17 Things You Need To Know About House Insurance in Texas
If you’re going to buy a home in the Lone Star State, you’re going to need to stay protected. House insurance in Texas is not only highly recommended by experts, but it’s a smart financial decision. We’ve got a ton of terrible things in this beautiful state that we call home that is all ready to cause harm to your home. Failing to have the right coverage, can be devastating for your home and your finances.
17 Texas House Insurance Facts Homeowners Should Know
Protecting yourself with homeowners insurance in TX is critical, but whether you are a seasoned homebuyer or engaging in the process for the very first time, you’ll likely have questions. There is a ton to cover and the best way to know the facts surrounding your situation is to ask an agent, but this FAQ/general information segment can help point you in the right direction:
1. How Much Is House Insurance in Texas?
On average, Texans are spending $2,255 per year on their home insurance premiums. This can vary for several reasons including the age and location of your home, the amount of coverage you need, who you enroll with, etc.
The biggest thing to remember is that because of the high amount of claims in the state of Texas due to weather events, premiums are higher here than almost anywhere else in the nation. There are ways to save but expect to spend a bit more than you would elsewhere.
2. Texas Has More Properties Affected by Hail Than Any Other State
A large part of the weather claims elevating premiums for homeowners insurance in Texas is due to hail. When you look at the facts and statistics on hail provided by the Insurance Information Institute (III), you’ll note that Texas has more than double the hail events as second place Kansas reaching 688 events.
3. There Are Different Types of Homeowners Insurance
Depending on the type of home you have or the coverage you need, there are different types of homeowners insurance policies available. Most Texans can rely on a standard home insurance policy known as an HO-3 policy. But if you are looking for more coverage, the HO-5 policy may better suit your needs. No matter what, speak with an agent to determine your best protection option.
4. Your House Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything
While house insurance will protect from a lot, it’s not blanket coverage. This means that you could face things not covered by your policy. Some examples include sewer backup, major damage to a utility line, or a loss due to general wear and tear.
5. Flood Damage Is a Prime Example of What’s Not Covered
A common misconception is that house insurance will protect against flooding. While water damage that is accidental and sudden will be covered by a standard HO3 policy, flood damage is not.
To protect your home from flood damage you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or from private insurers, a flood insurance policy is your home’s defense against costly flood repairs.
Keep in mind that flooding continues to be a growing problem in Texas. Even homes located outside of risky flood zones have a legitimate threat of suffering from a flood. Up to 1 in 4 flood claims come from homeowners located outside of flood zones.
6. Can You Deduct House Insurance on Taxes?
No, house insurance isn’t a tax reduction. Your premiums can’t be deducted, but there are several tax benefits to homeownership in Texas including your mortgage interest, property taxes, private mortgage insurance, and more. You can also qualify for the basic homestead exemption. You will be exempt from paying school taxes on $25,000 of the assessed value of your home.
7. What Is the Average House Insurance Deductible in Texas?
Texans typically choose a deductible in $500 increments. The most common are between $500, $1,500 or a 1% deductible based on the total coverage. So for example, 1% of $200,00 of house coverage means you have a $2,000 deductible. Your deductible is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket after submitting a claim before your home insurance provider reimburses you for your expenses.
Choosing a deductible is an important decision for homeowners. On one hand, the higher your deductible is, the less you’ll pay in premiums and vice versa. But on the other hand, if your deductible is too high, then it can be a notable financial hurdle during your time of need.
The best course of action is to assess your risks, your finances, and balance what works for you. Again, raising your deductible is a great way to save, but you’ll want to be cautious as to how much you raise it.
8. Fire Damage Is the Most Expensive Claim
Among the many perils covered by home insurance in Texas such as falling objects, vandalism, and hail damage, is fire damage. This includes wildfires, fires stemming from lightning strikes, or house fires.
Smoke damage and damage from explosions are also covered by standard policies. Do note, however, that arson is not covered whether or not it was caused by someone inside your home or an outside party.
9. Rural Texas Homeowners Are at Great Risk
Many Texas households lack homeowner’s insurance with as many as 26.6% of homeowners outside of metro areas within the Lone Star State lacking coverage. Considering nearly 3.5 million Texans live in rural areas, this is a sizeable amount of people who are at risk.
A minor loss may not be the end of the world, but the potential for suffering a major loss is far too great to own a home without the right coverage. Texas homeowners insurance can be affordable and protects you from facing large financial hurdles during your darkest times.
10. Mortgage Insurance Is Not the Same as House Insurance
Homeowners that borrow money to purchase a home and cannot produce at least 20% for the down payment may be subject to paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is insurance for the lending institution that helps them protect against loss should you become unable to pay your mortgage.
House insurance protects you against financial losses involving your home, property, and finances. PMI may be required by your mortgage lender, but it does nothing to help protect you. A home insurance policy is still needed for Texas homeowners.
