Understanding How Home Insurance Works

Whether you own your home or have a mortgage against it, it is imperative that you protect it with proper insurance coverage. Please keep in mind that home insurance policies greatly vary in regards to the types of coverage they provide, but you can have them customized to meet your exact needs. This is why it is so pertinent to discuss your options with your insurance agent. Here is a look at how home insurance works and why you need it. 

Purchasing a home insurance policy helps ensure both the structure of your home and your personal belongings are protected. Please note that not all belongings are insured individually, rather the value of your belongings is insured. By speaking with a qualified agent, you can talk about the exact amount of coverage you need to ensure your personal belongings are protected. 

There are three main ways to insure your home:

  • According to its replacement cost
  • According to its extended replacement cost
  • According to its actual cash value

The type of way you need to insure your home will be determined by your exact needs and preferences. A replacement cost policy generally has a limitation in relation to the maximum dollar amount it will pay out. An extended replacement cost is different because it will usually go over the limit by up to 20 percent to ensure any increase or inflation in construction expenses are covered in the event a claim is filed. An actual cash amount policy will provide coverage in the amount of what it actually costs to cover the damages minus the age and use of the part of the home being replaced or repaired.

To learn more about home insurance policies, contact the LG Insurance Group serving the Marietta, GA area.

Preparing Your Home for Emergencies

No matter where a person resides, emergencies happen. Residents in Marietta, GA and the surrounding region need to prepare in the event of a serious storm or other condition that may affect their homes. Although nothing is 100-percent effective at protecting a home, certain precautions will reduce damages to the home and inconveniences to the family.

1. Create an Emergency Kit
Residents don’t want to find themselves without adequate food and supplies if they find themselves trapped inside their homes for several days. It’s important to have a stock of bottled water, nonperishable food items, flashlights with batteries, extra food for pets, at least an extra week’s worth of medications, matches and a radio.
2. Storm-Proof Windows
When high winds happen and debris flies through the air, it puts a person at risk for the windows in the home shattering. It’s potentially hazardous for individuals and pets in the home. Not to mention, the price of replacing windows isn’t cheap, nor is it cheap to replace any damage done from water entering the home through the broken window or the damage the debris did. Homeowners should cover their windows with plywood or storm shutters. Residents should install straps onto the roof in order to secure the shingles. Reinforcing the garbage can protect the homeowner from paying the deductible in order to replace the door.

3. Get the Right Insurance
Whether a homeowner is living without homeowner’s insurance or doesn’t have adequate insurance, the devastation of an emergency can financially ruin a person. It’s possible that the individual may not even have a place to live for this reason. Instead of waiting for an incident to occur, a homeowner should plan in advance and get the right insurance.

To set up or adjust a policy or learn more about preparing for emergencies, homeowners should contact LG Insurance Group, serving Marietta and the surrounding, at 678-671-8480.

5 Helpful Fall Cleaning Checklist Tips

Fall is a magical time of year for a lot of people, as they bundle up for the dropping temperatures. Not everyone loves sweating as they walk from the car to their front door, and autumn provides relief for those who would prefer to be cool as a cucumber. Take these steps to make your home as ready for fall as you are. 

1. Insulate to Save 

Every year, people give their money away to energy companies for heat that they never end up using. Even tiny cracks can let a lot of air escape over the course of a season. Don’t let this happen to you when you can take a few precautions to save yourself the hassle. 

2. Dust and Mop 

And then, do it again. When you don’t have air coming in from the outside, it makes it far easier for the air inside to be stale. A very thorough fall cleaning can make you feel as though you’re ready to take on the winter in Marietta, GA. 

3. Store It Away 

Storage is a life saver for many during winter and summer, but sometimes homeowners don’t want to go through the effort of deciding what to store and what to keep. If you don’t think you’ll use an object for at least a month during the winter season, it might be time to put it away for a while. 

4. Clean the Gutters 

They won’t do well with the snow if they’re full of fall leaves. 

