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What is Covered by Home Insurance in Texas

Key Points About Residential Insurance Coverage in Texas

Residential insurance includes homeowners insurance, renters insurance, landlords insurance, and mobile home insurance. Here are the key points regarding coverage and exclusions:

Homeowners Insurance:

  • Covers dwelling, personal property, liability, and additional living expenses in case if the home becomes uninhabitable during repairs.
  • Includes wind and hail coverage.
  • Excludes floods and earthquakes (extra coverage).

Renters Insurance:

  • Covers personal property, liability, and additional living expenses.
  • Excludes dwelling coverage (which is purchased by the landlord).

Landlords Insurance:

  • Covers dwelling, liability, and loss of rental income while the rental home is being repaired after damage.
  • Includes wind and hail coverage.
  • Excludes tenant's personal property (which is covered by Renters policy).

Mobile Home Insurance:

  • Covers dwelling, personal property, and liability (More flexible than Homeowners).
  • Includes wind and hail coverage.
  • Excludes floods and earthquakes (extra coverage).

Condo Insurance:

  • Covers the condo unit “walls-in”, protecting the personal property and offering liability coverage for the owner.
  • Excludes coverage for the building structure.

Does Residential Property Insurance Cover Leaks in Texas?

Yes, Texas home insurance water leaks coverage pays for unexpected and sudden leaks, as long as they are not the result of negligence. For example - a toilet that overflows from being clogged may not be covered. Home owners and renters who discover leaks in their homes should act immediately to prevent further damage. Stopping the leak is the most important thing to do in such a situation. To prevent further damages after water leaks, the home owner or renter should:

  • Turn the water off at the main valve or at the valves under the sinks and near appliances.
  • Try to ensure everywhere is dry immediately to prevent more damage and mold growth.
  • Take wet items to a dry room or a place with fresh air.
  • Remove wet carpets and rugs.

What Does Texas Home Insurance Cover for Water Damage?

Most standard Texas home insurance policies cover accidental and sudden water damages, but exclude damages that occurred gradually, such as a slow, constant leak, as well as damage due to flooding. Water damages that create a need for mold removal are also excluded from home insurance policies. However, home owners and renters who want such water damage coverages can typically add additional protection as optional riders to the basic policy:

  • Water damage coverage rider (also known as Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage) pays for damage caused by gradually and repeatedly leaking appliances, air conditioning, and plumbing. Water damage rider pays for the cost of tearing into the structure of the building to fix the leak, and the repair of the structure after the leak is fixed. It does not cover the repair of the leaking appliance or plumbing.

    For example, if there was a shower leak behind the wall, a home insurance policy with a water damage rider would cover breaking into the tile wall in the shower, drying it out, and restoring the wall and the tile after the fix, but the plumbing itself is paid for by the homeowner.

Is Mold Damage Covered by Insurance in Texas?

  • Mold damage coverage rider pays for the testing for the presence of mold as a result of a covered loss on the same policy. If mold is present, mold damage home insurance rider pays for the treatment and removal of mold (remediation insurance).

Does TX Home Insurance Cover Plumbing Leaks?

Home insurance policies typically cover unforeseen plumbing leaks that do not occur gradually. While slow leaks that occur due to wear and tear or a lack of maintenance are considered a maintenance issue and are not covered, if the leak is sudden - it is typically covered. Even when the plumbing leak is covered, Texas home insurance policies typically do not cover the plumbing job itself - only the creation of an access point for work and then repairing the walls back to their original state.

Does Home Insurance Cover Foundation Problems in Texas?

In Texas, most home insurance policies cover the cost of repairing a foundation, especially in the case of certain events like fire, explosions, and accidental or sudden water damage. However, damages to the foundation caused by shifting soil and faulty construction are not usually covered by a typical Texas home insurance policy. Also, significant foundation damages caused by earthquakes and floods require their own insurance policy or additional rider to the existing home insurance policy.

Are Solar Panels Covered by Home Insurance in Texas?

Standard Texas residential property insurance includes solar panels insurance coverage because rooftop-mounted solar panels are considered part of the home (dwelling). With an average of over 3,500 hours of sun every year, over 100,000 Texas homeowners have solar panels on their roofs.

Typical Texas home insurance covers solar panels against perils, including but not limited to wind, hail, lightning, vandalism, fire, etc. If you discover that your home insurance does not cover solar panels, contact your insurance company to review the existing policy, or reach out to a state-licensed home insurance agent for a new quote.

Most home insurers in Texas will incorporate solar panel coverage into the existing residential property insurance policy based on the replacement value of the solar panel system, which gets added to the value of the home. However, it is worth noting that homeowners may need additional coverage for a ground-mounted solar system and solar panel carports since they are not part of the actual insured dwelling.

Do Solar Panels Affect Home Insurance in Texas?

