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With affordable home prices, natural beauty, and endless possibilities, Georgia is a great place to own real estate. However, when you purchase a property in the Empire State of the South, you're also dealing with moderate risks of natural disasters and hydrometeorological hazards.

Fortunately, you can ensure that your investment is protected by obtaining homeowners' insurance. Although it isn't required by law, many mortgage lenders require that Georgia homeowners have home insurance coverage.

However, with so many options on the market, knowing which homeowners' insurance companies in Georgia are worth considering can be a challenge. Fortunately, we have made it easier for you.

In this comprehensive guide, you'll learn more about homeowners' insurance and how to properly vet Georgia homeowners' insurance companies. We'll also give you our top four picks to make the process of finding a reliable insurer easier.

Understanding Georgia Homeowners Insurance

Before we delve into our buying guide, let's first talk a little more about what homeowners’ insurance is.

Homeowners’ insurance is a type of property insurance that will pay for the damages or losses to a person's home that could be caused by natural disasters such as flooding or wear and tear. Most policies also cover furniture and other items in the home.

Additionally, home insurance includes liability coverage that will ensure that you are covered for any accidents that occur on the property.

Average Home Insurance Costs in Georgia

According to Bankrate, the average annual cost of homeowners' insurance in Georgia is $1,394. However, it's important to remember that the price of insurance policies can vary greatly, depending on the condition of your property, risk profile, and needs.

In addition, the state is prone to natural disasters, such as storms, flash flooding, heavy winds, droughts, avalanches, and landslides, which also influence the cost of home insurance. Although insurance premiums are higher than in many other states, they are still slightly below the national average.

Here are some of the most prominent factors that drive the cost of homeowners' insurance in Georgia:

  • The location of the property
  • Its value
  • Which materials were used to build it
  • The fire rating of your home
  • Your credit rating
  • What it would cost to rebuild your house (including labor and materials)
  • The coverage amount and policy limitations
  • Whether you require additional coverage
  • Your claims history
  • Deductible amount

The good news is that many homeowners' insurance companies offer discounts on their insurance policies. If you sign up for both home and auto insurance coverage with the same insurer, for example, you may qualify for a discount.

Maintaining your home well and ensuring that you have a good security system is also a good way to save on your monthly premium. The truth is that discounts will vary from one insurance provider to another, so it's important to always be thorough when conducting research and enquiring about the available discounts before deciding which homeowners' insurance company to go with.

You will find a more comprehensive buyer's guide later on in this article, so be sure to check that out before shopping around for an insurer.

Homeowners' Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance

If you are a property manager, it is important that you have the right kind of insurance policy. Having tenants on a property can change the dynamics and could affect your coverage, so it's important to understand the difference between home insurance and landlord insurance.

To put it simply, homeowners' insurance will pay for damage to the structure of your home, along with your personal possessions. Landlord insurance, on the other hand, is coverage designed to meet the unique needs of those whose properties are occupied by tenants.

It offers coverage for any accidents that may occur on the property, offers extended structural coverage options, and ensures that your rental income is protected.

When deciding which type of insurance to choose for your property, remember that it's important to be transparent about the use of your property, as a failure to declare a home as a rental property could result in a denial of coverage.

It's also a good idea to talk to your chosen homeowners' insurance company about the best option for you. In the meantime, let's look at a few examples of instances where homeowners' insurance may be the preferable option.

Vacant Property

There may be instances where you will need to leave your property vacant. Whether because you have moved away or because it is inhabitable, it's important to be upfront with your insurer. While you figure things out, it's a good idea to maintain your homeowners' insurance to ensure that you are covered in the event that there is any damage to the property.

Temporary Absence

In many cases, homes may be left vacant for short periods. This might be because the homeowner is still looking for a new tenant or because they have moved away temporarily for work purposes.

If you intend to move in after the temporary absence, then it's probably best to have home insurance. However, if you lease the property to tenants, then it might be best to go for landlord insurance. Talk to your insurance company for advice on which option would be the most suitable.

Transition Period

Suppose you reside in a rental property while searching for a new tenant. In that case, homeowners' insurance is often best to ensure that you are covered in the event that something goes wrong. However, once the property is leased, then it's best to switch to landlord insurance.

Home Sharing

Home insurance is often suitable for situations where a homeowner chooses to rent a portion of their property. In many cases, renting out a room or a portion of the home can be a great way to earn an income, especially if you have lots of empty space.

It's important to remember that home insurance often differs from one insurance provider to the next, so you will need to double-check the details with your insurer. 

In addition, you must also pay careful attention to the liability coverage being offered. This type of coverage is designed to provide protection from lawsuits for property damage or injuries, so you must ensure that tenants are covered under your homeowners' insurance policy.

Landlord insurance may be preferable if you require income protection, so be sure to consult an insurance company for advice and conduct proper research before you share your home with a stranger.

How to Choose a Georgia Homeowners Insurance Company

If you are confident that homeowners' insurance is what you need, then the next step is finding the right insurance provider. However, this task is often easier said than done. With a plethora of options to choose from and every insurance company offering attractive deals, it helps to know what to look for.

