Your home is your refuge and as it serves many roles, protecting you and your family is its biggest duty. As a homeowner, your duty is to return the favor. Homeowners insurance is there to not only protect your home but also your personal possessions, as well as your family from personal liability.
There are plenty of factors for homeowners in Texas to consider when choosing the right policy for their needs. Luckily, the experts at Freedom Insurance Group are here to simplify your experience all while saving you money in the process. Get to know how your homeowners insurance policy keeps you covered and how our team of experts can find the right coverage to fit your needs and budget!
How Homeowners Insurance Protects Your Home
Your homeowners insurance policy is built to protect you from a variety of events that can cause harm to your home, property, or family. These events are known as perils and while a home insurance policy won’t protect your home from everything, it will protect you from many important perils homeowners may face, so long as they are named on your policy. The most common homeowners insurance policy in Texas is known as an HO-3 policy. Although policies may vary, HO-3 policies provide homeowners with protection from 16 named perils:
- Accidental escape of water or steam
- Aircrafts causing damage
- Breakage of glass
- Falling objects
- Fire/lightning damage
- Freezing and thawing causing water to back up under the roofing
- Freezing of plumbing, heating, and more
- Hail damage
- Riots/civil commotion
- Smoke damage
- Vandalism/malicious mischief
- Weight of ice or snow/sleet
Now that you understand what your home is protected against, let’s explore how your homeowners insurance policy protects you and your home. Learn more about the coverages included in your HO-3 home insurance policy:
The Protection Offered
Your Coverage’s Policy Limit
Coverage A: Dwelling
Your dwelling coverage will protect your home’s physical structure and attached structures from open perils. This includes your home’s walls, foundation, an attached garage, etc.
Your dwelling coverage is the main component of your home insurance and should be enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home.
Coverage B: Other Structures
Home insurance will also protect the “other structures” on your property including fences, detached garages, sheds, and mailboxes.
A typical policy will cover a loss of up to 10% of your home’s value.
Coverage C: Personal Property
Your personal possessions including electronics, clothing, furniture, etc. are protected against named perils as well. Remember, policy limits exist and for more expensive valuables, you may need to purchase additional coverage options to avoid paying out-of-pocket in the aftermath of a loss.
Your policy limit may vary, but most policies range between 25%-50% of your home’s coverage limit.
Coverage D: Loss of Use
In the event you were to suffer a loss in which your home is unlivable in the aftermath, your home insurance policy is there for you. It’ll cover living expenses such as hotel rooms and dining until you are capable of getting back on your feet.
Most HO-3 policies will cover 20% of your home’s insured value for loss of use claims.
Coverage E: Personal Liability
If someone is visiting your property and becomes injured, as a homeowner, unfortunately, you can be held liable. Your homeowners insurance policy provides specific protection to help mitigate medical and legal expenses related to such incidents.
Your policy’s limits depend on a variety of factors but homeowners are encouraged to maintain a minimum of at least $100,000 in coverage.
Coverage F: Medical Expenses
Visitors that are injured while visiting your property can find homeowners liable for damages. Should someone become injured, your homeowners insurance policy will help pay for medical expenses to avoid having to pay for these expenses on your own. It is important to note that this coverage does not include members of your household. For medical expenses involving members who reside in your home, you’ll need the proper health insurance policies or pay the expenses on your own.
Medical expenses covered by your home insurance are typically limited to around $2,000-$5,000.
Perils That are Not Included in a Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy
Not all perils are included in HO-3 home insurance policies, however, understanding your policy can help you know which additional endorsements can help you gain better protection. Flood insurance policies can help you protect against flood events that are not included, umbrella policies can boost your liability, and sewer backup endorsements are there for pipes or sump pumps which back up and cause damage. Explore some of the most common endorsements built to protect Texans from popular perils which may still affect your home but are not included within a standard homeowners insurance policy:
- Flooding is commonly thought to be protected by a homeowners insurance policy and even in areas prone to flooding such as Houston, Texas, only around 36% of homeowners purchase flood insurance. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, this figure drops to around 10%. Considering 25% of all flood claims come from homes that are outside of high-risk flood zones, flood insurance is a great way to help keep your property protected no matter where your home is located.
