The state of Texas is the largest of the lower 48 states and has the second highest population, after California. Although most of Texas enjoys a relatively warm climate, there are still some severe weather concerns. Hurricanes, flooding, and ice cause a lot of damage to Texan homes every year.
While home insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Texas, most mortgage lenders will insist you have it before they will give you a mortgage. But even if you’ve paid off your home, it’s very risky to drop your insurance as most homes will experience a loss that home insurance would cover.
Comparing Texas Home Insurance Rates
When you are comparing rates from different home insurance companies, make sure that you know exactly what each policy is covering. You also should make sure you get multiple quotes in order to make an informed shopping decision. Most professionals recommend you get quotes from at least five carriers.
Before you begin shopping, determine what coverage you need. Here’s what most insurance companies will cover:
1. The dwelling structure is covered, but what your home is made of will influence how much your premium is. For example, a brick home is typically more expensive to insure that a wooden home.
2. Every home has personal property (appliances, furniture, antiques, jewelry) worth different amounts. A home insurance policy will cover personal property up to a predetermined limit. However, you can purchase additional coverage for expensive items like jewelry and art.
3. Other buildings that aren’t attached to the main dwelling, such as garages and storage buildings, typically are covered.
4. If your house is hit by a natural disaster and you can’t live in it, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the cost of alternative accommodation – or at least part of it - while you wait for your home to be repaired. This is known as “loss of use”.
5. Insurance companies cover the medical costs of someone who gets injured in your home under the medical payments portion of your policy. Basic coverage is quite limited so you may want to increase your medical costs coverage limits
6. Liability coverage protects you if someone decides to sue you if he or she hurts themselves on your property due to your negligence (for example, you have a broken stair and a visitor falls and breaks his arm). If you have assets worth a lot of money, you may want to see if your liability coverage limits are high enough to protect them.
7. Losses from theft and vandalism are usually covered.
However, your policy may not cover the following perils:
- Flooding and earthquakes.
- Pest infestations like termites and ants.
- Sewer and drain backups.
There are also some locations in Texas, such as the Gulf of Mexico coast line, where an insurance company typically won’t cover damage from hurricanes, windstorms, and hail. For folks in these areas, flood coverage is available through the federal National Flood Insurance Program.
Money Saving Tips for Texas Homeowners
Here are some ways that Texan homeowners can save money on home insurance.
1. Look at ratings for the various insurance companies. While the best-rated insurers may charge higher premiums, their service and response to a claim may be better than less expensive insurers.
2. If you have auto insurance and are happy with the insurer, see if you can bundle your home policy with same insurer and get a discount.
3. Install smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, security alarms, and deadbolt locks to get discounts.
Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Home Insurance
1. Is water damage different from flood damage?
Water damage refers to problems from leaking pipes or a burst washing machine line and typically is covered by your home insurance policy. Flood damage refers to rising water related to weather extremes and most homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover flood damage at all.
2. Is there protection for home contents if you remove them from the home?
Usually they’re covered, but this varies from insurer to insurer. All homeowners should make an inventory of their possessions, with photos and receipts, and keep the inventory on record in case of a claim.
How to Get Great Rates on Texas Home Insurance
Has it been a while since you shopped for homeowner’s insurance? Is so, loyalty doesn’t always pay because prices vary from insurer to insurer. Another company may offer you a much better deal. Looking for home or renter’s insurance quotes? insuranceQuotes.com can help you find the best homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy at the best price. Every year, we match 15 million consumers to the nation’s biggest home insurance companies, including Allstate, State Farm and Farmers.
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