5. Check Your Insurance Policy 

LG Insurance Group serves Marietta, GA and knows what the snow can do to a home, so make sure your policy can protect you from the elements. Call us today to speak to agents who can help you navigate your policy. 

Is Water Backup covered by my Homeowner’s Policy?

Water and Sewer Backup coverage is one of the more important optional coverages that you should consider adding to your homeowner’s insurance policy.  The infographic below shows how some common water losses are handled by Safeco Insurance.  It details how certain water (backup) losses are handled by their base homeowner’s policy, an optional endorsement for Water/Sewer Backup, or excluded entirely.  While you always need to check your specific policy and insurer, these examples are common across many carriers.





Is Chimney Repair Covered By Home Insurance?

Chimney repairs can be costly. As such, if you find out that your chimney is in need of repair, you may be wondering if it is covered by home insurance or not. Unfortunately, the answer is not clear cut. Some types of repairs are covered, while others are not. Here is the information you need to know if you need a chimney repair.

What Chimney Repairs Does Home Insurance Cover?

If your chimney needs a repair due to a natural disaster, the repair will usually be covered. For example, if hail pelts your chimney causing damage, your repairs would be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.  However, if an earthquake causes your home to shift, which causes cracks or damage to the chimney, your repair would only be covered if you opted to add an additional earthquake endorsement to your homeowner’s policy.

What Chimney Repairs Are Not Covered By Home Insurance?

Natural disasters are covered under your home insurance policy. Simple maintenance, wear and tear and conditions caused by age are not covered. As such, if your home is 50 years old and the bricks are just wearing out, that repair is not covered. Or if your chimney is deteriorating because you have not kept up with properly maintaining it, that repair is not covered.

It is also important to point out that chimney repairs may be needed due to shoddy past chimney repairs or roof repairs. In these cases, your home insurance will not cover the repairs. But, if the company you used was insured, you may be able to file a claim against their liability insurance and have your repair paid for by them.

Do you have questions about your home insurance needs? Then give LG Insurance Group a call. We serve the Marietta, GA area and are here to help with all of your home owner’s insurance needs, including answering questions, providing you with quotes and helping you to determine how much coverage you need.

Home-Buying Tips for the Single Guy and Gal

Who says you need to be married to purchase a home? According to Bloomberg.com, single Americans make up more than half of the adult population—and many of them want to create their own version of the American Dream. Contacting a Trusted Choice® agent can be the key to success for single folks who are in the market to purchase a home, but here are some things to consider in the meantime.


The Lone Ranger

Whether you’re single or married, purchasing a home has its challenges. It’s important to be fully armed with information in order to cultivate a plan that works for you.

To start, make a list of your current monthly expenses, take a gander at your savings account and evaluate your personal and professional goals. When you list your monthly expenses, be sure to consider pending expenses. If you’re fresh out of college, you probably haven’t felt the sting of paying student loans every month and going to work every day. If you have only saved enough for a down payment, think again—moving expenses like rental trucks and purchasing new household items can add up quickly.

Finally, don’t forget about life goals outside purchasing a home—if you plan to start a business or retire in three to five years, owning a home should probably be a dream deferred.


Lending a Helping Hand

The majority of homeowners obtain financing through a bank loan. When a married couple applies for a home loan, the bank can depend on two incomes to pay the loan back. But a single person must qualify and handle making the same payments alone. According to Time.com, “Banks are not allowed to discriminate based on marital status, but tighter lending standards can potentially pose a challenge to single buyers because they only have their own income to qualify for a loan.”

Before applying for a bank loan, be sure to tighten up your credit, pay off as many debts as possible and save a nice nest egg in order to show the bank that you don’t need another person to help you repay your loan.


Protect Yourself

You will likely need to obtain homeowners insurance in order to secure financing from the bank, but don’t wait until you apply for a loan to get insurance. A Trusted Choice agent can be a valuable resource right from the start by giving you tips and connecting you with lenders, realtors and home inspectors—they work with these people on a regular basis.

