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Texas Home Insurance: Not Fun, Not Hip But Oh-So Important

Shopping for Texas home insurance might not be the coolest, hippest, or most fun thing you’ll ever do, but it is an important part of home ownership.  

Dwelling Coverage v. Homeowners Insurance

In Texas, you can purchase two types of insurance: dwelling and homeowner’s.

  • A dwelling policy covers damages to the structure of your home only
  • A homeowner’s policy covers damages to the structure of your home, your personal possessions and liability (if someone is hurt on your property)

Because of the more expansive coverage, homeowner’s insurance is the wisest purchase to make. And, if you’re financing your home, it may be required by your lender. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to pay your premiums.

Determining Home Insurance Rates

When you apply for coverage, your Texas insurance agent will look at a number of factors to determine your premium rates. Common factors include:

  • What materials your home was constructed with
  • Where your home is located
  • Your claims history
  • The kind of deductible you want
  • Any discounts for which you are eligible
  • Other risk factors like having a swimming pool or owning a high-risk breed of dog

Although insurers have certain factors they have to consider, there are ways you can save money while still getting the kind of coverage you need.

Saving On Texas Home Insurance

Finding the best rate is easier than you think! Take these tips from trusted insurance sources like InsureMe.com and the Insurance Information Institute:

Shop around. Different insurers sell similar policies for different prices. Compare plan coverages and rates—and remember to shop your insurance every six months.

Increase your deductible. Increasing your deductible—the amount you pay on a claim before the insurer pays for it—will automatically lower your monthly or bi-annual premiums. Just make sure you choose a deductible you’re comfortable with if you have to file a claim.

Make a few home improvements. Improvements like replacing broken shingles and upgrading your appliances can help you lower your insurance rates.

Ask about discounts. You can receive sizeable homeowner’s discounts if you buy an auto/home combo policy, have electronic burglar alarms, don’t smoke, or have a fire hydrant within 15 miles of your home. And every little bit helps!

Additional Tips for the Road

Once you’ve compared various policy coverages and premiums, take extra precaution and:

  1. Know exactly what your policy covers—and doesn’t. When it comes to home insurance claims, surprises tend to be a bad thing.
  2. Check with the Texas Department of Insurance to make sure your agent is licensed to sell insurance in Texas.
  3. Review the insurer’s financial strength and customer service rating through free Web sites like AM Best.

When it comes to finding great home insurance, remember that affordable rates are only half the equation. Do a little homework on potential insurers to make sure the service is as great as the policy premium!

For more information on homeowner’s insurance in Texas, contact the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Line at 800-599-SHOP (7467).

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