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What All New Homeowners Should Know About Insurance: An Interview with Shane Ragan of Ragan Insurance Agency

By Shane Ragan

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Ragan Insurance is a family owned agency started in 1969. We are a full lines agency that offers Auto, Business, Home, Life, Motorcyle and Power Sports Insurance.

Is there something about getting insured that most new homeowners don't know that they should know?

A factor in purchasing insurance does involve ones credit score. Getting a quote does not affect your score but it is used to determine ones rate. Bankruptcy can dramatically affect one's ability to obtain a competitive quote and coverage.

How would you suggest that a new homeowner approaches "shopping" for home insurance? At what point should they start the process?

Well first, calling me of course would be necessary. We are an independent agent that represents multiple companies. If we are not in your area, then I recommend calling a local independent agent. Make sure they have plenty of company options. It is best to get a quote when you have decided on a home. It is hard for an agent to give you a general quote in today's market.

What do you consider "adequate" coverage for a new home and how do you determine the amount?

All agents and companies now use replacement cost estimators. These are based on the information gained by agent during an initial interview or upon an onsite inspection. The replacement cost is based on construction cost and supply cost for that given area. They are not to be confused with a real estate appraisal. They can be very different in value and usually are.

Why do home insurance rates/premiums increase? Is there any way to prevent this?

Insurance companies make their money a couple of different ways. They can be driven by premium dollars only or a combination of premium dollars and investments. High claims volumes and market fluctuations can drastically affect a company and its rates. That is what we witnessed the last 5 years. The best thing to do is hold your claims down as much as possible. Do not use your policy for maintenance claims.

What are some of the most important decisions that new homeowners need to make about their coverage?

Coverage should always be KING! If you live in a neighborhood that has a HOA with a pool or playground, make sure you carry the max coverage on loss assessment (usually 50k). This is pretty inexpensive. I would suggest a liability limit of $500k. That is usually about $8-$10 extra a year. It is also required for an Umbrella policy (also very inexpensive). Water back up is also a great coverage. Some policies include this and some you have to add the coverage. If you live in an older home, then Ordinance or Law is a must to have. This covers any code upgrade you may have to do after a claim. Each area of the country has certain must have coverages like earthquake and flood. It is just best to sit down with us or your local agent and review what is best for your home. Insurance should not be just shopped for the lowest price, because that can leave you holding the bag on a big claim.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

They can contact me at the following: local 706-323-9521, toll free 800-863-8249 or They can also visit our website

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