What Dalton, GA homeowners should know about home renovations

Home renovations can be fun and exciting. However, they can also be costly as they can greatly affect your home insurance policy. If you’re planning to remodel your home in Dalton, GA, you may want to seriously consider checking with your home insurance company before starting the project to ensure you have the right amount of coverage. At AWARD Insurance Group, we recommend learning how each renovation affects your home insurance rates as some can lower while others may increase the rates.

Any home addition increases replacement cost

A renovation is meant to improve durability, enhance beauty, and increase your home’s value. When the value goes up, you can expect to earn some good profit once you sell the home. On the other hand, you will need to increase your coverage to match the home’s value as the replacement cost will increase. If you are going to add another room such as a home office, pantry, or extra bedroom, be sure to inform your insurance company to update the dwelling coverage.

Bathroom and kitchen renovation adds value and lowers your insurance premium

Many Dalton, GA renovations tend to go around the bathroom or kitchen. Upgrading any of these can cost you about 2 to 5 percent of your home’s total value, depending on the makeover and materials used. Remember, the more durable the materials, the lower your premium as insurance companies assume durable materials last longer and are less likely to be damaged by common accidents.

Installing a swimming pool increases your liability coverage

Adding a swimming pool can be a huge investment. However, your insurance company will need you to update different coverages such as bodily injury liability and property damage liability to cover for accidents such as drowning and injuries. 

Looking to buy or update your home insurance policy? AWARD Insurance Group is here to take you through the steps and ensure you’re adequately covered. Call us today!

Determining How Much Home Insurance Coverage You Need

You know you need home insurance. However, determining how much home insurance you need can be as complicated as the process of buying a home itself. The good news is at AWARD Insurance Group in Dalton, GA, we make the process of choosing home insurance easy and understandable. 

Replacement Costs

Home insurance coverage limits are often determined by your mortgage, your home’s appraisal value or the amount you purchased your home for. Having a coverage limit significantly higher than the costs to replace your home is a wasted expense. However, not having enough coverage can put you at risk.

The easiest way to determine how much structural coverage you need is to estimate the replacement cost of your home. Check local building costs, and multiply the per sq ft cost by the sq ft of your home. If you have other structures like a garage, barn, or guest house, you should include the costs to replace these as well. 

Other factors to consider are extra costs to bring an older home up to current building codes, and hard to replace elements. If your home has antique doorknobs, they will be more expensive to replace than standard knobs, for example. 

Types of Coverage

A standard homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover everything that can damage your home. You may need a separate policy for floods and earthquakes. You may also need rider policies if you have expensive jewelry or antiques. 

If you need home insurance or aren’t sure that your current coverage is adequate, contact us at AWARD Insurance Group in Dalton, GA. Our agents will explain the homeowner’s policy options and help you select the right coverage for your needs. 

Is Home Insurance and Property Insurance the Same Thing?

The right insurance policy is going to make a huge difference in the way that you recover should your home or property become badly damaged. For those looking to take out an insurance policy, it is always best to take the time to find out the differences between policy types so you can find the right policy for you. For those that live in the Dalton, GA area, the agents with AWARD Insurance Group can help you find the right policy for you.

Property insurance is not the same thing as homeowners insurance but property dwelling insurance does do a bit of the same thing. Homeowner’s insurance covers the home as well as the property within the home as well as coverages for injury and other issues that might arise. Property dwelling insurance only covers the house. Homeowner’s insurance can be considered a type of property insurance but the term is much too broad to say that they are one and the same. A property insurance policy may only be for one specific thing whereas a homeowner’s policy covers many things.

It is important to take the time to figure out what type of policy is going to work best for you. You may only need a dwelling policy, you may be able to get some other type of property insurance, or you may need the added coverage and safety that a full homeowner’s policy offers. Knowing what type of policy you need is going to make a big difference in the overall coverage of your policy and in what money you can get in the case that you do need to recover or rebuild. For those in the Dalton, GA area, the agents with AWARD Insurance Group can help you to find the perfect coverage.  

Does My Dog Breed Affect My Home Insurance?

You have this lovely dog that you consider a member of your family, however, when you apply for your homeowner’s insurance policy, your insurance provider tells you that your dog cannot be covered it belongs to a high-risk breed. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten annually by dogs.

Insurance firms normally ensure dog incident costs up to some liability limits, but some insurance firms will not provide cover for certain dog breeds that are considered dangerous. Other companies make a decision depending on the history of the dog being dangerous, regardless of which breed it belongs to.

