Understanding Texas Homeowner’s Insurance
Homeownership is something of a right of passage in America, a point of pride for individuals and families who are making their way forward in the world. With homeownership, however, comes added responsibilities and expenses, and one of these is homeowner’s insurance. New and first-time homebuyers in Texas need to understand these sometimes confusing insurance policies, for more information seek advice from texasquotes.com.
Types of Insurance
There are two primary types of homeowner’s insurance available to Texans:
1. “All-risk” policies are the most comprehensive type, offering homeowners protection from all causes of loss that are not specifically excluded in the policy. Given that Texas is home to many natural disasters, this policy is typically the most popular with residents.
2. “Named perils” policies are also available. Such homeowner’s insurance policies cover fewer causes of loss and damage. Read these policies carefully, because only those causes specified in the policy will be covered if and when your home is damaged. Every cause that is not mentioned in the policy is automatically excluded from coverage.
A typical policy will cover damage caused by fire, lightening, vandalism, theft, explosion, smoke, vehicles hitting the house, hurricane, and sudden water damage (if accidental). However, most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover flood, pests (such as termites and rats), earthquakes, mold, water damage that results from slow seepage, hail damage to landscaping, regular wear and tear, freezing pipes in a house that is not occupied, and losses that occur when a house has been left vacant for a considerably period of time. Because of these common exclusions, in some cases, a supplemental policy may be advisable.
In Texas, three supplemental policies are particularly popular:
1. Flood Insurance
Because Texas homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage resulting from flood, if you are in a flood area, you may want to purchase a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is run by FEMA. People who do not live in flood areas generally do not find such policies to be worth the expense, but if you do live in a flood area, you have about a one percent change of being flooded in any given year.
2. Windstorm and Hail Insurance
Hail causes a great deal of damage in Texas, especially to the roofs of homes. Unfortunately, if you live in one of the counties along the coast, hail and windstorm damage are most likely not covered by your policy. In this case, you can buy coverage through The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). This purchase must be made before a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico. You can also obtain earthquake insurance, but earthquakes are rare enough in Texas that most homeowners do not choose to do so.
Many insurance providers will allow you to add other endorsements (extra coverage) to your policy for an additional fee. Talk to your agent if you have a special concern. Some homeowner’s add endorsements for firearms, expensive equipment, costly art, and jewelry. Endorsements can also cover specific events, such as sewer backup, foundation damage (which is particularly common in dry parts of Texas), or mold.