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Georgia home insurance

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Georgia Homeowners Insurance

Here we outline what you need to know to make smart choices when buying homeowners insurance in Georgia. We rank the best homeowners insurance companies in Georgia, identify cheap homeowners insurance companies in Georgia for six coverage levels and provide expert recommendations on how much coverage you need.

No matter where you live, it pays to compare rates for homeowners insurance. The same is true for Georgia. Premiums can vary, sometimes by a little, sometimes by a good amount more.

Why is that? Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group, explains that various factors influence home insurance rates. They can include building costs in your area, local crime rates, and the risk where you live from natural disasters such as hurricanes, hail storms and tornadoes. And, of course, insurance companies want your business and that may affect pricing.

Here we will provide information on:

  • Homeowners insurance: Georgia average cost
  • How deductibles affect your insurance rate
  • Georgia homeowners insurance comparison: Rates for 10 coverage levels
  • Georgia home insurance comparison by ZIP code
  • Georgia home insurance rates by company
  • Best Georgia home insurance companies
  • Georgia home insurance discounts
  • Other types of home insurance you may need in Georgia
  • Methodology

Homeowners insurance Georgia explained and how much coverage to buy

Before we dive into the other research on costs and companies, you need to know what you’re buying and why, and how much you need.  So, let's look at the basic components of home insurance, and how much to get to make sure you’re not underinsured.

What does home insurance cover

How much is homeowners insurance in Georgia?

The average cost of home insurance in Georgia is $2,555, making Georgia the 19th most expensive state in the country for home insurance. Its average cost is $250, or 11%, more than the national average of $2,305, for the coverage level of:

  • $300,000 dwelling coverage
  • $1,000 deductible
  • $300,000 liability

How deductibles affect your insurance rate

A deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance company pays out on a claim. For example, if your home sustains damage of $3,000 and you have a $500 deductible, you pay the first $500 and your insurer pays $2,500.

Some deductibles are based on dollar amounts. Others are based on a percentage of your home's value. If your home is insured for $200,000 and your deductible is 2%, you will owe $4,000 before insurance coverage kicks in.

You  choose a home insurance deductible amount, which applies to claims for damage to your home or belongings, but not if you’re sued or a medical claim is filed by someone injured in your home. These are typically in the amounts of $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500.

Understanding the implications of the deductible you choose when buying homeowners insurance is important. In Georgia, as in all the states, a higher deductible means you'll save on insurance premiums.

The savings can be significant. Barry says that most insurers recommend a deductible of at least $500, which may be ok for you. But keep in mind that by raising that to $1,000, you're likely to save as much as 25% on your policy, according to the III. Of course, that's $1,000 out of your pocket if there are major problems, so it's a bit of a balancing act.

Georgia home insurance comparison by ZIP code

Savannah ZIP code 31410 is the highest for the Georgia home insurance -- $3,532. ZIP codes for Alpharetta, Sandy Springs and Lawrenceville, with rates ranging from $2,141 to about $2,160 $1,239, are among the cheapest Georgia home insurance rates by ZIP code.

By entering your ZIP code in the search box, you’ll see the average home insurance rate for that area, as well as the highest and lowest premium fielded from major insurers. This will give you an idea of how much you can save by comparing home insurance rates. The difference between the highest the highest rate and the lowest rate is how much you can save by shopping your policy.

Georgia home insurance comparison: Rates for 10 coverage levels

Here we show the average cost of Georgia homeowners insurance for 10 coverage levels, based on a rate analysis by Insurance.com. 

Enter a dwelling coverage of $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 or $600,000. You will see annual average rates based on a $1,000 deductible for each liability limit of $100,000, $300,000.

Sr.No.Coverage LevelRate
1$200,000 dwelling with $100,000 Liability$1,986
2$200,000 dwelling with $300,000 Liability$2,002
3$300,000 dwelling with $100,000 Liability$2,540
4$300,000 dwelling with $300,000 Liability$2,555
5$400,000 with $1000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,017
6$400,000 with $1000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,035
7$500,000 with $1000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$3,539
8$500,000 with $1000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$3,561
9$600,000 with $1000 Deductible and $100,000 Liability$4,065
10$600,000 with $1000 Deductible and $300,000 Liability$4,090

Best homeowners insurance in Georgia (GA)

The homeowners insurance company with the cheapest rates isn’t necessarily the best. Other factors to consider are customer service and claims processing. Insure.com’s 2020 Best Home Insurance Companies report ranks major insurers on feedback from 3,700 customers. They are asked about the value for the price, customer service, claims service and if they’d recommend the company.

