Atlanta is the economic and cultural heart of America’s southeast. Established in 1837 at the point where two railroad lines met, and burned almost entirely to the ground by Union troops in the Civil War, Atlanta has risen from the ashes. Today it is the capital of Georgia, and with nearly 440,000 residents, the state’s most populous city. It is a major transportation hub with the world’s busiest airport, home to three professional sports franchises, a major center for broadcast and print media, and headquarters for several Fortune 500 companies including Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and UPS. Atlanta’s cultural, recreational and historic attractions bring 35 million visitors to the city each year. Many of them choose to stay, drawn by a healthy, diversified economy. If you’re considering relocating to HotLanta, this guide is a good place to learn about the one of the world’s most vibrant cities and some of the essential insurance coverage you’ll need.
Atlanta Climate Report
Summers are hot and humid (76.12% average) in Atlanta, with July being the warmest month with an average range of 70 to 88 degrees, although the city hit a record high of 104 in 1983. Winters are typically mild, with January average ranges of 35 to 51 degrees. However, the winter of 2013/14 was one of the worst in Atlanta history. A freak snow storm in January 2014 dumped 2.6 inches of snow on the city in one day, stranding thousands of cars. Atlanta does get a lot of rain – about 50.2 inches a year, with January being the rainiest month. Tornados are not unheard of. Neither is flooding. According to the City Department of Watershed Management, “Flooding is the most frequent and costly natural disaster in Atlanta.” While damage from snow, wind and rain storms are generally covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy, flood damage is not. It must be purchased separately or as an endorsement.
Driving and Atlanta Car Insurance
WalkScore.com calls Atlanta a car-dependent city, giving it just 46 points for walkability and only 43 each for public transit and bike lanes. If you’re going to live and work here, chances are you’re going to need an automobile. That means you’re also going to need Georgia car insurance. You can shop for competitive Atlanta car insurance quotes online here. The minimum coverage required is $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage. You will need proof of insurance before you can register your vehicle, and you have just 30 days from the time you establish residency to do that. Before you can register, however, you’ll need to secure a Georgia driver’s license. Make an appointment with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (find a location here) and take your current driver’s license, Social Security number, proof of state residency (such as a bank statement, utility bill or rental contract) and secure, verifiable identification with you when you go.
After that, you’ll need to visit the County Tax Commissioner’s Office (click here to find one near you), bringing along your proof of insurance, temporary Georgia driver’s license and current registration. Once there, you’ll fill out the application for title and license plate and pay the registration fee.
No matter where you live in America, you are now required by federal law to have a qualified health insurance plan that covers the essential benefits mandated in the Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare). The state of Georgia has additional mandated benefits. You can learn what those are, find a list of Georgia healthcare resources and get competitive quotes for Atlanta health insurance for individuals, families or small businesses here.
Should you need a doctor or medical care in Atlanta, you’ll have a variety of excellent facilities to choose from. These include Piedmont Hospital, Northside Hospital-Atlanta, Emory Clinic, Atlanta Medical Center, Grady Memorial Hospital and Kindred Hospital.
Atlanta covers about 132 square miles and is home to 242 distinct neighborhoods. They include stately mansions and modest bungalows on tree-lined streets, trendy condos in former industrial districts, and urban high rises. You’ll find them in one of 17 districts: Ansley Park, Atlantic Station, Buckhead, Cabbagetown, Castleberry, Decatur, Downtown, East Atlanta, East Point, Fairlie Poplar, Grant Park, Inman Park, Little Five Points, Midtown, Sweet Auburn, Virginia-Highland and West Midtown.
Trulia.com reports the median sales price for an Atlanta home in first quarter of 2014 was $236,250, an increase of 13% compared to the same period in 2013. And Zillow lists the median rent at $1,100, although prices can range anywhere from $400 for a studio to $2,400 and up for a single-family home, depending on where you live. But don’t be surprised if you end up on a street that includes Peachtree in its name; there are over 70 such streets throughout the city!
Crime rates in Atlanta are high – much higher, in fact, than both the Georgia state and national averages. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, your chances of being a victim of a property crime in Atlanta are 1 in 14 (compared to 1 in 29 for the state). Before you decide on a location, you might want to check out its crime statistic published on the Atlanta Police Department website.
Regardless of where you live, you’re going to need property insurance. You can get free online quotes for Atlanta homeowners insurance and Atlanta renters insurance here. A renter’s policy will protect your personal belongings from loss or damage. A homeowner’s policy will protect your possessions and your structure. There are basically two types of homeowners insurance: all-risk (also called open perils coverage) and named perils. You’ll also have a choice of deductible and replacement cost or actual cash value. Before you decide, here are some weather-related risks that are common in Atlanta.
In terms of health places to live, Georgia ranks forty-first of the fifty states and Washington, D.C. Anyone born in Georgia today has an average life expectancy of 77.2 years according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. If you’re a 65-year-old Georgian, the Centers for Disease Control gives you another 18.2 years on average. And the WorldLifeExpectancy.com wants you to know that accidents are the third leading cause of death for all Georgia residents, just behind heart disease and cancer. Given the ever-present possibility of an accidental death, you might want to put life insurance on your list of things to consider when you move to Atlanta. There are four good reasons why:
To pay for funeral and other final expenses.
To replace your income if you’re leaving behind a spouse.
To help cover your children’s needs.
To help your survivors pay off debts and estate taxes.
If you purchase whole life, your insurance can also be a means of setting aside money for retirement, college and other needs. You can learn more about the difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance, and shop for competitive life insurance quotes here.
Atlanta is a business-friendly city with the world’s fifth largest economy. Metro Atlanta’s $295 billion GDP is forecasted to grow to $474 billion by 2040, according to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, which notes that the city supports a workforce of 2.7 million. Fourteen Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here, but so are thousands of small businesses. In fact, Atlanta outranks many other major metro areas as one of the lowest-cost places to do business. The city welcomes and supports entrepreneurs and small business people with programs like Startup Atlanta.
Once you’ve got your business up and running, you’ll want to protect your investment. You can find quotes for a variety of Atlanta small business insurance policies here.