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Buying Homeowners Insurance in Texas

In Texas, all homeowners qualify for homeowners insurance. To get the coverage, you need to contact a home insurance provider for a quote. This can be done online, over the phone, or in person. In either method, you end up talking to a state-licensed property insurance professional, who goes over your needs and then matches those needs with the best products that they have access to. The agent can be an independent or captive insurance agent.

  • The captive agent can provide information only about the products offered by their employer

  • Independent agents can discuss the options offered by any insurer that they represent. The more experienced and knowledgeable the agent - to more options they are likely to have.

Always get multiple quotes and compare “apples-to-apples”, making sure that the terms are actually comparable. If you cannot get an affordable insurance plan after engaging several homeowners insurance providers in Texas, you may be eligible for:

  • FAIR Plan, which is sold by the Texas Fair Plan Association or

  • Surplus line homeowners insurance provider. (Discuss your options with your homeowners insurance agent)

Do you Need Homeowners Insurance in Texas?

Having a homeowners insurance policy is not mandatory in Texas. However, your mortgage provider may require you to have one. It is also advisable to get adequate coverage for your home to protect your investments and prevent financial losses. Although between 5% and 35% of homes in Texas are uninsured, it is financially prudent to insure your home.

How to Pick or Shop for Homeowners Insurance in Texas?

Shopping for homeowners insurance is a relatively straightforward process in Texas. When doing this, the first thing to consider is the value of your home and the items in it. Make sure to select a plan that can provide adequate coverage for your home and personal belongings. Also, when you are shopping for homeowners insurance in Texas, consider the possible occurrence of natural disasters in your area. For example, houses in flood zones will require flood insurance, while homes in the earthquake-prone areas can benefit from extra earthquake coverage, and you should consider this when shopping for a homeowners insurance plan.

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) provides an online portal called helpinsure that you can use to find homeowners insurance or a homeowner insurance provider. If you cannot find a suitable plan using this portal, you can contact the Texas Fair Plan for assistance at (800) 979-6440. If none of these approaches work, you can then search outside Texas for any surplus line homeowners insurance provider. However, it is recommended that you get a Texas-licensed and reliable home insurance agent to help you find a homeowners insurance plan.

What Are My Homeowners Insurance Options?

In Texas, there are four broad homeowners insurance policies available to homeowners. These are:

  • HO-A - This is the least expensive homeowners insurance policy in Texas. It is also the most basic coverage. In Texas, HO-A policies offer actual cash value coverage. This means that settlements will only be made for the covered items based on the value and condition when they were lost. The HO-A policy only provides coverage for the following eight perils:

    • Fire or lightning

    • Sudden and accidental damage from smoke

    • Wind or hail storms

    • Explosion

    • Aircraft and vehicles accidents

    • Vandalism or malicious mischief

    • Riot or civil commotion

    • On-premise theft

  • HO-A+ - The HO-A+ insurance plan is broader than the HO-A plan. It is more expensive than the HO-A plan. This plan typically offers all coverage types available under the HO-A plan in addition to coverage for:

    • Falling objects

    • Damage caused by the weight of snow, ice, or sleet

    • Damages caused by sudden or accidental discharge/overflow of water or steam

    • The destruction caused by sudden or unexpected tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of steam or water from a water heating system

    • Falling trees or limbs

  • HO-B - This plan is also called the Texas Open Peril Plan. It provides coverage for buildings and other perils covered under the HO-A and HO-A+ plans except explicitly exempted by the insurer. The exempt perils under this policy include earthquake, flood, wear and tear, mold, fungus, rot, mice, insects, and other pests, and continuous and repeated seepage of water. This plan is fairly more expensive than the HO-A and HO-A+ policies.

  • HO-C - This plan is the most expensive homeowners insurance plan available in Texas. It covers all risks and perils, except the insurance provider has specifically exempted them.

How to Qualify for Homeowners Insurance

In Texas, you need to own a home and plan to live in it, to get homeowners insurance. Out of the approximately 12 million housing units in Texas, nearly 62% (≈7.5 million units) are owner-occupied.

The following criteria are considered when insurers evaluate your homeowner's insurance application:

  • The year your home was built

  • The size of your home

  • The nature of detached structures

  • Safety features contained in your home

  • How close your home is to the fire department, a fire hydrant, and other emergency response units

Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance in Texas

In Texas, homeowners purchase coverage from the insurers that offer homeowners insurance. While the TDI maintains an online portal for finding an affordable insurance plan, you would still need to contact the insurer to finalize your homeowners insurance policy purchase by speaking to a licensed agent. If you are getting turned down by insurance providers, you can buy a plan from the Texas Fair Plan by calling (800) 979-6440.