Being single doesn’t mean you’re alone. A Trusted Choice Agent is the best partner you can have when you’re ready to buy your dream home








Safety Makes Your Summer Party Memorable—In the Right Way

mojitosThe entertainment value in a summertime get-together can be in the camaraderie and storytelling. But don’t let your next backyard barbecue turn into a tale of woe, to be retold years from now.

One party hostess recalled a disastrous event that involved hot oil, alcohol, a paper tablecloth and fireworks:  “The oil to fry the turkey was too hot and too full. Maybe it had to do with the over-served [read: one too many alcoholic beverages] cook. But once the turkey went in, the oil bubbled over, caught the paper tablecloth on fire, and lit the grass on fire.”

The grass fire then ignited a pile of fireworks, which were supposed to be on the porch. This in turn “led to one huge fireball, screaming crying children who will probably never recover from the panic that was set throughout, which then led to roof catching on fire.”

The damage tally was: one home partially destroyed, several cars damaged by smoke, a missing dog, $2,500 worth of poorly timed fireworks and three acres of burned grass. The lessons learned, reported the wiser hostess: “We now monitor everyone’s booze intake, park cars far away, and only have one person know where the fireworks are. And I now cook the turkey with fire extinguishers nearby.”

Summer is truly party time in America. But homeowners should be aware of the risks associated with these get-togethers. Before reviewing safety tips, let’s look at three common risks for which a homeowner might need insurance coverage:

Liquor liability: Summer parties can be a breeding ground for drinking-and-driving accidents. Most homeowners know that they bear some responsibility if a guest becomes impaired after consumer alcoholic drinks at the homeowner’s house, and then causes a car accident. If the party-giver is sued, however, his/her homeowners and automobile insurance policies may not provide liability coverage. (Keep in mind that the legal defense against a claim is another significant expense for anyone who is sued in such a circumstance.)

Changes to homeowners insurance standard contracts made in 2000 may limit the coverage available under a homeowners policy. Homeowners might be well served to check their homeowners and auto insurance policies (contacting their agent, if necessary) to determine what protection they may have.

Personal accidents on the homeowner’s property: A homeowners policy and an excess liability policy (dubbed an “umbrella” policy) provide broad protection for accidents on the party host’s property. For instance, if a guest tumbles down the steps of an outdoor deck or a child is burned by the outdoor grill, the homeowners policy would pay medical costs for the guest (and, should a lawsuit follow, likely would pay the costs of defending against the lawsuit and damages awarded in the case).

No one, of course, wants to see such events occur, but accidents do happen. Homeowners coverage is designed to “make whole” a homeowner who is facing a liability claim due to an accident on his or her property.

Property damage liability: When guests drive to your party and park their cars at your home, the homeowner assumes risk. The possibilities of property damage range from a simple dent from a stray baseball, to a young driver releasing the parking brake and rolling the car into a tree, to an impaired driver going for a joy ride and damaging the car. A different example of property damage is the theft of a guest’s purse/wallet or valuable articles from the party-giver’s property.

Homeowners coverage pays for damage to another person’s property, if the homeowner is held liable. A homeowner’s negligence and omissions (i.e., failing to take steps that might have prevented an incident) are reasons that he or she can be found liable for damage to another person’s property.

To prevent accidents, consider some sensible safety precautions:


Some 5,000 people are injured by charcoal, wood-burning and propane grill fires each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration of the Federal Emergency Management Administration. Good safety practices include:

§  Before using a propane gas grill, check the connection between the tank and the fuel line. Make sure the Venturi tubes (where the air and gas mix) are not blocked, and check hoses for cracks or damage.

§  Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. And never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas, as deadly carbon monoxide can be produced.

§  Keep a fire extinguisher or a source of water (a garden hose or four-gallon pail of water) near an outdoor grill or barbecue.

§  While barbecuing, don’t wear loose clothing. Use long-handled barbecue tools and/or mitts that are flame resistant.

§  Don’t squirt flammable liquids onto an open flame.

§  Don’t leave a grill unattended.

