Texas home insurance covers liabilities caused by damage to your home or personal belongings in your home, such as appliances, furniture, and fittings. For instance, it could reimburse you for the cost expended on repairing or replacing properties covered by your policy, such as clothes and furniture. The Texas Department of Insurance is the regulatory body for home insurance in Texas. There are six main home insurance coverages available in Texas, including dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, other structures coverage, loss of use coverage, personal liability coverage, and medical payments coverage. These coverages vary depending on the policy you choose.
Residential property insurance, also known as home insurance, is a type of property and liability insurance that offers financial protection against losses caused by covered damages to your residential property. In other words, it is a type of insurance policy that helps to reduce financial loss arising from damage to your home. Residential property insurance may cover the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged property or medical bills of a person injured on your property or by a family member or a household pet who lives on your property. Residential property insurance also comes in different types, with each type offering unique coverages. Individuals can choose homeowners insurance, condo insurance, renters insurance, landlord insurance, or homeowners liability insurance, depending on the type of property they possess and the coverage they choose.
Make sure to consult a competent state-licensed property insurance professional who will advise you on your needs and make suggestions specific to those needs.
Every homeowner should consider getting homeowners insurance as it is a necessity. It offers financial protection against disasters or accidents that may affect your home. In essence, homeowners insurance protects your home in the event of a natural disaster, like a storm. It also gives its holders an edge when applying for mortgages, as most mortgage companies require applicants to have homeowners insurance. It should be noted that homeowners insurance is not required under any Texas State law. Homeowners insurance covers damages to the interior and exterior of a policyholder's home. Such damages include damages caused by fire, storm, vandalism, lightning, or any other covered disasters. However, damages caused by floods and earthquakes are not covered under homeowners insurance, and a policyholder would need to get separate insurance to cover them. Homeowners insurance also offers coverage against liability for damages and injuries caused by you, members of your family, or household pets. For instance, if your dog, being a household pet, harms your neighbor regardless of whether it occurred in your home or theirs, you will be covered by your homeowners insurance.
Condo insurance is important for homeowners as it offers financial protection against serious damages to their homes. Mortgage lenders require proof of condo insurance so they can secure their financial interest during the term of your loan. Condo insurance offers wider coverage than the insurance offered by a policyholder's condo association, which only covers some common areas and the main structure. However, the personal belongings of the condo owner will remain their responsibility. For instance, a condo association typically covers damages to the building's exterior, such as damages caused by storm, fire outbreak from lightning, vandalism, and other covered disasters. On the other hand, condo insurance covers damages to the condominium unit. It also offers financial protection against personal liability if someone is injured in a policyholder's building or their property gets damaged.
Getting condo insurance fills the holes a condo association leaves and allows a homeowner to cover for important things within their actual unit. It covers a homeowner's personal belongings in their unit as well as improvements made on the unit. It essentially protects a policyholder against all risks, except those specifically excluded from the coverage. For instance, flooding caused by a burst pipe. It also provides coverage against a personal liability where someone gets injured, or their property gets damaged at a policyholder's residence. It will also cover additional costs such as living expenses if a policyholder has to leave their home after a covered loss has made it uninhabitable. Under your condo insurance coverage, items damaged by covered disaster will be repaired or replaced with a new item of the same type and quality.
When a person rents an apartment, it is typically already covered by their landlord's insurance, which will only cover the expenses of fixing the building damaged by disasters like fire outbreaks. For instance, if a fire outbreak resulting from an electrical hazard were to damage properties in the house or cause personal injury, the landlord's insurance policy would only cover the structure and not the personal belongings in the rented apartment. Homeowners should obtain renters insurance to protect themselves financially from damages to their personal belongings. Renters insurance also covers personal liability claims for injuries sustained within a person's rented property and additional living expenses occasioned by a covered loss. This type of insurance coverage is available to individuals subletting single-family homes, apartments, duplexes, condos, or townhouses. A renter's insurance offers three important kinds of financial protection, including:
New landlords renting out their residential dwellings often make the mistake of thinking that their homeowners' insurance will cover losses incurred on their properties. This is a common misconception as homeowners insurance will not offer any financial protection to any dwelling not inhabited by its owner. Therefore, every landlord or prospective landlord should obtain landlord insurance. Landlord insurance ensures these losses are covered.