Here is how the best home insurance companies in Georgia ranked on the survey. Scores are out of 100. 

Erie, Esurance, Nationwide, Chubb and AIG are the top five best carriers for home insurance, based on customers’ feedback on our survey.

RankingCompanyScore
1Erie92.24
2Esurance89.4
3Nationwide88.48
4Chubb (ACE INA Group / Ace Limited)87.69
5AIG (American International Group)87.3
6USAA87.09
7Safeco86.59
8American Family85.76
9Progressive84.76
10Travelers83.97
11Allstate83.65
12State Farm83.42
13Liberty Mutual82.36
14Hartford81.86
15Farmers79.71

Cheap homeowners insurance companies in Georgia (GA)

Based on our rate analysis, you’ll see Farmers was the cheapest home insurance company, among carriers surveyed. Allstate, Nationwide and USAA also had cheap insurance rates for Georgia homeowners, compared to the other companies. Here are home insurance rates by company for six coverage sets, all with a $1,000 deductible.

Company$200,000 dwelling/$100,000 liability
Farmers$1,251
Allstate$1,408
Nationwide$1,495
Allstate$1,599
USAA$1,770
Charter Oak$1,974
Georgia Farm Bureau$2,019
Garrison$2,107
Travelers$2,110
LM General$2,111
Safeco$2,468
First Liberty$2,637
State Farm$3,112

Company$200,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability
Farmers$1,300
Allstate$1,428
Nationwide$1,516
USAA$1,770
Charter Oak$1,985
Georgia Farm Bureau$2,025
Garrison$2,107
Travelers$2,133
LM General$2,146
Allstate$2,454
Safeco$2,491
First Liberty$2,647
State Farm$3,121

Company$300,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability
Farmers$1,735
Nationwide$2,085
Allstate$2,178
USAA$2,247
Georgia Farm Bureau$2,615
Garrison$2,681
LM General$2,705
Charter Oak$2,728
Travelers$2,729
Safeco$2,742
First Liberty$3,294
State Farm$3,770

Company$400,000 dwelling /$300,000 liability
Farmers$2,262
Nationwide$2,682
USAA$2,694
Allstate$2,901
Travelers$2,978
Safeco$3,005
Allstate$3,017
LM General$3,112
Garrison$3,171
Georgia Farm Bureau$3,227
Charter Oak$3,605
First Liberty$3,846
State Farm$3,948

Company$500,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability
Farmers$2,750
Allstate$2,817
USAA$3,090
Travelers$3,260
Safeco$3,280
Nationwide$3,300
LM General$3,343
Garrison$3,619
Georgia Farm Bureau$3,658
State Farm$3,966
Charter Oak$4,484

Company$600,000 dwelling/$300,000 liability
Allstate$3,083
Farmers$3,366
USAA$3,457
LM General$3,588
USAA$3,631
Georgia Farm Bureau$3,791
Garrison$3,841
Nationwide$3,959
Charter Oak$5,219

Because costs are not uniform, it's crucial to shop around for the best home insurance rate.

Many factors influence the price you pay for insurance. Among others, the III cites the following:

  • Your home's square footage
  • Building costs in your area, and your own home's construction, materials and features
  • Local crime rates
  • The likelihood of certain types of disasters, such as hurricanes

So, shop around for the right policy. Senior Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner suggests getting at least three price quotes when shopping for coverage, and says that doing so can save you up to hundreds of dollars annually.

Although Georgia home insurance costs can be expensive, it's a mistake to cut corners in an attempt to save. Gusner recommends that you get enough insurance to cover the costs to:

  • Repair or replace the structure of your home and personal possessions
  • Defend yourself against liability costs if someone is hurt on your property
  • Pay for a temporary place to live while your home is repaired or replaced

Home insurance in Atlanta (GA) and Georgia’s other largest cities

Let’s explore average rates for some of the state's largest cities, for a policy with $300,000 dwelling coverage, a $1,000 deductible and $300,000 in liability protection. You’ll see homeowners insurance in Atlanta, the Peach State’s capital and the city with the most residents, costs about $40 less than the state average. Of the approximately 40 ZIP codes in Atlanta, rates ranged from a high of $2,709 for ZIP 30354 to $2,178 for ZIP 30338.

