Your Guide to Finding Coverage in the Peach State
You need homeowners insurance to protect your home. That’s true whether you have a bungalow in East Atlanta, a French-style home in Augusta, or a Georgian-style home in Savannah. If you have a mortgage, your lender typically requires this protection. If you don’t, it’s still smart to safeguard one of the biggest investments you may make in your life.
The more pressing question for most homeowners in GA is:
How do I know I have good coverage? What does a reliable policy cover and what does it leave out?
The answer is it depends on where you live. Your location dictates the frequency and type of risks you face. So while a Savannah beach-front homeowner may face flood risk, an Atlanta homeowner may not. Crime rates vary drastically from place to place and neighborhood to neighborhood, too.
And that’s why this guide exists: to help you understand the hazards unique to Georgia and how your home insurance can keep you safe.
What Does the Best Homeowners Insurance in GA Actually Look Like?
The standard homeowners insurance policy covers your dwelling, personal property, other structures on your land, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments. But what makes an awesome home insurance policy? One that:
- Covers common situations that cause loss – and ones you haven’t thought about.
- Offers replacement-cost coverage so you can actually repair or replace your home and belongings.
- Is affordable.
No policy will cover everything, though. Home insurance plans, even the best policies, exclude coverage for floods, earthquakes, and wear and tear.
Home insurance can cover losses caused by wind, fire, theft, and more.
How to Fill the Gaps in Your Georgia Home Coverage
Because Georgia is by the coast, it experiences some hurricane activity from the Atlantic. On average, only 7 percent of the one to two hurricanes that make landfall each year hit Georgia (compare that to the 40 percent that hit Florida and the 16 percent that batter North Carolina).
While that’s a small number comparatively speaking, it means that Georgia is prone to serious weather conditions, including wind, hail, and flooding.
To make sure your home is protected from whatever Georgia throws its way, you may want to ask Kin about adding:
- Flood insurance, especially if your area is prone to flooding.
- Umbrella insurance if you need to boost your personal liability protection (especially handy if you have a pool, which can cause expensive bodily injuries).
If you’re not sure what your insurance needs are, talk to your Kin agent – we’re happy to help.
Understanding Your Georgia Home Insurance Deductible
Your policy will likely have two deductibles:
- Standard perils deductible. This applies for all claims other than wind or hail claims.
- Wind / hail deductible. This applies when you made a claim for wind or hail damage to your home or belongings.
For both, Kin customers have the following deductible options: $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or 1, 2, 3, or 5 percent of your dwelling coverage. So if you choose a 1 percent deductible and you have $250,000 in coverage for your home, your deductible would be $2,500. When you make a claim on your policy, this $2,500 would be subtracted from your payout.
Remember: the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
Insurance companies determine when wind deductibles apply in Georgia, though they are subject to the state insurance department regulations. Typically, homeowners in wind and hail-heavy areas have struggled to find appropriate protection through private insurers and had to turn to the Georgia Insurance Underwriting Association (FAIR Plan) for windstorm coverage. Fortunately, Kin may be able to offer these homeowners a more affordable option.
Is Kin Insurance a Good Fit for Your Georgia Home?
If you think your home insurance should be easy to get, easy to understand, and easy to draw on when you need it, yes!
But while we’d love to be the best insurance option for everyone ever, some homes might be a better fit than others. That might be true for you if:
- Your home is less than 100 years old. If it’s older than 50 years, we do require a 4-point inspection.
- Your roof is in good shape.
- Your home is within several miles of a staffed fire department.
- Your home has updated wiring and plumbing.
To be clear, if your home doesn’t match these preferences, we can still help you find insurance. We’ll just need to talk you through some options – that’s all.
Home Insurance Laws in Georgia
Georgia state law does not require homeowners to have home insurance. However, other situations may require you to have coverage:
- If you have a mortgage, your lender typically makes insurance mandatory.
- Even if your mortgage is paid off, it’s smart to protect your investment.
That second point is particularly worth noting. Most homeowners don’t have funds readily available to rebuild or repair their home. For example, the average fire and lightning claim costs $50,315 – an amount many homeowners may not have on hand in case of an emergency.
Home insurance is a smart investment, whether you have a mortgage or not.
How Much Home Insurance Do You Need?
Because disasters can be expensive and unpredictable, you want to make sure you have enough dwelling insurance to rebuild your home from the ground up. One way to estimate that cost would be to:
- Look up local building costs per square foot in your city.
- Multiply that by your home’s square footage.
This will give you a baseline for how much dwelling coverage you may need. Or you can just get a quote from Kin – we crunch those numbers for you.
As for your belongings, you usually want to insure them for 20 to 50 percent of the insurance you have on your home. So if your home is insured for $200,000, it would be reasonable to have $40,000 to $100,000 in personal property coverage.
When in doubt, ask your Kin agent for their recommendation.
Average Homeowners Insurance Cost in Georgia
The cost of your home insurance depends on details about your home (like how old it is and what safety measures you have in place) and details about you (like your claims history and credit score). In other words, the only way to know how much you specifically may pay for insurance is to get a quote – and it only takes a few seconds!
That said, the average cost of home insurance in GA is $1,089 per year or $91 a month.
Georgia home insurance averages $1,089 / year.