Coverage options

A significant part of homeowners insurance claims are related to dog incidents. This has made many insurance firms to re-evaluate the type of dog breed they would be able to cover. The following are some insurance options offered by companies:

  • Raise the premium of your home insurance policy as a result of the dog breed.
  • Let you have any type of dog you want, but not include it in your home insurance plan. You may even be required to sign a dog exclusion contract.
  • Not offer you any insurance at all because you own a vicious dog breed.

AWARD Insurance Group is an insurance agency in Dalton GA that provides you with great insurance options. Call us today to know more.

The Riskiest Dog Breeds Which Are Not Normally Covered

The list of dangerous dogs usually varies from one insurance provider to another, but generally, the following breeds are normally excluded from a homeowners insurance policy:

  • Pitbull
  • Rottweiler
  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • American Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Bullmastiff
  • Chow Chow
  • Pressa Canario
  • Doberman
  • Wolf Breed
  • Any mix of the above mentioned breeds.

These dogs are on this list because they can cause more damage compared to smaller dogs, and an attorney may be involved in the case leading to higher claims.

If you have any questions on how your dog influences your home insurance please contact AWARD Insurance Group is an insurance agency in Dalton, GA and you will get the best advice.

Myths and Assumptions made by new home owners from the North

When moving from a northern climate like the Midwest or New England, often people make assumptions about what they need for homeowners insurance and life in general when moving to the Deep South.  AWARD Insurance Group serving Dalton, GA understands that a move can be daunting and is there to help you assess your needs, and help you acclimate.

Insurance varies from state to state, not only in its coverage but also in it’s deductible. It’s a good idea to check what you are covered for and what you need.

Myth #1

There’s no snow, and unless you are on the shore, there’s no flooding.

According to FEMA, flooding is the most frequent natural disaster in the US. Most policies do not cover flood damage, but often a supplemental flood insurance can be added to your portfolio. While beach front is often overlooked in Georgia, it does boast some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic, those houses perched on the beach will be a bit more for flood insurance than low to moderate zones

Myth #2

My medical expenses are covered by homeowners insurance.

It actually covers the medical of a guest who might be injured in your home. 

Myth # 3

You can buy a home without having home insurance.
Just like up North, if you have a mortgage, most lenders require you to purchase insurance.  However, it’s up to the homeowner to get appropriate insurance for their area and home.

From barbeque to grits to cornbread to boiled peanuts, Georgians take southern cuisine seriously. AWARD Insurance Group serving Dalton, GA takes your insurance seriously.  To answer any of your homeowner’s insurance questions. Just give them a call or stop in for a visit.




How to Spring Clean Around Your Home

Winter is just about over and that means that spring is right around the corner. With the spring weather comes the need for spring cleaning. If you are like most people then you do not want to do any spring cleaning but you also know that it is something that will make you feel better and your home in Dalton, GA look better. Before you get started, be sure to use these tips from AWARD Insurance Group. 

  • Dust. The first thing you want to do is dust everything around your home. Dust can really accumulate during the winter months and a good dusting can make a huge difference around your home. If you do nothing else, you need to dust. 
  • Choose one or two projects. If you try to list out everything you need to get done around your home, you will likely get overwhelmed. Instead of looking at it that way, think of one or two organization or cleaning projects you want to tackle and get them done. If you finish those and want to do more, then think of another project, You just don;t want to to overwhelm yourself in the beginning. 
  • Get some help. No one ever said that you have to do this on your own. You can ask for help from friends and family and offer the same in return to them.

Once you have your game plan set for spring cleaning, you need to make sure you have fully protected your home. That means you need to have a great home insurance policy. If you do not already have one, be sure to reach out to AWARD Insurance Group, serving Dalton, GA, for a free quote. They will be sure to work within your budget and meet your needs. 

Does Home Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

Home insurance covers a wide range of things and storm damage is certainly one of them, to a certain extent. For those in the Dalton, GA area, the agents at AWARD Insurance Group can explain further but here is a basic explanation.

Storm damage is a tricky thing to claim on a home insurance policy. For starters, if you are claiming flood damage or damage that had to do with a storm that resulted in a flood, your policy is likely not to cover this unless you have a flood insurance policy. Next, if you are claiming storm damage but it is obvious that the storm was not bad enough in your area or that the damage is not great enough to claim, your home insurance is likely not to cover it.