CityAverage rateCompared to $2,555 state average
Athens$2,244$311 less
Macon$2,503$52 less
Atlanta$2,512$43 less
Augusta$2,575$20 more
Savannah$3,270$715 more

Georgia home insurance discounts

There are several ways to reduce your Georgia home insurance costs. Many insurers will lower your bill if you purchase more than one type of insurance policy from them. This process – known as "bundling" – can cut your costs by up to 19%, on average, according to Insurance.com’s discount data analysis.

You can also cut your costs by making your home more disaster-resistant. Installing hurricane glass or accordion shutters might net you a discount.

Other possible home insurance discounts include:

  • Installing smoke detectors, a burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks -- 5% each
  • Installing a sprinkler system, and a fire and burglar alarm -- 15% to 20% percent
  • Loyalty discounts – about 4%  on average, after three to five years, and  6% for six years or more

Georgia homes underwater by county

When a home is underwater it means the homeowner owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth in the current market. For example, if the principal balance on your mortgage is $250,000 but the fair market value of the home is $200,000, your home is underwater. In other words, you could not sell the home and make enough from the sale to pay off your mortgage.

According to Insurance.com’s 2020 analysis of second quarter data in Georgia, the counties of Dougherty, Lowndes and Colquitt have the highest percentage of underwater homes in the state. Columbia, Barrow and Fayette have the lowest percentage of underwater homes.

County% of Underwater% with Equity
Dougherty31.0%20.2%
Lowndes28.4%17.9%
Colquitt26.9%21.0%
Bryan25.2%15.2%
Muscogee24.6%10.9%
Effingham22.7%18.1%
Lee22.1%18.0%
Harris22.0%19.9%
Tift21.0%23.8%
Thomas20.6%24.0%
Laurens20.3%21.9%
Peach20.2%18.0%
Ware19.9%19.4%
Chattooga19.4%24.5%
Hart18.2%21.4%
Upson18.2%20.3%
Bibb17.5%13.3%
Baldwin17.4%28.1%
Putnam17.2%19.6%
Rabun16.2%20.9%
Franklin15.3%22.3%
Butts15.2%17.4%
Chatham15.1%21.1%
Liberty15.1%10.0%
Pickens14.2%18.9%
Spalding14.1%20.8%
Glynn13.9%17.4%
Troup13.8%13.9%
Greene13.4%31.0%
Habersham13.3%30.0%
White13.2%21.8%
Stephens12.6%26.1%
Madison12.2%29.9%
Polk12.1%23.4%
Union11.6%32.5%
Floyd11.3%20.1%
Fannin11.1%32.7%
Haralson10.2%26.3%
Camden10.1%12.8%
Gilmer9.9%31.8%
Bulloch9.7%14.2%
Catoosa9.7%16.6%
Walker9.6%19.1%
Lumpkin9.6%21.1%
Monroe9.4%24.5%
Richmond9.1%15.0%
Pike8.7%23.2%
Carroll8.7%18.4%
Newton8.3%17.9%
Gordon8.1%24.0%
Bartow7.9%20.2%
Whitfield7.6%23.6%
Fulton7.1%22.9%
Dawson7.0%20.8%
Douglas6.3%18.0%
Forsyth6.1%16.7%
Clarke5.9%26.4%
Houston5.9%11.7%
Hall5.9%23.0%
Walton5.9%18.8%
Clayton5.6%21.8%
Jackson5.6%19.9%
Cherokee5.5%20.0%
Dekalb5.2%23.7%
Rockdale5.0%18.6%
Oconee5.0%24.1%
Gwinnett4.9%19.8%
Cobb4.7%20.4%
Paulding4.3%16.4%
Coweta4.1%19.1%
Henry3.9%15.0%
Columbia3.9%13.4%
Barrow3.6%19.0%
Fayette3.6%20.9%

Georgia home insurance laws and FAQs

Why do I need flood insurance?