Where to Get Homeowners Insurance

To get homeowners insurance, the applicant must speak with a Texas-licensed property insurance agent.

A Texas P&C insurance agent:

  • analyzes your needs and limitations,

  • researches the locally available plans that fit your needs,

  • provides you with the available options of coverage,

  • explains how the differences between the options affect you once you start using each insurance product

  • assists you with the application process

Individuals who cannot get homeowners insurance through the conventional means, should speak with their agent about the possible alternatives or, as a last resort, contact the Texas Fair Plan at (800) 979-6440 for instructions on how to get homeowners insurance.

Where Can I Buy Affordable Homeowners Insurance?

You can buy affordable homeowners insurance from any homeowner insurance provider in Texas by buying only the exact coverage you need. Frequently, homeowners overestimate their needs and purchase coverage that is not actually needed, but costs them extra.

Contact an experienced insurance agent to get an up-to-date assessment of your home insurance needs, and do this assessment at least once a year - to make sure that you are not overpaying for the unnecessary coverage. If you cannot find an affordable plan or if you get turned down by all the providers you approach, you can explore the Texas Fair Plan for an affordable homeowners plan.

How to Apply for Homeowners Insurance in Texas

You can apply for homeowners insurance in multiple ways, but in the end they all lead you to a licensed insurance agent. The only difference between the agents is their ability to offer products from multiple insurers (Independent agent), or a select few allowed by their employer (Captive agent). When you talk to an agent - ask them, what kind are they.

Apply for Texas homeowners insurance by:

  • Contacting your current insurer and speaking with their agents about additional coverage,

  • Searching for quotes online. When you fill out an online quote request, you agree to receive a follow up call from an insurance agent from the insurer where you applied.

  • Contacting an insurer from an advertisement in the mail works just like the online quote. You will be speaking to an agent.

In order to start an application, the applicant needs to provide at least:

  • Address of the property to be insured

  • Specifics about the property, such as: age, square footage, number of floors, roof materials, wall material, etc.

  • Date when coverage needs to begin, and

  • Applicant’s name, date of birth, and personal contact info

Prior to making the actual purchase of coverage, make sure to get multiple quotes from different insurers. To get the best assessment, try both captive and independent solutions.

Who Can Help with Application for Homeowners Insurance?

Only a licensed P&C insurance agent is able to assist during the application process. Regardless if you apply for coverage online (with a large national insurer), in person (at a local insurance company), or over the phone - by law you are required to speak to an agent licensed in the state where the home is located. The agent goes over your needs, to make sure that you are getting enough coverage, and the disclaimers that you must acknowledge, before the coverage is bonded.

Should I Use an Insurance Agent to Buy Homeowners Insurance?

Not only should you, but you are required to buy insurance using an agent in Texas. Sale of insurance (online, in-person, over the phone, email, or any other way) requires for the agent to:

  • Be actively-licensed in the state where the customer needs coverage, and

  • Maintain a National Producer Number in the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR)

Can you Purchase Homeowners Insurance through an Agent?

Yes, you can purchase a homeowners insurance policy through an agent in Texas. Any insurance sale must be done through a licensed insurance professional (usually an Agent or a Broker).

Can I Buy Homeowners Coverage Online?

There is no one-stop-online shop where you can buy homeowners insurance in Texas completely online. An interaction with a licensed insurance agent is always required. If you fill out an online application, an agent will be contacting you to confirm the details and to go over the necessary disclaimers.

Can Anyone Get Homeowners Insurance?

Yes, anyone who owns a home and can pay the cost of insurance coverage can get homeowners insurance in Texas.

Can you Obtain Homeowners Insurance at Any Time?

Yes, so long as you qualify for homeowners insurance, you can get a homeowners insurance plan at any time.

Can I Over Insure my Home?

Yes, it is possible to over-insure your home. However, even if you over-insure your home, your insurance company will only pay for damages in a manner commensurate with the losses in the event of a covered peril. The best way to insure your home is to buy the exact amount of homeowners insurance coverage that best fits your needs.