A typical landlord insurance policy has three important elements, including:
It should, however, be noted that landlord insurance is not limited to the above coverages as it comes with several additional riders such as: guaranteed income insurance, flood insurance, emergency coverage, and additional construction expenses.
This type of insurance coverage aims to protect policyholders against lawsuits for injuries sustained or property damage that occurred on their property. It also covers policyholders against injury or property damage caused by them or their family members (household pets included) irrespective of whether or not it occurred on their property. For example, if your dog bites your neighbor, homeowners liability insurance will cover the medical expenses of treating the wound.
Personal liability and medical expenses are the two main coverages under homeowners liability insurance. For instance, if a person who suffered injury from a covered incident were to sue, the coverage will pay for whatever legal expenses may be incurred from the suit.
Disaster property insurance policies cover losses caused by damages that home insurance does not cover. They help protect policyholders from financial losses caused by incidents, such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and storms. These insurance policies are discussed below.
Since a home insurance policy does not cover flood damage, a homeowner would need to obtain a separate flood insurance policy to ensure their property is covered from damages caused by a flood. The need to obtain this insurance policy is further emphasized because Texas is a flood-prone state. It should be noted that you would need a separate flood policy for your personal belongings. A homeowner can get a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program.
Home insurance usually covers damages caused by hurricanes. However, it does not cover damages that occur in the Gulf Coast areas. There is no single insurance coverage called "hurricane insurance." Hence, homeowners living in those areas would need to insure their homes against specific sources of hurricane damage. In this case, a homeowner would need to purchase windstorm insurance from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) and flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These policies cover damages to your home caused by windstorms, hail, and floods.
For more information and inquiries, interested homeowners can contact the TWIA online or at (800) 788-8247.
Usually, home insurance covers damages caused by tornadoes, but not extreme damages that occur in the Gulf Coast areas. Since this is the case, homeowners living in these areas need additional windstorm insurance from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Also, since the TWIA does not sell tornado insurance and does not directly sell windstorm insurance, prospective buyers need to get the TWIA coverage from local insurance agents.
Interested individuals can contact the TWIA online or by phone at (800) 788-8247 for further information.
Since standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by earthquakes, a homeowner would need to get a separate insurance policy that covers damages to their home due to earthquakes. Texas is susceptible to earthquakes; hence, homeowners in Texas can either get an all-risk insurance policy or a named-peril policy. The all-risk policy covers all policies that a homeowner's home insurance policy does not specifically exclude. While the named-peril policy is cheaper, it only protects a homeowner against the specific policies listed and usually covers only a single incident.
Homeowners who are looking to get earthquake insurance and need more information should contact a licensed insurance agent in Texas.
A premium in home insurance is the amount of money a policyholder has to pay an insurance company to keep their home insurance policy going. The payment structures of these premiums are usually flexible with most insurance companies accepting payments either monthly, quarterly, or annually. Before a homeowner purchases their new home insurance policy, their insurance company will look at certain factors to determine the premium that will be charged. These factors could be personal, like their age or marital status. Insurance companies also use other factors linked to a policyholder's home, such as:
In Texas, homeowners can decrease the amount of money they pay on premiums by applying for discounts. The addition of safety features such as fire and burglar alarms and also making improvements to your home to boost its structural integrity will go a long way in making a homeowner eligible for a discount.
