While the Lone Star State is the second largest in the nation in terms of square miles, the average cost of homeowner’s insurance in Texas is the seventh highest in the country. Given the excessive cost of insuring a property, homeowners in Texas should be aware of certain aspects of buying homeowner’s insurance.
1. Is homeowner’s insurance mandatory in Texas?
Texas law does not mandate homeowner’s insurance. However, purchasing homeowner’s insurance is recommended, given the high rates of natural disasters to which the state is prone. Additionally, it is likely that lenders will require homeowner’s insurance when the home is mortgaged.
2. What is the average cost of homeowner’s insurance in Texas?
Texans pay roughly $1,945 in homeowner’s insurance costs. The national average price of homeowner’s insurance is $1,288—which means Texans pay $717 more—for a policy stipulating $200,000 worth of dwelling coverage, $1,000 as a deductible and $100,000 in liability coverage.
3. Why are homeowner’s insurance premiums so high in Texas?
Costs to insure a home in Texas are among the highest in the nation due to the many natural calamities to which the state is susceptible. Natural events, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires drive the price of premiums up, especially in comparison to the rest of the country.
Residents within the Galveston zip code pay one of the highest homeowner’s insurance premiums in all of Texas. The inflated $7,000 in premiums for Galveston homeowners is about $6,000 higher than the least-costly premiums, such as those for homes in El Paso, Texas, which average $803 to $845.
4. What do homeowner’s insurance policies typically cover and not cover?
Homeowner’s insurance protects the contents of the home just as much as it covers exterior losses. Aside from covering losses from fire, lightning, and explosions, a homeowner’s policy protects against damage from events, like theft, vandalism, riots and aircraft or vehicles.
In general, Texas homeowner’s insurance policies are unlikely to cover certain losses, such as those due to flooding, earthquakes, wind, hail, rat infestations, wear and tear and homes that are left vacant for the duration specified in the insurance policy.
In Texas, as in all parts of the country, flood insurance is purchased separately from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Rates are generally affordable for this separate policy. Some mortgage lenders require homeowners to buy flood insurance even if the property is located in a low-risk flood area.
Insurance policies do not cover wind and hail damage for Texans who reside on the coast or in Harris County on Galveston Bay. For these Lone Star State residents, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) offers policies that cover damage from wind and hailstorms.
Policies from the NFIP and TWIA should be purchased well in advance—and not at the last minute of an impending natural disaster. Coverage goes into effect after 30 days for the NFIP; and, if a hurricane is on the brink, the TWIA will not immediately sell homeowners a policy.
5. How are premiums decided?
Many factors influence the price of premiums. A home’s value, condition, or replacement cost may warrant a higher premium. Brick or stone homes cost less to insure than wood homes. Homes in high-risk areas are more expensive to insure; but homes close to fire stations have lower premiums.
6. What are ways to reduce premiums?
Texas homeowners who bundle their insurance policies, meaning they buy multiple policies (like auto and home) from a single insurer, can reduce their bill. Plus, installing structures, like accordion shutters or hurricane glass, that mitigate damage will reduce a homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Insurance discounts averaging five percent may be obtained by installing smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks, and burglar alarms. Discounts of 15 to 20 percent can be had by installing a sprinkler system, fire alarm, and burglar alarm. Finally, loyalty to an insurer is rewarded with discounts of up to 10 percent.
7. How do Texans insure high-risk properties?
Homeowners living in high-risk properties, such as those with pervasive crime rates or that are vulnerable to hurricane and tornado damage, may have difficulty insuring their home. In such cases, the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) is available to provide homeowner’s insurance.
Licensed agents will sell these policies to homeowners who meet certain criteria. The applicant will have been denied coverage by at least two licensed insurers in Texas. The policyholder will have to reapply for coverage every two years. Policyholders with existing coverage in the state are ineligible for the program.
8. Can Texas homeowners’ policies be canceled?
Cancellation of a homeowner’s insurance policy is generally not allowed after 60 days from the date of the original purchase. Exceptions to the cancellation of the policy include evidence of fraud, failure to pay premiums or a heightened risk for disasters.
An insurer may also not renew the policy for several reasons. A home that is left unrepaired may be subject to non-renewal, unless the homeowner makes repairs. Filing claims for losses that are specifically not covered in a policy also may prompt non-renewal.
Texans pay steeply for homeowner’s insurance, making protecting their property from the adverse effects of fire and water crucial. When a disaster hits, consult Texas’ most reputable restoration service, Target Restoration. A prompt response is critical when discovering damage to a home.
Texas Disaster Restoration
With comprehensive disaster restoration services, ranging from water damage restoration, mold remediation, hail damage repair, roofing services and fire damage restoration, Target Restoration, is positioned to return any destroyed home or commercial space to its pre-disaster condition. We also work with all insurance agencies for your peace of mind.
Expect certified, experienced professionals from Target Restoration, to rebuild or repair your home or commercial building with speed. Skilled technicians also respond quickly to emergency calls, often within 30 minutes, which significantly decreases the spread of damage, especially in fire or water damage scenarios.
Target Restoration, serves the residential and business communities in Waco, Temple, Belton, Killeen, Houston and surrounding communities with dedication. Emergency services are guaranteed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In the event of any property emergency, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (877) 741-9026 and we will respond right away.