Understanding Your Georgia Auto Insurance Coverage
Auto insurance is one of those must-have bills in life, that's if you own a car anyway. Depending upon your age, driving record, and who is behind the wheel, auto insurance can make a significant dent in your monthly budget. This makes it important to know what car insurance coverage you really need, and what it all means. Here's some help in easy to understand terminology.
No matter if you have a car loan or it's paid off, auto liability insurance is required in all states. While you need to check what coverage amount is required for your particular state, you should carry at least $25,000/$50,000.
What this means is that your policy would pay up to $25,000 for any one person injured in the event an auto accident was determined to be your fault. Your car insurance policy would also pay a total amount of $50,000 for all injuries if there were more than one person hurt.
Property Damage Liability Insurance
This is the amount that your auto insurance policy will pay for the property damage you caused in the event you were at fault. You can decide on a limit you wish to carry. It could be $25,000 and go up past $250,000.
Property damage liability covers not just damage you may do to another vehicle, but it could also be damage to fixed property such as lamp posts, buildings, (If you happened to run into one) fences, etc.
Here is where your insurance company pays to fix your car when it's damaged by a fire, storm, or vandalism. It also covers you in case someone steals your vehicle. The cost for comprehensive insurance is controlled by the deductible you choose. The higher your deductible, the lower your cost. If your car is financed, you'll be required to carry comprehensive.
This part of your auto insurance policy will pay you for the total damage to your own vehicle when you're determined to be at fault in a covered accident. An important note to keep in mind about collision coverage is that in the event your car is a total loss, the insurance company will pay out what is called the actual cash value. They determine what your car is worth at the time it's destroyed and pay that amount. The problem that this can present for many people is the fact that it may be less than the amount you still owe for the car. In that event you'll have to pay off the difference.
Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Coverage
It seems that regardless of what the laws require, you're still going to have a group of people who for whatever reason, refuse to carry insurance.
Uninsured motorist will pay for your damages when you're in an accident that isn't your fault and the other party doesn't have any auto insurance, or they don't carry enough. It's very inexpensive to have on your policy, and well worth it.
That's the main car insurance coverage you'll need for any policy. Of course, you can add on other optional coverages as well. Such as rental car, towing, and other options, but that is up to you.
Georgia Homeowners Coverage
Coverage for the structure of your home
Your homeowners policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disasters listed in your policy. Most policies also cover detached structures such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo—generally for about 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of the house.
A standard policy will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear.
When purchasing coverage for the structure of your home, remember this simple guideline: Purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home.
Coverage for your personal belongings
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 you have on the structure of the house.
The best way to determine if this is enough coverage is to conduct a home inventory.
Personal belongings coverage includes items stored off-premises—this means you are covered anywhere in the world. Some companies limit the amount to 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have for your possessions. You also have up to $500 of coverage for unauthorized use of your credit cards.
Expensive items like jewelry, furs, art, collectibles and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these items to their full value, purchase a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure the item for its officially appraised value.
Trees, plants and shrubs are also covered under standard homeowners insurance—generally for about $500 per item. Trees and plants are not covered for disease, or if they have been poorly maintained.
Liability covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members cause to other people. It also pays for damage caused by your pets. So, if your son, daughter (or even your dog) accidentally ruins a neighbor’s expensive rug, you are covered. (However, if they destroy your rug, you’re out of luck.)
The liability portion of your policy pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any court awards—up to the limit stated in your policy documents.
Liability limits generally start at about $100,000, however, it’s a good idea to discuss whether you should purchase a higher level of protection with your insurance professional. If you have significant assets and want more coverage than is available under your homeowners policy, consider purchasing an umbrella or excess liability policy, which provides broader coverage and higher liability limits.
Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage, so if a friend or neighbor is injured in your home, he or she can simply submit medical bills to your insurance company. This way, expenses can be paid without a liability claim being filed against you. It does not, however, pay the medical bills for your own family or your pet.
Additional living expenses (ALE)
ALE pays the additional costs of living away from home if you cannot live there due to damage from a an insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other costs, over and above your usual living expenses, incurred while your home is being rebuilt.
Keep in mind that the ALE coverage in your homeowners policy has limits—and some policies include a time limitation. However, these limits are separate from the amount available to rebuild or repair your home. Even if you use up your ALE your insurance company will still pay the full cost of rebuilding your home up to the policy limit.
What is a deductible?
The insurance deductible is the amount of money you will pay in an insurance claim before the insurance coverage starts paying you. Deductibles can be as low as $250 up to $5000 in the case of homeowners. Our agency suggest a Auto Insurance deductible of no more than $1000. On Homeowners we suggest no less than $1000 to get the best rate. Deductibles should be based on the most that you can afford to pay out of pocket in a claim. "Afford" primarily means the amount you would feel the most comfortable paying if needed. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.