There has been a heavy focus on Atlanta home insurance and auto insurance rates over the past couple of years. This is primarily because the good folks of Georgia have suffered through the worst rate increases in the entire country over that time. This has caused thousands of people to set sail on a journey searching for cheaper auto and home insurance rates desperate to shave costs. A common question we receive is “why are my rates higher than my (insert neighbor, friend family member here)”?
The answer is more complicated than many people imagine…
Although no one in Georgia can escape the sweeping rate increases coming from almost every insurance company in the state, there are things you can do to lessen the blow. Many people do not realize how individualized insurance rating has become over the past decade. In years past, if two people lived on the same street and had the same home value then they could expect to pay about the same for insurance coverage. Today, insurance rates are complex formulas that take many individualized points of data into account. One of the primary factors in your cost is now linked to your credit score. You could have two people with the exact same home and their insurance could vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars in premium. There has certainly been debate on how fair this is as it certainly punishes people who have hit on hard times financially through no fault of their own. I mean, what does my credit have to do with a tree falling on my house, right?! However, the insurance industry has strong data correlating losses to credit scores so this is a reality for Atlanta insurance that is not going away any time soon.
So what can you do to overcome these challenging times?
Make your credit score a priority by doing the following,
- Pay your credit balances in full each month (don’t fall for the minimum amount due!)
- Make sure your revolving balance is as low as possible compared to your credit limit
- Do not open multiple new accounts at the same time (each new account harms you in the short term)
- Limit “hard hits” to your credit such as credit checks for car loans or mortgages
- Do your best to live within your means and not get into credit card debt. It is a slippery slope that impacts you in more areas than you realize
Although credit score is not the only factor, you could make a convincing argument it is the most important one when it comes to the premium you pay for Atlanta home and auto insurance. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be a safe driver and properly maintain your home either but that is a conversation for another day!