A flood can strike anywhere. In fact, the No. 1 and No. 3 biggest flooding events - in terms of flood claim payouts - in U.S. history both impacted Georgia. Those were Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Floods also occur more often than any other natural disaster in the U.S.

The National Flood Insurance Program provides most of the flood coverage in the U.S. Nationwide, the average policy costs $700 annually, according to FEMA. An NFIP policy provides coverage of up to $250,000 for the structure of the home, and up to $100,000 for personal possessions.

You must buy flood insurance through an agent or company that participates in NFIP. At its official website, the city of Augusta has a list of 26 Georgia insurance companies that FEMA has approved to sell flood insurance.

What is windstorm insurance?

Hurricanes have a history of striking Georgia, particularly along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

For that reason, the state is one of 19 in the U.S. in which insurance companies are allowed to charge a hurricane deductible, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That means that you will pay a separate deductible before your insurance kicks in for damages resulting from a hurricane.

Wind insurance protects you from most damages -- aside from flooding -- caused by storms such as hurricanes.

If you are unable to obtain windstorm coverage -- for example, because you live on the coast and are at much greater risk of hurricane damage -- the Georgia Underwriting Association will provide coverage. You can visit the GUA website for more information.

Is hail damage covered?

Hail can cause serious damage. From 2000 to 2013, Georgia ranked seventh in the U.S. in average claims loss related to hail, according to Verisk Claims Solutions.

Homeowners insurance typically will cover hail damage to the structure of your home, including the roof, windows, a deck or the garage.

Hail damage to your car is covered only if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy.

Do I need earthquake insurance?

Earthquakes might not seem like a big threat in Georgia, but small ones do occur from time to time.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security reports that although temblors are rare in the state, "scattered earthquakes have caused significant damage."

Purchasing earthquake insurance can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are covered if the ground should begin to move.

Coverage tends to be cheap in a low-risk state such as Georgia. According to the Insurance Information Institute: "A brick home would cost approximately $3 to $15 dollars per $1,000 in the Pacific Northwest, while it would cost between 60 to 90 cents in New York."

What can I do if I can't get homeowners insurance in Georgia?

In some cases, you might find it difficult or impossible to get homeowners insurance from a private insurer. Georgia residents who are unable to secure homeowners coverage can turn to the Georgia Underwriting Association.

The GUA serves as a residual insurance market with the mission to ensure that "basic property and liability insurance may be made available to all Georgians." You can find more information at the GUA website.

Coverage offered through the association falls under the category of fair access to insurance requirements -- or FAIR -- plans. This type of coverage exists throughout the U.S. and is intended to cover homeowners who cannot get coverage through no fault of their own.

For example, if you live in an area extremely prone to wind or hail damage, you might need these plans. This coverage often is more expensive than policies you can get on the private market, according to the insurance Information Institute.

To qualify for FAIR plan coverage, you must make improvements to your home that limit the risk of fire, theft or water damage.

Where do I get claims processing info or file a complaint?

You can contact the Consumer Services Division of the Georgia Department of Insurance if you have a claim dispute, premium problem or other concern -- such as a belief that a sale has been misrepresented, a policy improperly canceled or a refund withheld

You can also file a complaint against a public adjuster.

To file a complaint, fill out a complaint form at the department website.

When filing a claim, also provide copies of any supporting documentation that is available, including invoices, canceled checks, advertising materials, and letters between you and the company.

Also include:

  • Your name, address, daytime telephone number and email address
  • The exact name of the insurance company
  • The full name of any agent or adjuster who may be involved
  • Your policy number
  • Your claim number and the date of your loss, if applicable
  • A copy of both sides of your insurance card
  • A concise description of your problem

Mail all of this information to: Georgia Department of Insurance, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 716 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Or, you can fax it to (404)-657-8542.

The department will investigate the complaint. If the department determines that the insurance company has acted improperly, it will require corrective action on the part of the insurer. Just be aware that there are limitations to what the division can do. For example, it will not resolve disputes where a case comes down to your word against the word of the insurer.

If you have additional questions, call the Consumer Services Division at (404) 656-2070 in the metro Atlanta area and toll-free at (800) 656-2298 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to assist you.