11. Comparing Your House Insurance Coverage Can Save You Thousands
One of the biggest ways to lose money is to simply find a brand or two, choose coverage, and then simply pay what it costs. Even with discounts and bundling, two great tools for saving, you could still be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
This is because of the very foundation of how insurance works. When you receive your premium, you are going to pay based on the amount of risk you possess as a client. The more risk you have, the more you’ll pay, and vice versa.
These risk factors include many things. Some of them involve your home such as features related to the property, while others surround personal factors including your claim history and credit.
Where things begin to get tricky is that while most companies look at the same things more or less, the way they do so will vary. This means that different companies will look at the same coverage you need and variables you possess but can provide many different rates.
Because house insurance can vary from brand to brand, it’s important to shop among many different brands rather than only a couple. This is why we have created an insurance center featuring more than 25 top-rated insurance providers available in Texas.
These partnerships are also how we save our clients an average of 40% on their policies. By shopping the coverage of our clients among so many different brands we have access to a bigger picture that shows the lowest price available on the market. This also allows for more bundling and discount opportunities to save even more.
12. House Insurance Covers Much More Than Your Home
Your house insurance is comprised of many different coverages. The main portion is Coverage A: Dwelling which protects your home’s structure, but there is much more to your policy:
- Coverage B: Other Structures helps protect against things such as detached garages and fencing on the property.
- Coverage C: Personal Property is coverage against your personal belongings.
- Coverage D: Loss of Use helps you pay for costs, such as eating and lodging, that occur should your home become uninhabitable due to a loss.
- Coverage E: Personal Liability helps you restore the loss to someone’s health or property when caused by a member of your household or an injury on your property.
- Coverage F: Medical Expenses covers medical costs that may occur when a visitor is injured on your property.
13. Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value Affect Payments
How you are reimbursed after a loss matters. Using replacement cost doesn’t take depreciation into consideration, whereas actual cash value (ACV) does. Replacement cost will cost you more in premium because it will pay to replace the damaged items at the cost of a new item. ACV will provide the cash value of the damaged item minus depreciation.
For example, let’s say you have a house fire that damages your big screen TV from 2010. Using replacement cost, your insurance company will provide you with the funds to replace the item with modern, comparable television. If you’re using ACV, you’ll be provided with the amount you paid for the TV minus the depreciation over the years.
14. Escrow Is a Great Option for Paying…
An escrow account deposits some of your monthly mortgage payments to pay for various costs that come with owning a home. Texans can use this method to pay for many things including PMI, their mortgage, and their home insurance premiums.
Having your house insurance payments in escrow is a great option for homeowners. You’ll have to put up a year’s worth of premium at the time of closing when buying your home, but by using this method, you can ensure your payments are consolidated and on time.
15. …But You’ll Need To Review Your Home Insurance Annually
Just because you use an escrow account, doesn’t mean you should just set it and forget it. While it’s great to use, you’ll still want to review your coverage a least every year. This ensures that you are properly covered and not overpaying for your policy.
Lifestyles change and things can happen that may affect the premiums for your house insurance over time. This is why it’s important to re-shop your policy when it’s getting time to renew. Our agents help simplify this process by doing it for you to make sure you’re always paying the lowest rate while staying properly covered.
16. Be Mindful of Your Effective Dates
Your effective date is the date that your insurance kicks in. Often called hazard insurance in Texas, by watching your homeowners insurance policy’s effective date, you can avoid any lapses in coverage. Freedom Insurance Group helps ensure that our clients are fully covered and avoid coverage gaps when renewing.
The danger of having a lapse in coverage comes on multiple fronts. For starters, you can incur unnecessary penalties, but most importantly, you leave your home exposed without protection. Should losses occur during this period, you’d be stuck to restore them on your own.
17. How to File a Claim With Your House Insurance Policy
Filing a claim can feel intimidating, but the process doesn’t have to be. Here are four easy steps to get the job done:
- Notify any authorities if necessary and when it’s safe to do so.
- You’ll want to also notify your insurance provider as soon as possible.
- Document your losses and be sure to send them to your insurance agent. Note: this is when having a home inventory list will come well in handy.
- Be sure that any and all repairs that can be temporarily applied to mitigate further damage are applied. Failure to do so can hurt your claim.
In a typical situation, you can expect reimbursement for your claim to take anywhere between two and four weeks. Of course, in areas facing widespread devastation, such as a region after a major hurricane, you should expect potentially longer wait times.
We Help You Find the Best House Insurance in Texas
House insurance costs in Texas may be higher than most, but since 2005, Freedom Insurance Group has been helping homeowners save. We do so by connecting Texans with the best coverage options through reliable providers that meet their needs.
In addition to protecting your home, we also offer a wide range of insurance products including auto insurance that can be bundled for better protection and savings. Supplemental insurance policies are also available such as umbrella insurance and flood insurance for a more complete way to stay covered.
Remember, comparing your rates is important for keeping your costs low. Our agents will shop for your coverage needs and provide you with the best policy on the market. Get a free homeowners insurance quote with our online tool or contact us today about house insurance in Texas.