Georgia Homeowner's Insurance
Home insurance premiums in Georgia are $749, on average. This is not much different than the national average of $791.00. But Georgia is also regularly subjected to a range of perils that you need to be aware of and protected against. Start by understanding what your policy is protecting and then look into the perils that you may or may not be automatically protected against.
Where your family lives is the dwelling, usually it is the main building on the property. Even though there may be other residences on the property, the insurance company will consider your home the primary one, for insurance purposes. The dwelling also includes any other structures that build permanently into the dwelling.
Buildings on the property which are not permanently attached to the primary dwelling are considered "other structures" by the insurance company. These structures might include a pump house, a free-standing garage, or a guest home, among other things. If it is not the primary dwelling, it is probably an "other" structure, even if the item in question is decorative rather than functional.
Everything you own is your personal property. That includes your clothing, your stereo and entertainment console, and the rugs you place on the floor. All of your furniture and appliances, even those stored in another structure, are part of your personal property. A home insurance policy covers personal property up to a specified amount, after which you w8ill need additional coverage to protect your personal belongings.
Loss of Use
When your home is destroyed or partially damaged, you may not be able to use it in the manner you are accustomed to. Insurance companies will reimburse you for costs related to maintaining your standard of living, including renting a hotel room, dining at a restaurant, or doing your laundry. Save the receipts of your expenses, and itemize what each receipt is used to replace that is no longer possible at your insured home.
Average Georgia Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper Georgia Home Insurance
Not everyone can get away with paying $749; the average cost of homeowners insurance in your state, but you might be one of those who pay less than that, not more. If you follow some simple steps like the ones listed here, you will definitely pay less for your home insurance, even if it happens that you still pay more than the state average.
Avoid Unnecessary Claims
Insurance companies keep a database of insurance claims of all types, including home insurance. The more frequently someone files claims on their home or auto, it gets added to the total number of claims filed. And while your insurance will not always go up after making a single claim, you can rest assured that it will go up if you build a history of filing claims.
Smoke and Home Insurance
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of house fires, and that means that smoking is a serious risk for home insurance. Because of that, quitting smoking is an easy way to get an insurance discount, not to mention the fact that it can add years to your life.
Credit Score and Insurance Risk
Your credit score may not be 670, the state average, but if you stay on top of what is happening in your credit history you will be able to see a savings on your insurance premiums. Most insurance companies will offer discounts to people with a credit score of 650 or better, because a high credit score is regarded as a sign that the insured person is trying to be financially responsible.
Home Characteristics Affecting Georgia Insurance Rates
Georgia is prone to both hurricanes and tornadoes, and the homes are built primarily out of wood or prefabricated buildings. Other factors that might affect a Georgia home are termites, mold and rodent damage, items that are not usually included in a standard policy but can be added to it.
Defending Your Home Against Crime & Vandalism
The burglary rate in Georgia is almost double the national average, but you can reduce the risks by having a few items installed at home. Start with a profession alarm system that is monitored off-site, which will also net you a discount on your insurance premiums. And while you are making improvements that reduce your insurance costs, consider installing deadbolts in all doors that open to the outside.
Local Natural Disasters Georgia Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
Georgia has the potential to be affected by most possible perils, including earthquakes, hurricanes and severe storms that spawn hail and tornadoes. Some of these dangers are included in your standard insurance policy, but others are not.
Ranked at 29 out of 51, earthquakes are not common in Georgia, but they are a possibility you need to aware of. Movements of the earth are not typically included in a home insurance policy, and you may have to purchase the coverage from a high-risk pool.
Georgia residents filed 360 claims in 2009, a drop in the bucket compared to the 46,621 claims filed nationally. But just because Georgia is not a national leader in flooding does not mean it will not happen to you. There are very few places in the country which are immune to flooding, so make sure you add flood insurance to your policy.
A Georgia hail storm can cause severe damage, breaking glass, denting metal and generally causing destruction to many different types of buildings. Make sure that hail is not excluded on your policy, and add the coverage if it is not already listed.
Georgia is prone to hurricanes, and Southern Georgia experiences regular flooding related to tropical weather patterns. Check your policy carefully to make sure that wind damage is included, and then add enough flood insurance to cover your home and personal property if a severe hurricane makes landfall.
With 65 tornadoes expected in an average year, Georgia experiences tornadoes regularly. Most home insurance policies include wind damage, but you should check yours to make sure that tornado damage is not specifically excluded. Tornadoes are also another cause of flooding, underscoring the need to have sufficient flood insurance.
Around 74,749 wildfires affect our country each year, and many of those fires happen in Georgia. In the southern part of the state, expansive tree farms provide fuel for fires during the dry season and have the potential to completely devastate entire neighborhoods. Fire insurance is part of most standard home insurance policies, but make sure that they are not excluded specifically, because fire-prone areas sometimes are.
Georgia Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverage
Personal property is rarely given enough coverage in a standard homeowner's policy. The good news is that you easily increase the personal property limits without having to pay a great deal more. And while you are making changes to your policy, it might be a good idea to switch from actual cash value coverage to full replacement value. The difference in cost is well worth the money you can save if you have to rebuild your home after a major storm.
Important Contact Information
Georgia Department of Insurance
Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
West Tower, Suite 704
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone: (404) 656-2070
Home Insurance Guides for Nearby States
- Alabama Homeowners Insurance
- Florida Homeowners Insurance
- North Carolina Homeowners Insurance
- South Carolina Homeowners Insurance
- Tennessee Homeowners Insurance
Georgia Insurance Agents
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