The monthly premium of home insurance policies depends on the kind of policy purchased and what losses are covered under it. Below is a list of different home insurance policies and their average monthly premiums:
A residential property insurance deductible is the amount of money a policyholder is required to pay out of pocket before their insurance can kick in. Essentially, it is the proportion of a claim you have to pay yourself. For example, suppose a policyholder has a claim of $2,000 and they have a $600 deductible on their policy. In that case, the insurance company will deduct the $600 from the amount to be claimed and pay the policyholder $1,400. It is important to note that deductibles work differently depending on the type of insurance policy. For instance, unlike health insurance policies where the deductibles cover a year, deductibles under residential property insurance apply to each claim. Generally, the higher the deductible a policyholder selects, the lower the cost of the policy. You should ensure to speak with a state-licensed agent before settling on a deductible.
Residential property insurance policies cover many risks and perils a policyholder may face. It, however, depends on what each policy covers. The list below shows some residential property insurance policies and what they cover:
Coverages differ depending on the type of residential property insurance. It is important to discuss with only state-licensed insurance professionals to find the insurance coverage that best suits your insurance needs.
Generally, most residential property insurance policies cover the policyholder, their immediate family members, and household pets. Types of residential property insurance and who they cover include:
The Texas Department of Insurance offers tips to homeowners on how to cut costs and save on residential property insurance in Texas. These tips include:
Getting discounts is a sure way to reduce your insurance premium. Your insurance company will decide what discounts to offer you and the amount of the discount. However, there are certain things you can do to ensure you get a discount you are satisfied with, such as installing a burglar alarm, fire alarm, or sprinkler system. You can also carry out other home improvement projects like installing a new roof that is impact resistant to keep your home in good condition.
It will be really hard for you to get a discount or even obtain an insurance policy from an insurance company if your home is deemed susceptible to crime. You can protect your home by installing deadbolts on doors and windows, turning on outside lights at night, and installing a burglar alarm that alerts the police or a security company.
Insurance companies usually send inspectors to inspect the outside of potential policyholders' houses and decide whether to insure them based on their observations during the inspection. Due to this, it is important to run maintenance on your home consistently. For example, you can replace rotten boards, sagging screens, a damaged or worn-out roof, or any other damage. You can also repaint your home to give it a new look.
Regardless of the type of insurance policy you choose, you may increase your deductible if it is convenient for you to pay for a higher one from your pocket. Increasing your deductible reduces the cost of your insurance policy. Ensure to speak to a licensed insurance agent before taking this route. Also, bear in mind that if the cost of fixing your home is the same as your deductible, you do not need to make a claim.
Property owners are encouraged to discuss their insurance needs with licensed professionals. A competent insurance agent will help you assess your needs and pick the policy most suitable for you.
There are different categories home insurance discounts fall into, and they are:
This category applies to policyholders with new homes or homes that have been upgraded to be in good condition. Whether or not a policyholder will get a discount under this category depends on some factors like the age of the house or the age of the roof and the type (installing impact-resistant roofs go a long way in ensuring a policyholder qualifies for a discount under this category). Essentially, insurance companies are more willing to give discounts when they know a policyholder's home is in good condition.
Policyholders may qualify for savings on their overall insurance rates if they have multiple insurance policies with the same insurance company or multiple assets to cover.
Policyholders can get discounts by signing up early, being claim-free, being a long-term customer, having a good payment history, paying premium fees ahead of time.
If you wish to get a discount, make sure to talk to a professional, get multiple quotes for comparison, and ask many questions. Also, ensure to understand all the exclusions of the policy. (Always read exclusions first).
The cost of home insurance in Texas is dependent on many factors, like the location of your house, the price of your home, and how much it would cost to rebuild it. The cost is also influenced by the insurance policy coverage, your credit history, and your home's age and condition. The cost for the four types of home insurance listed below are:
Obtaining residential property insurance in Texas is simple, as residents can access many residential property insurance firms. However, conduct as much research as you can, assessing your options and comparing the costs of various insurance coverages. Consult a state-licensed insurance expert, in addition to doing your research to assist you in getting the best alternative and making an informed choice. Individuals in Texas can obtain residential insurance in the following ways: