The funny thing about homeowners insurance is that you have to have it, but you hope you never need it. While your insurance policy only gives you cash in the event of a home disaster, the right plan should provide you peace of mind 24/7/365.

Shopping for insurance can be a murky process. You don’t want to find out your property damage isn’t covered — after the fact — due to a gap in your insurance coverage. That’s why you need an insurance company that is honest, fiscally reliable, and staffed with smart agents who can hold your hand when you need them to. We picked several insurance companies that do just that.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Georgia

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in GeorgiaNationwideAmicaLiberty MutualChubbTravelers InsuranceAllstateAmerican FamilyGEICO

The best way to ensure you’re getting a fair rate on your insurance is to apply for as many quotes as you can. We recommend applying for three at the bare minimum, but there’s no reason not to test the waters even more. Getting a quote online only takes about 10 minutes;  while you should call or see an agent in-person when it’s time to buy, online quotes are just fine for window shopping. So dedicate an hour to gathering as many quotes as you can — it could save you thousands down the road.

When you apply for a quote, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your home, your valuables, and your liabilities. You might not know all of the answers if you haven’t moved in yet, so go with your best guess, and then talk to an agent before you lock in your policy. We applied for three quotes to show you the range of prices on the market. Each company relies on different variables to figure out a quote, so prices can differ a lot between providers.

It’s important to remember that insurance quotes vary greatly from person to person, so your results may not look anything like this. Your age, credit score, and prior history of insurance claims will all affect how much you pay for insurance in Georgia.

We requested homeowners insurance for a new three-bedroom home that costs about $275,000. Your dwelling coverage should be higher than the value of your home, in case it costs more to rebuild than it did to buy. That can happen due to material depreciation, as well as scarcity of materials after a natural disaster.

For our quotes, we said we had a burglar and fire alarm, and no pets, pools, or trampolines. All of these options are big money savers, so keep in mind your rate could go up if your situation isn’t the same.

Our Quotes
Nationwide$1,054 Per Year
Liberty Mutual$1,604 Per Year
Amica$2,563 Per Year

There are plenty of homeowners insurance options in Georgia. The most important factor when shopping for insurance is knowing that your provider will be able to pay your claim in the event of an emergency. That’s why it’s important to only consider insurance agencies that are fiscally stable. We dug through J.D. Power Rankings to find companies that serviced the state of Georgia and had high customer service ratings, then cross-referenced our list with A.M Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. The result is a handful of  insurers that are reliable and in good financial standing.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

How do Georgia’s rates compare?

While the Peach State itself is anything but average, our insurance rates are just that. Across the nation, folks pay an average of $1,096 annually for homeowners insurance. Georgia residents pay $1,044, a small savings of just $52. Prices will vary depending on where exactly you live, but for the most part, you can count on rates consistent with the rest of the country.

What do I need to prepare?

You’ll be surprised just how many details of your home’s construction your insurance company will need. And you may not always know the answer to inquiries about building materials or when the most recent electrical check occurred. It’s smart to keep your property’s listing sheet within arm’s reach while you’re filling out online quotes — it’ll have most of the answers you’re looking for. If you’re not sure about the particulars, it’s okay to guess when you’re getting quotes. You can always clear things up later when it’s time to buy.

How much should my deductible be?

In the event you need to file a claim with your insurance company, a low deductible is great because you won’t have to spend much of your own money to get back up and running. But low deductibles mean higher premiums, so you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run.

If you can afford a high deductible in the event of an emergency, take advantage of the monthly savings a high deductible plan will get you. If you can’t, go for a low deductible, or choose a mid-range deductible plan and put the savings from your bill into an emergency fund.

Keep in mind that claims against your insurance will raise your rates, so your homeowners insurance should only be used for extremely expensive damage. Minor damage and inexpensive fixes should be paid for out of pocket.

“Guard your policy well once you’ve got it. Don’t file claims unless you have to — if you file more than two or three claims, your rates will rise and your policy may be canceled.”  – Nolo.com

Does my credit score affect how much I pay?

If you’re buying a new home, you’re probably already aware just how much of an impact your credit score can have on your life. While a few states have created laws aimed at insurance companies who hike your rates just for having a lower score, Georgia isn’t among them. And if your credit score isn’t perfect, you’ll unfortunately see a major rate increase. In fact, a downgrade in your credit from “Excellent” to “Fair” will have you paying about 46 percent more for homeowners insurance. Talk about kicking you when you’re down. So keep a close watch on your credit, and if it ever slips, address the problem right away.