- Windstorm and hail damage are common perils for many regions of Texas. While many HO-3 may include coverage, not all do, and homeowners may require an additional endorsement to stay protected.
- Scheduled Personal Property Coverage is an option if you own valuables in need of protection but exceed your home insurance policy’s limits. Some examples include fine art, designer fashion items, instruments, collectibles, and electronics.
- Extended Replacement Cost is there for you should you face a loss so devastating that the cost to rebuild your home and restore your possessions exceeds your policy limits.
- Umbrella Coverage helps you gain additional liability protection in the event of a lawsuit. If you own valuable assets such as a large house in an affluent neighborhood, a sports car, or even financial assets, you could be the target of a lawsuit and lose what you’ve worked hard to obtain. By enrolling in umbrella coverage, you’ll mitigate these risks by gaining additional protection from liability.
- Sewer lines and sump pumps can cause damage to your home through backing up or bursting. This can easily exceed tens of thousands of dollars when you account for the extended water damage and repairs necessary to fix the problem. Adding a water backup endorsement will help you stay protected through affordable protection that picks up where your standard home insurance policy leaves off.
- Utility lines that are connected to your home and are damaged fall under the responsibility of the homeowner. Furthermore, a standard home insurance policy won’t cover such a loss. Adding service line coverage to your home insurance policy will help you pay for the repairs and avoid facing these costs alone.
There are many other perils not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy including:
- Actions from the government
- Basic home maintenance
- Damage from ice and water weight to your home’s foundation and/or pavement
- Damage from pets
- Damage from the weather which further affects a loss which is also excluded
- Defects in construction
- Frozen pipes in a vacant home
- Mold, sometimes a $5,000 limit is included in some policy forms
- Pests and infestations
- Foundation Settling
- Theft from a home that is under construction
- Water damage that is not of a sudden and accidental nature
- Wear and tear to an appliance or home fixtures
Navigating the ins and outs of home insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. At Freedom Insurance Group, we help homeowners like you find the right amount of coverage for their needs. We understand that each home is different and can help you find the right policies for your needs.
The Cost of Homeowners Insurance for Texans
Homeowners insurance in Texas is the third highest in the United States. This is because homeowners in Texas have a wide variety of perils to contend with. From the Gulf Coast cities protecting against hurricanes to Hill Country protecting against hail and even North Texas protecting against tornadoes. Every home in Texas has unfortunate perils looking to cause damage. Thankfully, through finding the right discounts, bundling, and comparative shopping, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to find the right coverage for your needs. These are some of the averages homeowners like you are paying throughout Texas:
Average Yearly Home Insurance Premium
Average Texas Homeowner
Average Homeowner Insured by FIG
The amount you pay for home insurance will vary depending on a variety of factors. These factors will include personal variables such as your credit score and claims history. Other factors are related to your home such as its location, the age of your home, and the building materials used during construction.
Homeowners can also enjoy a variety of discounts and bundling options which can help lower premiums to maintain coverage at a lower rate. All in all, each home’s premium is different because of these factors, though averages will give you a benchmark for coverage in your area.
The Different Types of Home Insurance Policies Available
Although an HO-3 home insurance policy is the most common, there are eight different types of homeowners insurance policies that are capable of protecting your home. Different home insurance policies are right for different homes because each policy is built to protect your home differently:
Type of Home Insurance Policy
How Your Policy Protects Your Home
The most basic form of coverage. HO-1 policies are the least common of coverage options and offer the least amount of protection.
A typical HO-2 policy will protect your home from 10 named perils. While it will offer more protection than an HO-1 policy, it is still lacking protection against many modern perils homeowners have come to require protection for. HO-2 policies use a named peril basis for both your dwelling and contents.
HO-3 homeowners insurance policies are the most common forms of protection. Your home, your family, and your possessions will all find protection from this coverage. HO-3 policies will use an open peril basis for your dwelling and a named peril basis for your personal property.
While other forms of home insurance are built to protect homeowners, HO-4 policies protect renters. Using an open peril approach, renters can protect their personal possessions from a wide range of perils, even if they are not listed specifically within their policy.