Yes, insuring solar panels as part of the Texas home insurance coverage is more expensive than insuring a home without solar panels. To know the specifics of solar panels' effect on your home insurance coverage and to discuss the solar panel insurance cost, speak with a Texas-licensed property insurance agent who has access to multiple residential property insurers that offer insurance for solar panels.

How Much Does Home Insurance Go Up With Solar Panels?

A typical Texas solar panel system can add $15,000 - $40,000 to the insured value of your home, which on average can increase your Texas home insurance premium by between $39.96 and $150 per year ($3.33 - $12.50 per month).

The increase in the cost of home insurance due to the addition or presence of solar panels on or around the property depends largely on the insurance company as well as the packages offered. Discuss the home insurance cost increase with an experienced Texas property insurance agent who can give you a precise solar panel insurance quote based on your home’s risk factors.

Does Home Insurance Cover Hail Damage to Solar Panels?

Home insurance covers hail damages caused to solar panels mounted on the rooftop of a house. Solar panel hail damage insurance coverage is subject to the wind and hail deductible. Wind and hail deductible can be as low as $500 per occurrence or as high as 5% of the overall insured value of the dwelling.

Does Home Insurance Cover Natural Disasters in Texas?

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Texas is ranked first in the United States in the variety and frequency of natural disasters like wildfires, flooding, tornados, hurricanes, hail storms, erosion, earthquakes, and drought. Therefore, there is a great need for natural disaster insurance coverage. There are different types of home insurance that cover damages resulting from natural disasters in Texas. Natural disaster home insurance includes:

  • Homeowners insurance - Home insurance policy covers many natural disasters like fire, lightning, windstorm, hurricane and tornado winds, and hail, however, this policy does not cover damage caused by floods or earthquakes. Floods and earthquake coverages are purchased on their own, under a separate cover.
  • Condo insurance - most condo insurance policies cover losses arising from fire, lightning, windstorm, hurricane winds, and hail which cause damage to the inside of the condo unit.
  • Landlord insurance - landlord insurance typically provides coverage for most damages caused by natural disasters, excluding damages resulting from floods and earthquakes.
  • Renter insurance - Most renter policies will cover property losses due to natural disasters such as fire but they do not cover losses due to floods.
  • Apartment complex insurance - Commercial property insurance that covers apartment complexes covers damages from some natural disasters.

Earthquakes, sinkholes, and landslides are considered "ground movements" and are usually excluded from coverage. Similarly, flooding is also excluded from the standard policy, but both earthquake insurance and flood insurance can be purchased under a separate cover.

Discuss insurance for natural disaster with a Texas-licensed property insurance agent.

Flood Insurance Coverage for Home

Does home insurance cover flood damage in Texas? Standard home insurance does not cover flood damage from external sources and only 14% of Texas homeowners have flood insurance coverage.

Home Flood insurance is a separate policy offered by the federal government through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and approved private insurers. Flood insurance typically covers losses directly caused by flooding. This coverage helps property owners, renters and businesses recover faster from flood damages when floodwaters recede. Home flood insurance covers overflow of inland or tidal water (such as storm surge), runoff or buildup of surface water like flash floods, and mudflow (such as flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land), however, it does not cover broken pipes, overflow of plumbing systems, and rain coming into individuals' homes through a wall, window, or roof.

If you live in a Texas flood zone, your mortgage lender will require flood insurance coverage. If you are out of the immediate flooding area, you may still get flood coverage, if desired.

Home flood insurance in Texas can be purchased only through an insurance agent. A Texas-licensed agent can get you coverage from both the floodsmart gov (NFIP Direct) - a FEMA-sponsored organization, and from private flood insurance companies.

NFIP Direct offers flood insurance coverage up to $250,000. If additional flood coverage is required, it is purchased as excess flood insurance through private Texas flood insurers. In case of a flood claim, the first $250,000 would come from the NFIP Direct and the remaining payout will be from the private flood insurer.

Even though home flood insurance can be obtained from various flood and hazard insurance companies, they are all approved by FEMA and use the same rating systems and costs. Some flood insurance companies are surplus lines insurers and will charge extra for excess coverage and risk.

The cost of Flood insurance is primarily determined by the:

  • Level of flooding risk in your location: elevation, proximity to the body of water, soil type and drainage speed, etc.
  • The type of property being insured and its value

Typical cost of flood insurance in Texas is $50 - $200 per month, depending on the insured property and the level of risk.

For more information regarding flood insurance in Texas and to get a fema flood insurance quote speak with a Texas-licensed property insurance agent who deals with flood insurance and has access to multiple insurers.

Tornado Insurance Coverage for Home

Does home insurance cover tornado damage in Texas? Tornadoes are a frequent occurrence in Texas. They mostly cause wind damage which is covered under the basic residential property insurance policy. If you have homeowners or landlords insurance coverage on your home - tornado wind damage to your home is already covered.

