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The price of homeowners insurance is finally slowing. The Insurance Information Institute reports that 2005 home insurance prices nationwide are expected to rise by only 2.5 percent, the smallest increase in six years. Several factors contribute to this slowdown, including fewer claims filed and lower claims costs.
Georgia homeowners insurance protects you from financial losses due to damage, theft and other hazards. It covers the contents of your home, additional living expenses incurred when your home becomes uninhabitable, and any alleged claim of negligence causing injury to someone else.
Know Your Options
If you own your home, you need specific Georgia homeowners insurance that fits your specific situation. Consider these options:
Create a Household Inventory
A household inventory is simply a list of all your possessions, their worth and any further identifying details. Make your household inventory and keep it in a safe place to ensure sufficient Georgia homeowners coverage, provide protection for your family's valued treasures and heirlooms, and eliminate claims problems in the event of a disaster.
To make a household inventory, first make a list of each room in your house. Then walk through each room, listing its contents and writing down any supporting information. Include complete descriptions, estimated values, sales prices, serial numbers, brand names, model numbers-any specific, identifying details. Take pictures if you can, and record your inventory on a computer disk, storing all supporting documents together in a safe place outside your home. Then, in the event of a loss, simply send a copy of this information to your Georgia home insurance company or agent for loss verification.
Be prepared for disaster before it strikes with your own home inventory!
"What do I need to know about Georgia home insurance before I buy it?"
Property coverage protects your home and its contents, plus additional living expense losses. Liability coverage protects you from lawsuits alleging negligence. Your homeowners coverage amount should equal at least 80 percent of your home's replacement cost.
"Does my Georgia homeowners policy cover all my property?"
No, all policies have exclusions and limitations. Your car and motor home are exclusions. Some frequent limitations include theft of jewelry, silverware and guns.
"Is flood insurance part of my Georgia homeowners policy?"
No. However, it is offered and regulated by the federal government under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Contact them online at http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/ to find out if flood insurance is required for your property, or ask your Georgia home insurance broker for more information.
"How can I find out what home insurance will cost me?"
Speak with a knowledgeable Georgia home insurance agent to obtain specific information on your home insurance premium. Your Georgia home insurance premium depends on many factors, including:
"What is a deductible?"
A deductible is what you agree to pay out-of-pocket when you file a claim. This amount is subtracted from your total claim amount, and your insurance company pays the balance. The higher your deductible, the lower your policy cost.
"What if I need more information?"
Additional questions about Georgia home insurance can be answered by the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's office. Call them toll free at 800-656-2298, or consult them online at www.inscomm.state.ga.us/.
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