There are a lot of perks to owning a home, but there’s also a lot of responsibility that comes along with it. (And we’re talking about more responsibility than figuring out how to decorate.) For example, you have to deal with home insurance. Your main question might be this – what does home insurance cover? We’re going to tackle that question and explain what a typical home insurance policy covers. (But of course, you really need to read your particular policy to understand how it protects your home.)
What does Atlanta home insurance cover?
1. The home.
Okay, we know you’re rolling your eyes – it’s a no-brainer that Atlanta home insurance covers the home. We mean that home insurance covers the structure of the house itself – the dwelling. Home insurance will protect you financially if you’re ever struck by a covered loss, such as burglary, fire, vandalism, lightning, or hail. (Or falling trees.) It will pay for the necessary repairs resulting from covered losses. Now, it’s important to note that not all losses are covered. Flooding is usually excluded from home insurance policies, as are earthquakes and mold damage. You really have to read your policy thoroughly to see what is and is not covered.
Another question you might have is how much dwelling coverage do you need for your house. A good rule of thumb is to insure your home for its replacement cost. The replacement cost of your home is the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up as if it was completely destroyed (for example, after a fire.) That means that you’re including the costs of building materials and the labor of the contractors. It’s different than insuring your home for its market value or the value you bought it for.
2. Other structures on your property.
If you have structures like a detached garage, shed, or fence on your property, those will also most likely be covered by your home insurance. This also includes things like your driveway, your sidewalk, and your patio. Keep in mind that you need to check on the limit of coverage these “other structures” have. It might be something like 10% of the coverage you have for the structure of your house.
3. Personal belongings.
The contents of your home are also covered by your insurance. That means your furniture, your electronics, your clothes, and your other treasures are all protected under your insurance. The section of your insurance that covers your personal property will replace your belongings if they’re destroyed by a covered loss (i.e., fire or theft.) Your insurance should follow your belongings, so even if your possessions aren’t in your home when they’re stolen or destroyed they’ll be covered. So, if you had a whole bunch of stuff in your car and it gets stolen, they should be covered.
To find out how much coverage you need for your personal belongings, you can take a home inventory, which is basically just a list of all of your possessions and their value. Another perk of having a current home inventory is that it can help you when it comes to filing a home insurance claim (though we hope you won’t ever face a loss requiring a claim.) With a handy-dandy home inventory, you’ll know exactly what you need to claim. It’ll make the entire process easier.
Pro tip: Consider insuring your personal property for its replacement cost value. Replacement cost value will replace your possessions at today’s prices – it doesn’t take depreciation into account. Actual cash value coverage will only cover the value of your belongings at the time of the loss, which means their depreciated value. And that might not be enough to replace your belongings at today’s prices.
4. Loss of use coverage/Additional living expense coverage.
Let’s say that you experience a covered loss to your home and you have to move out. You have expenses that you wouldn’t normally have to maintain your family’s standard of living. Your home insurance can help you cover the cost of those extra expenses, such as hotel bills and restaurant bills. Your home insurance may have a certain limit for these extra expenses, so be sure to check on that.
5. Liability insurance.
Your liability insurance can help you if you or your family ever cause someone either bodily injury or property insurance and you have a legal responsibility to cover their expenses. It can also help you if they decide to sue. To illustrate, liability insurance could help you if a guest trips over an uneven section of your driveway, gets hurt, and decides to sue you.
You can also read your home insurance policy to find out about medical payments coverage. The person who was injured can submit their medical bills straight to your insurance company.
Pro tip: You can add liability coverage to protect your assets by purchasing a personal umbrella insurance policy.
Atlanta home insurance covers a lot more than just your house. Other structures, your belongings, your liability, and additional living expenses are also covered. We can’t say enough how important it is to read your policy carefully so you understand exactly what cool stuff it does and what is and isn’t covered. Arm yourself with knowledge.
Are you wanting to save money on your Atlanta home insurance? We would be happy to help you shop your rates so you can compare coverage options and pricing so you can get great coverage at a great rate. We can help you get the Atlanta home insurance you need to protect your home. Ready to get started with your home insurance quotes? You can fill out our quote form or give us a call today and we’ll be at your service.