What Happens if I Over Insure my Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance plans are meant to protect you (the homeowner) against losses by paying to replace or repair damaged items or structures. When you over-insure your home, you pay more than you ordinarily need to and might be wasting resources. Contact an experienced licensed property insurance agent for advice on selecting an adequate homeowners insurance coverage to fit your needs.

Should I Over Insure my Home Insurance?

No. over-insuring your home is not financially prudent. It is considered a waste of money. It is best to buy homeowners coverage that is just enough to cover all your needs.

Is Buying too Much Homeowners Insurance a Smart Decision?

No, buying excessive amounts of homeowners insurance is not a wise decision. Doing so is a waste of financial resources. Instead, buy enough homeowners insurance coverage to cover your needs.

Make sure to speak with your insurer at least on an annual basis, to reassess the insured values, and to make sure that the coverage in place still meets the current market prices.

How Do I Renew my Homeowners Insurance?

Typically, in Texas, when your homeowners insurance is due for renewal, your insurance provider will notify you via mail. If you agree to renew your homeowners insurance, ensure to check that the following details are consistent with your current insurance policy:

  • The scope of your roof coverage

  • The details of your home and the valuation metrics

  • Your deductibles

  • The coverages that are included in the new policy

Speak with the insurer's agent, to go over the coverage and to answer any question you may have. Be sure to confirm all changes that have been made by the insurer in terms of coverage before signing the new agreement.

What Kind of Homeowners Insurance is Best?

There are no blanket recommendations for the best homeowners insurance in Texas. Instead, the best homeowners insurance plan is the one that adequately provides coverage for your home and is affordable.

What Kind of Homeowners Insurance Plans are Available in Texas?

There are four major kinds of homeowners insurance plans in Texas. These are:

  1. The HO-A Plan - This is the most affordable homeowners insurance plan

  2. The HO-A+ Plan - This is also referred to as the HO-A plus plan. This plan is broader in scope and slightly more expensive than the HO-A plan.

  3. The HO-B Plan - Also called the Texas Open Peril Plan, this plan provides coverage for buildings and other perils covered under the HO-A and HO-A+ plans except explicitly exempted by the insurer. This plan is more expensive than the HO-A and HO-A+ policies.

  4. HO-C - This plan is the most expensive homeowners insurance plan in Texas. It covers all risks and perils except exempted explicitly by the insurance provider.

Can I Bundle Homeowners Insurance and Auto Insurance?

Yes, most insurers that offer homeowners coverage also offer auto insurance. If you bundle multiple types of coverages and multiple insured property, you usually get a significant discount on the premium.

Speak to your insurer (or agent) about multi-policy discounts.

How To Reinstate Homeowners Insurance That You Stopped Paying

To reinstate your homeowners insurance plan in Texas, speak to your insurance provider or the insurance agent of record to discuss the possible options. If the policy lapsed, you will likely have to reapply anew.

How to Find Out What Homeowners Insurance I Have

Per the Consumer Bill of Rights - Homeowners, Dwelling, and Renters Insurance you have a right to know every single detail of your homeowners insurance plan. Hence, your insurance policy contract must contain all information about your homeowner's insurance plan. Before you sign a policy document, make sure you read through it to find out the kind of homeowners insurance you have. Alternatively, ask an insurance professional to look over your policy, to help you find the needed information.

How Do I Find Out my Homeowners Insurance?

Your insurance policy document will contain all information about your insurance plan. To find out any information about your plan, read through the insurance policy documentation.

How Do I Know if I Have Homeowners Health Insurance?

Once you sign your home insurance policy agreement and begin paying premiums, your bank statements or signed insurance policy agreement can serve as ample proof of your homeowner's insurance. However, some homeowners insurance providers in Texas provide online portals or dedicated phone lines you can use to confirm the validity of your insurance plan. (Speak to your insurance agent for more details)

Can Homeowners Insurance Be Combined with Other Insurance to Become More Affordable?

Yes, most insurance providers in Texas offer discounts when you buy more than one insurance plan from them. For example, combining an auto insurance plan with your homeowners insurance plan can make your homeowners insurance plan more affordable.

NOTE: Texas is prone to floods, tornados, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Make sure to discuss the coverage that suits the needs of your home with an agent. The more coverage you can bundle under the same insurer, the more affordable it becomes.

Is Homeowners Insurance a Good Deal in Texas?

Yes, having homeowners insurance in Texas is a good deal, so long as you do not over-insure your home. If you choose just enough coverage to replace any damages to your home, it is a good deal in the event of a covered peril.