Not all Atlanta homeowner’s insurance policies are created equal. Any number of variables could change the level of coverage you need and the premium for that coverage.

When you are shopping for Atlanta homeowner’s insurance, there are a few basic questions you should ask your agent to be sure you are getting the best coverage possible. Here are a few:

Are you and your company licensed to sell insurance in Georgia? This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised at how many unethical “insurance agents” there are out there. The last thing you want to do is purchase a bogus Atlanta homeowner’s insurance policy that you cannot claim when you need it. Verify the answers with the state insurance department.

Can you tell me if my home has a claims history? Believe it or not, claims that were filed on your home before you were the owner can have an impact on your premium. Knowing the claims history may not be able to change your premium amount, but it can help you to better understand why your premium might be a bit higher than you anticipated.

What will my policy cover? Atlanta homeowner’s insurance will cover some things all of the time, some things some of the time, and other things not at all unless you purchase additional riders. You need to know exactly what those things are and how much coverage you have for each of them.

Should I purchase flood or earthquake coverage? In Atlanta, we aren’t too prone to earthquakes, but flooding has been known to happen from time to time. Since your homeowner’s insurance covers neither automatically, it’s worth discussing the need with your agent.

What effect will filing a claim on my home have on my coverage? When you need to file an Atlanta homeowner’s insurance claim, it may or may not affect the amount of your premium. You should not avoid filing a claim if you genuinely need to—that’s what the coverage is there for to begin with. However, you should be aware of how doing so might impact the future of your policy.

Sometimes, if it’s a small claim, you may find that it’s better to cover the expenses out of pocket rather than risk increasing your premium. On the other hand, when you have larger problems to solve, it’s usually worth the slight increase to set your world right again.