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Getting Low Cost Home Insurance in Georgia?
If you purchased a new home in Georgia, then you may be wondering whether you should get home insurance. We will explore what home insurance is, what it covers, how much it costs, and why you should get it.
Home insurance, or homeowners insurance, covers a private home that you own. Home insurance protects your home against a variety of accidental and unforeseen damage. It also covers liability for injuries or property damage while a visitor is in your home or on your property.
What Does Home Insurance Cover in Georgia?
Home insurance coverage can be divided into several groups that cover different types of situations.
This type of coverage protects against damage to your home. Dwelling coverage is divided into three main groups: basic named perils, broadly named dangers, and open perils.
Basic Named Perils
Basic named perils coverage protects against events that are specifically included in the home insurance policy. Typically, the events in a basic named-perils policy cover events likely to result in severe damage or a total loss of the property.
Basic perils coverage might include protection against:
- Collisions from vehicles or aircraft
Nothing that is not explicitly listed in the basic named perils policy is covered.
Broad Named Perils
Broad named perils policies are usually designed to protect against the most common types of damage to property. A broad named perils policy could include coverage for:
- Falling objects such as trees and branches
- Accidental water damage
- Plumbing damage from freezing
- Ice or snow damage
Anything that is not explicitly mentioned in the broad named perils coverage is not covered.
This is the most inclusive form of home insurance. Unlike a named perils policy, an open perils policy will cover any sort of damage to a property unless it is explicitly excluded in the policy. Typical exclusions to an open perils policy include:
- War and nuclear events
- Intentional damage
How Do I Protect My Home Against Flooding?
If you live in coastal Georgia, then you may be worried about flooding especially from hurricanes. In this case, you would need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy for your home, such as through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Note that most home insurance policies, even open perils policies, do not protect against flood damage.
Personal Property Coverage
Personal property coverage compensates you for the belongings inside your home during a covered event. Typically, a home insurance policy will pay 50%-70% of the value of your possessions, though you can opt for more coverage if you prefer.
Personal property coverage usually doesn’t cover valuable items like jewelry and antiques. If you have particularly valuable items in your home, then it’s a good idea to add valuable items coverage to your home insurance policy.
This is very similar to auto liability insurance. If someone is injured while on your property and you’re at fault, then liability insurance will cover medical bills and damages as well as legal costs.
Additional Living Expenses
If your home is unlivable after a covered peril — for example, after a fire or hailstorm — then this coverage will compensate you for hotel and restaurant expenses until your home is repaired or until you can move into a new home.
What If I Don’t Own My Home?
If your home is a rental, it’s up to the landlord or homeowner to have a home insurance policy. However, you should still consider getting rental insurance, which protects your possessions if a covered incident occurs.
How Much Does Home Insurance Cost in Georgia?
On average, a home insurance policy in Georgia costs about $2,500, which is above the national average of $2,300. But keep in mind that you can save a lot of money if you bundle your home insurance with your auto insurance and other insurance policies.
Is Home Insurance Required in Georgia?
Unlike auto insurance, Georgia does not require homeowners to carry home insurance. However, if you’re paying off a mortgage on your home, the lender can direct you to maintain home insurance. In most cases, the lender will require home insurance for at least the amount of the mortgage. This is to protect their investment if the home is damaged or destroyed before you can pay off the mortgage.
Other Reasons to Have Home Insurance
Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, there are other reasons why having home insurance is a good idea.
Home Insurance Provides Liability Protection
If someone is injured on your property — for example, if they slip on the stairs — home insurance protects you from liability if that person sues you for damages. Depending on the circumstances, you could be found liable in Georgia even if someone injures them while trespassing your property!
Losing Your Home Is a Big Deal
If you lose your car, you might be temporarily inconvenienced until you can rent or buy another one. On the other hand, losing your home in a fire or explosion means losing a place to live as well as losing most of your possessions. Not to mention that the monetary loss could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Keeping a home insurance policy will give you some financial peace of mind should you lose your home and most of your possessions.