Also, home insurance policies, the basic ones that is, are not going to cover hurricanes because they are not a normal or widely occurring event. Those that want to claim damage that was the result of a hurricane will need to have hurricane insurance. Most policies will have basic storm coverage like roof damage due to ice, wind, excessive rain, and snow. They will also have coverage for things like shutters and cars or other buildings that are on the property that were damaged from the storm.

No matter what damage you are experiencing, your insurance company is likely to have some sort of coverage for it. Your best course of action is to talk with your agent about possible coverage and about possible claims that can be filed to help repair the damage that was the result of the storm. For those in the Dalton, GA area, the agents with AWARD Insurance Group can help you find the policy and the insurance claim that is right for you.  

Home Checklist for Fall

Most people know what they need to know to winterize the interior and exterior of their home.  We here at AWARD Insurance Group in Dalton, GA don’t want you to forget the little things like for the yard and garden as well as for your porch and deck.  Here is a short checklist of items to winterize those areas.

Yard and Garden

Make sure that all of your hoses have been drained and then store them inside.  You will also want to shut all of the outdoor water valves off when the weather gets cold.  Any water that gets left in your exterior faucets and pipes can end up freezing and hen expanding, which can break your pipes.

If you have any bird feeders, inspect and fill them.  Remember that after you begin feeding the birds, you will need to continue doing so for the remainder of the winter.

Make sure to fertilize your yard with a fertilizer that has a high mix of phosphorous so that you get healthy grass when the weather warms up again.

Porch and Deck

Check all of the railings, stairs and supports on your decks and porches.  Ensure that the hand rails will be able to support someone if needed to when someone slips on ice.

Clean all of the deck and porch furniture and while you are doing so, check them for any issues that need to be repaired.  Cover and then store any barbecue grills or outdoor furniture in the area.

Ensure that all of the soil has been emptied from planters and pots.  If you leave any dirt in clay pots, it can freeze and this will lead to the pots breaking.

As always, if you have any questions about your home owner’s policy, please call or come by today.

Ways to Pack Efficiently in Dalton, GA

It’s never fun to pack up and move out of your place to your new place, but it is a necessary evil. However, there are some ways to pack and move that are much better and less stressful than others. Below are some helpful packing tips that will make the whole process less arduous and the whole move less stressful.


Labeling boxes is a critical thing to do when packing for a move, so that you know exactly where items go in your new place and you know what is generally inside of them. These labeling options can vary between basic permanent markers written on the box to color coding that corresponds with something only you know about where they go in your new place and what is contained inside of them. Whatever you decide, just make sure to have this plan and items necessary for labeling boxes on hand.


Make sure you are protecting your items during the move, as well as your new home from any damage during the move itself. The best way to do this is to set up a home insurance or renters insurance policy that will cover these items or any accidents that happen during the move. Check out AWARD Insurance Group, who has been known to write policies for home owners and renters in the Dalton, Georgia area.


There are a surprising number of ways to acquire free boxes for your move, so you don’t have to waste money of cardboard you are just going to throw away the next day. Go to your work or apartment complexes mailroom if you have one and ask for some extra boxes. Try a liquor store who will have some extra boxes from some of their shipments laying around, which they should give to you for free.

Get Your Home Ready for the Heating Season

As fall progresses and winter approaches, it’s time for homeowners in Greenwood, IN to get ready for the upcoming cold season. Many homeowners decide to take care of basic maintenance items, especially ones related to the coming cold and snow, at this time of year. At AWARD Insurance Group, we also encourage homeowners to review their insurance protections during the fall.

Preparing for Snow and Cold

Making your home more efficient will pay dividends throughout the heating season, even if you have to pay a service person now. Additionally, having your home’s heating equipment professionally serviced will ensure that it can be safely operated. A few things you might want to do or have done include:

  • having your heater serviced
  • having your chimney cleaned
  • reversing your ceiling fans

Reversing your fans won’t prevent a fire, like cleaning your chimney might, but it will help you save on heating costs. Most ceiling fans can be reversed by simply turning a switch. Once reversed, they’ll circulate warm air throughout a room.

Reviewing Your Insurance Protections

Often, reviewing your insurance coverage takes even less time than calling a service person. In just a short conversation with an independent insurance agent, you can both review your current insurance policy and compare it to others that are available. If another one offers better coverage or lower rates, switching insurers takes just another additional moment or two.

If you don’t have an independent agent who can help you with your insurance needs, contact us at AWARD Insurance Group. We’ve assisted many homeowners in your community, and we’re ready to help you. The easiest way to get in touch with one of our agents is to contact us online, but you can also call our agency, if you prefer.