Georgia homeowners insurance
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Estimating the cost of comprehensive protection for your family’s dwelling
It’s important to protect your family’s home from the unexpected, such as weather damage or a lawsuit from an injured guest. Homes move quickly on the Peach State's market and the average home costs close to $345,000. While this is 19.5% lower than the national average of $428,700, any home is a huge investment that should be protected. Sufficient Georgia homeowners insurance addresses the financial costs of these risks.
The cost of owning a home in Georgia
Georgia residents spend about 19% of their income on housing costs. This can include their mortgage, tax payment and insurance costs. The down payment costs are 6% of the total purchase price, coming to an average of $21,880. Mortgage rates are around 5.38%, and residents could pay almost $1,771 in yearly real estate tax. Combining these with the cost of homeowners insurance, housing costs can exceed $2,214 a month.
Georgia residents also face potential costs related to damage repair, stolen property and personal injury. These are risks that plague homeowners and create financial stress if there isn’t enough homeowners insurance in place. The state experiences severe weather and tornado threats throughout the year, potentially causing structural damage as debris or tree limbs hit a house. Crime also presents a risk, as the state has a property crime rate of 17.5 per 1,000 people. With the tools available from VIU by HUB, you can find out how much comprehensive insurance protection will cost you.
The cost of Georgia homeowners insurance
There are several insurance companies offering homeowners coverage in Georgia. The rates vary by company and are dependent on several factors, but when you know how they work, you can search for the most competitive rate. Across the state, residents pay an average of $250 a month for insurance. Monthly rates can vary from as low as $150 to a high of $680.
The yearly cost for insurance is slightly higher than the national average of $1,428 a year.
Factors impacting cost
A quote on Georgia homeowners insurance is based on several things, such as your credit score, the deductible you choose, the city where you live, the cost of your house and more. The risk probability for damage and crime also factors into your rate. Some of the factors to consider include:
• There are higher reported incidents related to burglary and vandalism near large metropolitan areas such as Atlanta.
• Homes located in northern Georgia have an increased risk for winter storm damage compared to homes in southern Georgia.
• Several counties around the state have an increased risk of flooding due to the presence of privately owned dams and heavy rainstorms increase the risk of flash flooding across the state.
These differences in risk account for some of the cost variation across the state.
When you purchase home insurance, the type of coverage you select impacts your cost. While there isn’t a statewide requirement for insurance, your mortgage holder will typically mandate a specific policy or coverage type as a loan condition. Standard policies typically have the following components:
• Dwelling Coverage to address the damage that comes from covered perils like hail, fire or lightning.
• Other Structures coverage to address damages to buildings or structures on the property that are not attached to the home.
• Personal Property coverage to either repair or replace personal property that gets damaged or stolen.
• Hurricane, Hail and Wind coverage to cover damage from stormy weather.
• Personal Liability coverage to address potential costs from lawsuits if you are at fault for an incident.
• Loss of Use coverage to provide temporary living costs when damage and repairs make your home uninhabitable.
Though these coverages can address the biggest risks of homeownership in Georgia, there are exclusions that could leave you financially strapped if an incident occurs. Consider adding flood coverage to your Georgia homeowners insurance, as there is a serious risk of flooding across the state. You may also want to add water backup coverage, as this type of water damage is excluded from standard flooding insurance, even if flooding causes a sump pump, sewer line or septic system failure.
What Georgia homeowners insurance to purchase
If your lender requires home insurance, they will also establish how much coverage you must have. While there are several things to take into consideration when purchasing insurance, your minimum coverage should address the repair or replacement costs for your dwelling and the personal property contained within. Your risk levels should also inform your decision. Consider:
• Risks of natural disasters: There are several possibilities for natural disasters in Georgia that can destroy your home. You may need to add flood coverage or extend the limits of damage related to storms.
• Construction and history of the home: If you have an older home with antique features or your home is a custom build with high-value craftsmanship or material, your costs to replace it might be higher than a standard coverage policy. Consider increasing the coverage limits to address unique or costly construction features.
• High-value possessions: Personal property coverage should be set according to the value of your belongings. Owning expensive jewelry, collectibles or other high-value items increases your need for specialized coverage and a higher reimbursement limit.
• Financial security: You can lower the cost of your insurance by choosing a high deductible policy, but only do this based on your financial comfort level.
You can choose between a Replacement Cost policy or an Actual Cash Value policy once you assess your ability to pay out of pocket for damages. Your coverage needs to address your biggest financial risks.
This information is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.