What else does homeowners insurance cover?

Homeowners insurance doesn’t just cover the exterior of your house — it covers everything inside, too.

“Your furniture, clothes, sports equipment and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disasters. The coverage is generally 50 to 70 percent of the insurance on the structure of your home. The best way to determine if this is enough coverage is to conduct a home inventory.” – Insurance Information Institute

The Insurance Information Institute offers a free home inventory tool here. You can itemize your valuables and upload photos, so if your most precious pieces are ever stolen or damaged, you’ll be able to replace them.

Many people don’t realize that your homeowners insurance has your back even when you’re not at home. If the valuables you have with you are stolen or go missing when you’re not on your property, they’re still covered. For instance, if the airline loses your bag, or your wedding ring disappears, you can recoup costs through your insurance. Just make sure you have your more portable possessions, such as fine jewelry, specifically itemized in your insurance.

Your policy also includes liability insurance, which covers expenses for injuries sustained by others while visiting your home, and also includes coverage in case of a lawsuit — like a neighbor suing because of a dog bite on your property.

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FAQs

What type of policy do I need?

There are many varieties of insurance policies, but HO3 is the only one we recommend. In an HO3 policy, you’re covered for everything except for the exemptions that are specifically called out. In most other types of policies, you’re only covered for a short list of situations, and anything not included will leave you footing the bill. Most homeowners insurance providers will automatically default to an HO3 policy, but some may show you something else hoping to lure you in with a low rate. Confirm with your insurance agent that you are covered with HO3, and you’ll eliminate surprise gaps in your coverage.

What are common coverage gaps?

One of the biggest culprits of home damage is something that’s almost never automatically included in your home insurance policy: water backup/sump pump overflow. You’ll likely have to add on this coverage manually, and we generally recommend it. It will increase the cost of your policy, but it typically includes a low deductible, so you can make a claim even if the damage isn’t catastrophic.

Don’t get your homeowners insurance mixed up with your home warranty. It can be confusing, but your home warranty covers issues like faulty appliances and bad wiring, while your homeowners insurance generally covers damage to your home that is outside of your (or the previous owner’s) control. For some more information about what home warranties are for and how to choose one, read this.

What about flood insurance?

Contrary to common sense, flooding due to natural disaster is actually not covered by your homeowners insurance. You can only purchase it from the federal government. If you live in a floodplain, you’re legally required to buy it. And if you don’t, it still might be a good idea. Floods can be absolutely devastating to your property, and you don’t want to be left with the bill if your home is ravaged by water.

How can I lower my premium?

While lounging by your very own swimming pool might sound relaxing, it can also be a lot more costly than anticipated. That’s because liabilities in your home or yard will skyrocket your homeowners insurance payments. From trampolines to farm equipment, anything that can cause injury on your property will raise your premium. You might decide that some backyard fun is worth the added cost in insurance payments, but if you mitigate your risk, you’ll lower your premium.

Paying annually instead of monthly will also get you a nice discount.Opting for  electronic statements (in lieu of paper ones) and setting up autopay may also save you a few bucks. If your home is LEED certified, ask your insurance agent if they can nab you any other savings. Not all will say yes, but we know that Traveler’s offers 5 percent off.

One of the best ways to snag a discount is by bundling your homeowners insurance with car insurance, life insurance, or any other policy you’re currently paying for. So check with your current insurance provider about adding your home. And while you’re at it, now would be a great time to shop around for car insurance quotes — doing so regularly can prevent your rates from being raised.

Take Action

Insurance providers don’t have much incentive to make shopping for homeowners insurance transparent and straightforward, since your bank requires you to buy it. However, by doing your research and getting several quotes, you’ll gain the upper hand. After reading this guide, you’re more prepared than most, and should feel confident diving in and making multiple companies compete for your business.

The best way to start is with online quote tools from as many reliable providers as you can find in your area. Once you’ve narrowed your options down to the only most competitive rates, it’s time to make a few calls, ask plenty of questions, and nail down a policy that’s perfect for you. A little extra time spent now will save you plenty of money down the road. Plus, the peace of mind you’ll get from an insurer you trust is priceless.

Need a jumping off point? Start with one of the many companies we’ve vetted.

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Georgia:NationwideAmicaLiberty MutualChubbTravelers InsuranceAllstateAmerican FamilyGEICO

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

To quickly find and compare rates in your area, enter your ZIP code below.

Enter Your ZIP Code:

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