Wind and Hail are the most common causes of residential insurance claims, accounting for nearly half of all home insurance claims in Texas.

Although standard Texas home owner insurance covers tornado damages, if the property is located along the Gulf Coast, some insurers may not cover it.

Residents of the 14 Texas Gulf Coast counties and a portion of Harris county (east of Highway 146), who have been denied wind and insurance on the private market, can obtain wind and hail coverage from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). To buy TWIA coverage you need to use a Texas-licensed insurance agent, because TWIA does not sell policies directly to consumers. Depending on the location of the residential property, TWIA may require the home to be insured with flood coverage before issuing coverage.

For more details about Tornado damage insurance, speak with a licensed P&C insurance agent.

TIP: To be well prepared for tornado damage to your home, make sure to properly evaluate your Wind and Hail policy deductible. This deductible determines how much of the cost of repairs will come out of your pocket after a claim. Since both hail and wind damage happen frequently across Texas, every home owner needs to be ready to pay the deductible every time the home gets damaged.

An average Texas home owner files a wind and hail claim every 7-13 years, with an average claim payout of $10,000-$14,000.

Wind and Hail deductible on a home insurance in Texas can be as low as $500, and as much as 5% of the dwelling property coverage. The higher the deductible, the cheaper the coverage. But make sure that you can come up with this amount in case you need to urgently replace the roof after a tornado or hail.

To understand the repercussions of the Wind and Hail deductible that is set too high, consider this:

If you own an average Texas home, with an insured Rebuild Cost value of $320,000, a 5 percent wind and hail deductible for this home would be $16,000, while a 1 percent deductible is $3,200.

$320,000 x 0.05 = $16,000

$320,000 x 0.04 = $12,800

$320,000 x 0.03 = $9,600

$320,000 x 0.02 = $6,400

$320,000 x 0.01 = $3,300

Now a nearby tornado damages your roof. It starts leaking and needs to be replaced. Considering that a typical roof replacement after a tornado insurance claim in Texas can cost anywhere between $7,000 and $15,000, or more, the 5 percent deductible can leave the homeowner paying for the whole roof out of pocket. Even the 1 percent deductible is frequently still too high if you do not have this amount set aside in savings in case of such emergencies. In Texas, it can cost you $40-60 per month extra to change from the 5 percent deductible, where you bear the cost of the whole new roof, to the lowest deductible, where your share is just $500. If you had this $16,000 set aside to cover the 5 percent deductible, you can set aside the $500 and use the remaining $15,500 to pay the increased cost of coverage for 20-30 years.

Discuss your coverage needs with a Texas-licensed insurance agent who can help you balance your insurance needs with the deductibles you can afford, by packaging and bundling coverages to reach the lowest possible price.

Hurricane Insurance Coverage for Home

Does home insurance cover hurricane damage in Texas? Hurricanes commonly bring 2 types of damage: wind and flood. If the hurricane house damage is caused by wind, then it is covered, subject to the wind and hail deductible (discussed in the previous section). If the damage caused by hurricanes came from flood waters, then the standard home insurance does not cover it. Flood insurance is purchased as a separate, usually optional coverage.

Whichever type of damage occurs first is the one that gets filed on the hurricane damage claim. For example, if the hurricane wind damages the roof of the home and then the rain floods the home - wind coverage will cover the property. If the waves of water enter the home through the living room window, and then the home’s roof is ripped off by the hurricane wind and more water is dumped into the house - flood damage becomes the primary damage to the structure and it will not be covered by the home insurance.

Discuss your hurricane insurance needs with a Texas-licensed property insurance agent near you.

Earthquake Insurance Coverage for Home

Does home insurance cover earthquake damage in Texas? While the standard home insurance in Texas does not cover property damages caused by earthquakes or earth movements, most home insurers in the state offer earthquake insurance coverage as an optional add-on to the home insurance policy.

Texas earthquake insurance is subject to earthquake deductible, which is typically 10%-25% of the dwelling coverage. For example, on a home insured for $320,000, earthquake insurance with a 10% earthquake deductible will pay once the home owner has paid $32,000. With a 25% deductible, that same owner must spend $80,000 out of pocket before earthquake insurance will start.

In most of Texas, quake cover add-on to a home insurance policy will cost you $10 - $20 extra per year for the lowest (10%) deductible.

Speak with a licensed Texas insurance agent about earthquake insurance coverage options near you.

Texas home insurance 101

Why Do I Need Insurance For My Home in Texas?

Homeowners insurance in TX

Renters insurance in TX

Landlords insurance in TX

Condo insurance

Mobile home insurance

Disaster Insurance in Texas


Homeowners insurance quote comparison worksheet

Renters insurance quote comparison worksheet