§  Keep matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills, which are objects of curiosity.

§  If using a charcoal or wood fire, dispose of hot coals properly by soaking them with water, then stirring to ensure that fire is extinguished. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.

§  Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill since they are flammable.


Liquids containing alcohol cause the human body to lose more fluid, say health educators. So summertime drinking in the sun or heat can present hazards to health, including impaired judgment, balance and coordination. Consider these safety tips if serving:

§  Use designated drivers.

§  Make non-alcoholic beverages as available as alcoholic drinks.

§  Stop serving alcohol before the party ends.

§  If children are attending the event, remember that alcohol may seem more available to them at a party.

Dining outdoors

Food-borne illnesses favor the hot conditions found at outdoor events where food is not refrigerated or may be undercooked. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers food safety tips:

§  Cook foods thoroughly to safe minimum internal temperatures.

§  Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be heated and maintained at 140 °F or warmer with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Cold foods should be held at 40 °F or colder. Maintain cold by placing food dishes in bowls of ice or in a cooler.

§  Live by the “two-hour rule”: Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours.


(Source:  Trusted Choice)

Tips for Packing in Marietta, GA

There is little joy in moving beyond actually being moved into your new place and even less joy in packing and unpacking, because it is a slow going, often times frustrating process. Below are some packing tips in the hopes that it will alleviate the stress associated with your overall move, allowing you to get into your place all the more quickly and smoothly.


This will help you keep track of all your stuff you have been packing up, so that you will have less of a chance of losing anything along the way or when you are unpacking and wondering where that one particular item went. Just write it down in a notebook or in your phone so you can clearly keep track of what is where and then refer to it when you are unpacking at your new place.


Insurance is necessary during and after a move, as it will protect the items you are moving, as well as the new place you are moving into. Make sure you set up a home insurance or renters insurance policy with LG Insurance Group who serves the Marrietta, GA area, as they will be sure to help you find a policy to protect your new place and everything inside of it.


Pack books individually in very small boxes, as they tend to be incredibly heavy and hard to move. This way heavy books won’t end up in large boxes, adding unnecessary weight to them and throwing the boxes off balance when they are being carried or transported from point A to point B. Along with your labeling, it will also be clear which boxes contain books and which ones don’t, and where they go in your new place.

What Factors Impact your Homeowner’s Insurance Premium?

Have you ever wondered what determines your homeowner’s insurance premiums?  Why the new house you just bought is $1,000 less (or more) for homeowner’s insurance than the home you just sold?  All insurers have their own unique model, or calculation, to determine your premium and many try to find unique variables to make their company better at determining the “right” premium for your home.  So while we are unable to list all the possible variables, let’s review the most common and perhaps the most significant ones.

1)  Dwelling Limit – this is the amount of coverage needed to rebuild your home.  Of course many factors also go into determining the right coverage limit for your home such as square footage, quality of construction, building materials, etc.

2)  Your Financial Insurance Score – this is not your credit score, but is still based on your credit history.  Insurers have found that the handling of one’s credit and bill payment history is predictive of future losses.

3)  Your location – Is your home located in an area prone to tornados, blizzards, hurricanes or other natural disasters?  Is there a high frequency of burglaries or vandalism?  In addition to weather and crime statistics, another variable related to your location is the distance to your home and quality of your local fire department which is called your fire protection classification.

4)  Year Built – A homeowner that has lived in a home long enough knows this unfortunate fact; the older a home, the more “things” happen.  It could be a burst pipe, worn electrical wiring or a number of other issues that arise over time.  While homeowner’s insurance may not cover “wear and tear,” many of the sudden damages caused by these issues are, such as water damage caused by the burst pipe.  The surcharge of older homes can be minimized, however, with replacement of or updates to major household systems such as furnaces, roof, plumbing and electrical wiring.

5)  Exterior Construction – The materials utilized to build your home are considered in both risk and ease of replacement.  For example wood homes are more susceptible to fire and water damage than brick homes.  Conversely, if you were looking to add an earthquake endorsement or policy to your insurance plan, then wood homes usually withstand this disaster better than brick homes.  Insurers also look at the supply of materials used in your home’s construction.  Imported or limited supply materials are going to carry a heavier expense.

6)  Security Features – The measures you take to minimize or avoid damage to your home can reward you with additional discounts on your homeowner’s insurance.  The most common ones include centrally monitored burglary and/or fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and deadbolt locks on your exterior doors.

7)  Liability Exposures – Insurers consider any features to your home that may increase the likelihood of others to sustain injuries on your property.  Common examples of such features would include pools, trampolines and pets.

8)  Claim or Loss History – If you have filed a claim within the recent past, most likely any insurer will surcharge you for the next several years.  The type of loss you had will also impact the amount of the surcharge, with a weather related loss being far less costly than other causes of loss.  If you were unfortunate to have multiple losses within a small period of time, then you will also probably find the ability to attain a new policy more challenging for at least a few years.  Additionally, claim history follows you from one home to the next, so if you ever wonder if you should turn in that “small” claim, you should call your independent agent to help you weigh the pros and cons.

9)  Coverage and Deductibles – Not all homeowner’s insurance policies are the same.  Many carriers offer multiple levels of coverages, from “bare bones” to “robust” to suit your needs, budget and level of risk tolerance.  Additionally your deductible, or the amount that you cover of a loss before your insurance begins to pay, also has a significant impact on your premium.  The more you “self insure,” the less your insurance premiums will be.

We hope this helps you gain a little insight into your homeowner’s insurance premiums.  While not all are in your direct control, perhaps understanding some of the variables utilized can help you take steps to minimize your homeowner’s insurance premium through either prudent home improvements or reviewing your coverages and deductibles with your independent insurance agent.

Irrecoverable Property Loss? The IRS Could Be Your Friend

Even though we are big fans of insurance and its valuable place in your protection planning, we also understand this basic truth: No one wants to have a claim.

Yet when that time comes, your Trusted Choice® agent knows your homeowners policy will have a chance to prove its mettle in responding fairly and expeditiously to repair, replace or restore your valuable property assets. With proper coverage at the proper limits, even catastrophic financial loss to your property due to hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, fires, and even crime can be minimized.

But what about your deductibles? When an insured loss is so severe as to exceed even the best planned protection?  Or claims for which no coverage may exist, either because you didn’t have the proper coverage in place or simply the loss was uninsurable?

For any losses not fully recoverable from your insurance, some help may be available from an unexpected source: the IRS.

Specifically, Tax Topic 515 from the Internal Revenue Service addresses casualty, disaster and theft losses (including federally declared disaster areas). By referring to this topic, and then information in Publication 547: Casualties, Disasters and Thefts, and in Publication 584: Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property), you can find detailed advice on when and how you may be eligible to deduct losses not reimbursed by your insurance on your individual income taxes.

Part of the good news is that the IRS definition of “casualty loss” is quite broad:

A casualty loss can result from the damage, destruction or loss of your property from any sudden, unexpected, or unusual event such as a flood, hurricane, tornado, fire, earthquake or even volcanic eruption. A casualty does not include normal wear and tear or progressive deterioration.

It’s not quite as simple as totaling your losses and deducting the amount paid by insurance. (This is the IRS, remember.) You must also consider the adjusted cost basis of your property, any decrease in fair market values, salvage value, and other factors that the IRS takes into account to arrive at the final amount you may deduct. Calculations, values and determination of your final deduction are provided on IRS Form 4684.

At a time of loss, any benefit the IRS can offer may prove a welcome addition to your financial recovery. Yet your Trusted Choice® agent still wants to minimize your need to deal with the potential complexity and limitations of the IRS requirements with a simple strategy: Minimize your uninsured loss. Schedule time today to discuss with your insurance professionals a comprehensive review of your current assets at risk and the protection provided by your current insurance. When it comes to losses to your property, let’s work together to keep the IRS deductions as a nice bonus, not your first line of defense.