In this buyer's guide, we'll help you understand the unique challenges that Georgia homeowners face and learn more about some of the key inclusions that your homeowners' insurance policy should have.

Unique Policy Needs for Georgia Homeowners Insurance

The truth is that obtaining home insurance in Georgia is no easy task. There is a moderate risk of natural disasters, such as mild earthquakes, landslides, flash flooding, and more. As you navigate the complexities of homeowners' insurance, it is important to consider your needs.

A little research is needed here to learn more about your property's risk status. In the section below, we'll take a look at some of the most common types of coverage you may need for your home in Georgia.

Flood Coverage

The truth is that several locations in Georgia are at risk of flooding, so for these homeowners, flood coverage is a must.

Unfortunately, flood insurance is not typically included in a standard homeowners' insurance policy, so in these cases, it's often best to obtain additional coverage. You can opt for an insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program or approach a private insurance company to obtain sufficient coverage.

Storm Coverage

Because Georgia is located along the coast, it faces the risk of hurricanes, which can lead to significant damage to property. While most policies automatically cover wind damage, it might be with considering an additional policy if you reside in an area that is notorious for hurricanes.

Personal Property Coverage

Suppose you have costly items in your home that you'd like to protect. In that case, you will need to ensure that the plan you choose offers sufficient coverage. In some cases, you may have to obtain additional coverage, depending on the insurance provider you're working with.

Be open and honest with the company when deciding on the policy limitations to ensure that your expensive possessions are covered in the event of theft or a natural disaster.

Roof Replacement Cost Coverage

Georgia also experiences tornadoes, so it's a good idea to look at roof replacement cost coverage if your property is in an area that is particularly prone to tornadic activity. In addition to tornadoes, the wind and hail that often accompany storms in the Empire State of the South could cause damage to your roof.

There's no doubt that replacing a roof can be costly, which is why it is important to have home insurance coverage that will pay out if your roof is damaged.

Mold and Water Damage

Storms don't always shake the foundation of a home. In some cases, flash flooding and heavy rain can lead to water damage, which, if left unchecked, can cause significant damage to the property over time. While construction material like drywall is designed to be long-lasting, exposure to moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth.

These fungi release spores that can lower the overall quality of the air in your home. This is why it is important to enquire about water and mold damage coverage and ensure that you have sufficient protection if your home is located in an area that experiences frequent flooding and storms.

Evacuation and Additional Living Expenses

In the event that a natural disaster or significant damage to the property renders it inhabitable, you must ensure that your insurance will cover the cost of evacuation. While many offer this as part of their standard coverage, you may need additional endorsements in some cases.

Other Factors to Consider When Assessing Georgia Home Insurance Companies

Now that you have a better understanding of some of the things that Georgia homeowners often require, it's time to look at some of the steps you will need to take when determining which insurance provider to choose. Follow these steps to set up your homeowners' insurance policy:

  1. Make a note of your requirements. As discussed in the previous section, it's important to do a little research to determine what kind of coverage you will require. You should start by making a list of these requirements so that you don't lose sight of your goals when vetting homeowners' insurance companies.
  2. Learn more about different insurers. It's important not to rush into anything. Home insurance is a long-term commitment, so it's important to spend time conducting thorough research and identifying the top performers in the state. You can look at customer reviews to determine whether an insurer performs as well as it claims to.
  3. Look at their offerings. Once you have shortlisted a few candidates, it's time to pull out your list of requirements and look at what is being offered. Don't lose sight of your goals as you assess the inclusions and limitations of different policies. This is also a good time to look at affordability and compare prices to identify a company that offers the best value for money.
  4. Consider the customer service. Dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster or an event that led to property damage or injuries can be challenging, and you should be treated with respect and care when filing an insurance claim. To learn more about the customer service of a particular company, you can look at customer reviews and ratings.
  5. Discounts. The truth is that most homeowners' insurance companies offer discounts for not making claims, obtaining a combination of home and auto insurance, and ensuring that your property is secure. Consider these discounts when making your choice, as they can help you save money on your monthly premiums.
  6. Determine whether the insurance provider is financially stable. Another important consideration is the financial stability of the company you are interested in working with. That's because this will determine the firm's ability to pay for your claims. To do this, you can use agencies such as Demotech, Moody's Investor Service, and A.M. Best Company.

Although you might be tempted to choose the cheapest homeowners insurance company, it's important not to base your decision solely on affordability. Look carefully at the kind of coverage being offered and assess the policy limitations to determine whether they adequately meet your needs.

The Best Home Insurance Companies in Georgia

Fortunately, you won't have to spend too much time searching for candidates, as we have taken the time to prepare a list of the best homeowners' insurance companies in Georgia to save you time and effort. To devise our list, we have used the criteria listed above. Here are our top four picks:

1) State Farm

State Farm

State Farm has earned the number one spot on this list because of its exceptional reputation and excellent customer service. It has a good track record and has been in operation since 1922, so you can rest assured that you're dealing with a Georgia homeowners' insurance company that not only knows what it is doing but also has the financial stability to pay claims.

Coverage and Features

As one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, State Farm offers a comprehensive standard homeowners insurance policy. You will also have the option to include a number of add-ons.

