings at today’s prices.
So, that’s the scoop about home insurance and your personal belongings. While your home insurance should have coverage for your belongings, you have to read your policy to find out which losses are covered and which aren’t. Having a loss to your home could be a huge financial blow, but that’s why home insurance is there – to be your safety net.
To get started with some Atlanta home insurance quotes, you can fill out our quote form or give us a call today. Our team can help you find great coverage at a great rate. And we’ll help you make sure that your house and all of its contents are fully covered by insurance.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 can 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. You might want to insure 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.
The easiest way to further explain is with an example.
Say that you bought some furniture a couple years ago. At the time it cost $4,000. It’s nice. Your home gets burgled and the thieves take off with your furniture. The only thing is that it is only worth $3,000 today. With actual cash value, you could get the $3,000 (minus your deductible) … but it might not be enough to replace the items that were lost.
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 adjusting your insurance to ensure coverage 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 what 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.
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.
While taking a home inventory might seem like a tedious, slightly soul-sucking task that’s going to take forever, it’s extremely important when it comes to your home insurance. A home inventory is pretty much a list of the items in each room in your house, along with the estimated cost of each item. Taking a home inventory is fairly straightforward, but we’ll walk you through the benefits of having one and give you some tips for making sure you have a top-notch inventory.
What are the benefits of having a home inventory?
There are a few reasons why we’re advising you to spend a good bit of time wandering around your home with a clipboard and pen.
1. A home inventory will help you in the event of a claim.
If your house was destroyed in a fire or your home is burglarized, you’ll need to have a detailed list of everything that was taken to make sure that you can have everything replaced. Let’s face it – our memories aren’t perfect. We will forget things, especially in the aftermath of a trauma like a fire or a burglary.
2. Having a home inventory will help you negotiate with your insurance company.
It’s a sad reality, but insurance fraud is on the rise, which means that insurance carriers are often skeptical of claims. If you have a home inventory already prepared and ready to go, it’ll help you prove your case to the insurance carrier and make the claims process much smoother.
3. Your home inventory will help you find out if you have enough insurance coverage on your home.
A home inventory can help you find out how much home insurance you need. By taking stock of all of your possessions and their approximate prices, you’ll have an idea of how much coverage you’ll need to make sure that everything can get replaced by your insurance. You should have coverage that matches the cost of your possessions at today’s prices to make sure that your home can be restored as good as new.
Pro tips for taking your home inventory.
Pro tip #1: Be thorough.
Make sure that you visit every room on your home inventory mission, and record all of the contents of that room. Open drawers and cabinets and look in closets to make sure that you’re writing everything down. You don’t want to miss something important.
Pro tip #2: Include photos or video.
Like we mentioned before, insurance fraud is becoming a problem. Having photos or video footage of each room will help you prove your case to the insurance carrier, not to mention help you remember what you need to claim as lost.
Pro tip #3: Keep your receipts.
If you make a significant purchase for your home, like a new television or stereo system, you’ll want to hang on to that receipt and include it in your inventory. Again, this will help you know what you need to claim and how much it cost.
Pro tip #4: Pay extra attention to jewelry, artwork, and furs.
These items will need to be appraised regularly to make sure that you have an accurate representation of their current price. You don’t want to get $1,000 for a necklace that’s actually worth $1,500, right? Plus, you’ll want to make sure that you find out the best way to insure your jewelry, and that starts with knowing all of your pieces and their value. You may need to increase your coverage if one of your valuable possessions goes up in value, and that’s where these appraisals and your inventory come in handy.
Pro tip #5: Store your inventory somewhere safe.
When you’re all done with creating your inventory, make sure that you choose a safe place to stash it, preferably outside of your home. It really won’t help you if your inventory gets destroyed along with your home. Keeping the inventory in a safe deposit box at your bank isn’t a bad idea.
Pro tip #6: Update your inventory regularly.
Make sure that your inventory is up to date. If you’re not checking it and adding to it regularly, it won’t include new items that you’ve purchased. Plus, going over your inventory at least once a year will help you make sure that you’ve still got enough insurance to protect your personal possessions.
Having an inventory can really make a difference if you ever face a major loss related to your home. It will really help you if you have to file an insurance claim. With an inventory, you’ll know exactly what to claim and how much coverage you need. Set aside some time and work away at taking that inventory – you’ll thank yourself later.
To help you in your inventory-related endeavors, we’ve got a PDF of an inventory checklist for you to download and follow as a guide. Download our inventory checklist