An HO-5 policy is the most comprehensive form of homeowners insurance available. Using an open peril format, homeowners are protected against more because unless your policy specifically excludes the peril, you’ll be covered. HO-5 policies cover more but will also result in higher premiums for homeowners. An open peril basis is used for both your dwelling and its contents.
This homeowners policy is built to protect owners of condos and townhomes.
Trailers, mobile homes, and manufactured homes receive an open peril approach to their protection with an HO-7 policy. Detached structures on the property will also adhere to an open peril coverage approach, however, personal possessions will be protected by named peril coverage.
As homes age, the risk of insuring them rises for home insurance companies. This can mean that older homes may not qualify for traditional means of home insurance protection. An HO-8 policy provides coverage for older homes, usually over 40 years old, in a similar manner to an HO-3 policy.
The Best Homeowners Insurance in Texas
Finding the best homeowners insurance company in Texas will vary from homeowner to homeowner. This is because each home is unique unto itself as are your coverage needs and other factors. Due to these various factors, the best policy will vary from homeowner to homeowner. Your home insurance premium is crafted by assessing the amount of risk an insurer will take on while protecting your home. Each brand will use its own unique methods and algorithms while also applying its own unique weights and measures to gauge your risk. The risker you are to insure, the more your home insurance premiums will be. Homeowners that present less risk will likewise find themselves paying cheaper premiums.
Because each homeowners insurance company is different, the best thing to do is to shop and compare. This can be a time-consuming process, and we understand that it can be a hassle. This is why the team at Freedom Insurance Group does it for you! By comparing your personal coverage needs among a variety of top-rated insurance brands, we can pinpoint the best homeowners insurance policy for your needs all at the lowest cost.
Freedom Insurance Group Serves Homeowners Throughout Texas
Since 2005, Freedom Insurance Group has proudly served the Lone Star State hailing from Flower Mound, TX. We do so by providing homeowners with unmatched customer service and affordable coverage that offers the best protection. At the end of the day, homeowners are all searching for the best protection at the lowest cost, and through comparing your home insurance needs through our 25+ top-rated home insurance partners, we can craft the right coverage for you.
We’ll help you find personalized coverage and discounts, including bundling, to keep your premiums low without skipping on protection. On average, our customers save around 40% on their home insurance and an average yearly total of $1,623 when bundling. At renewal, should you face a rate increase, your agent will re-shop your home insurance coverage to find the lowest rate and keep you paying less. Get a free homeowners insurance quote and see how much Freedom Insurance Group can save you today!
FAQs on Homeowners Insurance in Texas
Freedom Insurance Group is here for any of your homeowners insurance questions and needs, but some questions are more common than others. Take a look at some of the FAQs we receive or feel free to ask an agent for assistance.
If the water damage in question is sudden and accidental, your homeowners insurance policy may cover it. For example, a roof that becomes leaky due to a hailstorm and allows rain inside will be covered so long as your home insurance protects against windstorm and hail damage. A slow leak from a pipe due to wear and tear or a leaky roof that is not immediately attended to would not be, however. Flooding is also not covered by your homeowners insurance and will require a separate flood insurance policy to remain protected.
No, termite damage is not covered. Termites and other pests can be prevented and eradicated through pest control methods and the responsibility falls on you, the homeowner, as a part of your general maintenance.
No, mold is not covered by your home insurance policy. There are exceptions where mold is the result of a sudden and accidental event in which your homeowners insurance may provide coverage, typically up to a $5,000 mold coverage limit. Speak with your agent to best understand the specifics of your policy.
No, the mortgage insurance is to protect your lender whereas your homeowners insurance protects you, your home, and your possessions. Lenders use mortgage insurance on homeowners who do not reach a certain down payment threshold, typically 20% of the home’s purchase price, to protect themselves against homebuyers who may become unable to pay their mortgage.
After an insurance adjuster assesses your losses, you’ll receive an offer to help you restore your loss. Your compensation will be based on the coverages you are enrolled in. For most homeowners, you’ll receive a check that is an advance on the total amount of compensation and then another to complete the full amount of payment.