One of the reasons we prefer this insurance company is because of its free dwelling limit increase. Once you have covered your home in Georgia for at least its estimated replacement cost, the company will increase your dwelling limit by a maximum of 20 percent - at no additional cost!

As part of its offerings, State Farm provides coverage for the following as part of its standard home insurance policies:

  • Loss of use
  • Personal liability
  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures
  • Medical payments
  • Personal property

It also allows homeowners to customize their policies with an extensive range of options. This includes coverage for earthquakes, damage to utility lines, and so much more. Given the unpredictable nature of Georgia's natural disasters, this can be incredibly beneficial, as it allows you to personalize your coverage to suit your needs.

Discounts

Although limited, State Farm does offer discounts. If your home is constructed using certain materials, you can expect to receive a discount on your monthly premiums. This is because the risk of significant damage is often much lower.

Homes that have security systems may also qualify for a discount on home insurance for the same reason. You also qualify for a discount if you bundle different types of insurance policies.

Despite the lack of a comprehensive discount structure, State Farm remains our top pick because of its comprehensive coverage, great customer service, and a wide variety of coverage options.

2) Farmers

Farmers

Another great homeowners' insurance company to consider is Farmers.

Coverage and Features

Farmers is one of the most well-known home insurance companies in the United States. The insurer provides complete homeowners' insurance coverage, encompassing all industry norms, as well as some benefits. It offers declining deductibles, in which homeowners can earn $50 towards their deductible for each year their policy is active.

There are three different plans that you can choose from: Standard, Enhanced, and Premier. You must ensure that you choose the option that best caters to your needs.

Although still a great option, it does offer fewer endorsements than many of its competitors and may be the more expensive option. Nevertheless, it is still a good homeowners' insurance company to consider, as it is known for its reliability and reputation. Here's what Farmers covers as part of its standard homeowner’s insurance plan:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Other structures
  • Liability
  • Personal property
  • Medical payment
  • Loss of use
  • Replacement cost
  • Deductible

Discounts

There are a number of discounts that you might qualify for when working with Farmers. This includes the following:

  • Protective devices. If you install security features, such as burglar alarms, you can expect a discount on your monthly payments.
  • Multiple policies. Need car insurance as well? Bundle your policies with Farmers to qualify for this discount.
  • Claims-free. Suppose you haven't made a claim with an insurance company before. In that case, you could get a discount on your monthly premium.
  • Roofing materials. If you choose certain materials for your roof that make it more resilient, you could also qualify for a reduction in your premiums.
  • No smoking. Non-smokers also receive a discount from Farmers.
  • Discount for new construction. Has your home been built recently? In that case, you may be eligible for a discount.

3) Allstate

Allstate

Earning the number three spot on our list is Allstate. With a wide range of options to help homeowners in Georgia customize their coverage, it's a solid choice.

Coverage and Features

A standard insurance policy with Allstate will provide the homeowners' insurance required to adequately protect you in the event that something goes wrong. Here's what you can expect from this home insurance company:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Liability protection
  • Medical payment
  • Personal property coverage

There are also several additional policies that you can add to your insurance plan to ensure that you are protected. This includes the following:

  • Flood insurance
  • Identity theft restoration
  • Water backup
  • Yard and garden
  • Personal umbrella insurance
  • Business property coverage

...and more.

Discounts

One of the benefits of choosing Allstate is access to a number of discounts. Let's take a closer look at the discount structure below.

  • Discounts for signing up for automatic payments.
  • New homebuyers or owners of newly constructed homes qualify for a discount.
  • Protective device discount.
  • Discounts or multiple policies with Allstate.
  • Welcome discount that earns you 10 percent off your premiums for switching from another company.
  • A no-claims history gets you a further discount.
  • Early signing discount.

Although there are many discounts on offer, keep in mind that Allstate premiums cost a little more than average rates.

4) Chubb

Chubb

Chubb is another home insurance company that has received positive feedback from past clients. It is a fantastic option to consider to insure your home in Georgia.

Coverage and Features

Like most of the other insurers on this list, Chubbs offers comprehensive coverage with its standard plan. This includes the following coverage types:

  • Dwelling
  • Other structures
  • Loss of use
  • Personal property
  • Medical payments
  • Personal liability

It also goes beyond the coverage that other insurers offer, such as an extended replacement cost, water backup coverage as part of a standard plan, and coverage for new items and not just the value of the old ones.

Discounts

Most discounts are centered on security. In addition to savings for installing protective devices, Chubb offers reduced rates if your property has a sprinkler system or measures that improve its fire resistance. You can also obtain a discount for having a water leak detector and for having a newly constructed or renovated home. Residing in a gated community will also make you eligible for a discount. 

Other Notable Georgia Home Insurance Companies

In addition to the options listed above, there are others that you should consider:

  • Cinncinati Insurance
  • Progressive
  • The Hanover
  • Nationwide
  • USAA

Conclusion

Finding the right homeowners' insurance company in Georgia is imperative to ensure that your investment is protected. It's important to ensure that you are spending enough time conducting your research and making a list of your unique requirements before deciding on an insurance provider.

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

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The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.

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