They say that everything’s bigger in Texas. And while they likely mean that in regards to things like carnivals, trucks and food, it applies to the weather as well. Texas is so big, in fact, there can be snow in the Panhandle at the same time Texans in the Hill Country are laying out by the pool. Add in the possibility of hail and the occasional hurricane, and there are a lot of things Texans need to be prepared for.
Whether you’re buying a turn-key smart home or building your dream home from the ground up, being properly protected from the unpredictable weather in Texas is a must. Learn everything you need to know about home insurance in the Lone Star State with our guide. Unsure where to settle down or invest in Texas? Check out our guide to the best cities to buy a second home, a few of which are in TX!
On average, Texas homeowners pay annual premiums of $2,128 — about the same amount you’d pay for 21 tickets to see the Dallas Cowboys play in person. That makes Texas the third-most-expensive state for homeowners insurance, following Louisiana and Florida.
Unlike many other states, the Texas Department of Insurance regulates the business of home insurance, though the coverage requirements can vary by company and your home’s location. Mortgage lenders can also require you to purchase home insurance before lending you money, even signing you up for force-placed insurance if you don’t get coverage in time.
Standard home insurance policies protect your dwelling, personal property, liability and any additional structures on your land. Covered perils can vary, but Texas’s policies typically cover incidents like fire and theft.
Even though Texas gets 30 more days of sun than the rest of the country, that doesn’t mean they don’t have severe weather. Because of this, it’s important to remember that standard policies don’t cover everything, and there are certain endorsements you may need in order to be protected from incidents common in the state.
Homeowner insurance plans generally exclude coverage for floods, earthquakes, service lines, mold, equipment breakdowns and water backup coverage. Luckily, you can easily get coverage for these incidents by adding a rider to your policy. And if you get your valuables appraised and found out they are worth more than you thought, you can always add scheduled personal property coverage to your policy.
If you have a new home, plan to sign your policy early, or you’re buying a smart home, you may qualify for discounts. Check with your provider to see if you are eligible for these or any other common insurance discounts.
Other ways to ensure you don’t pay more for this protection than you should is to include regular servicing of your HVAC unit, updating your roof (if it’s over 20 years old) and installing a smart home system.
You might have heard that you can save big bucks by bundling your home policy with other policies like auto insurance. Luckily, many carriers will still give you this discount even if you don’t purchase all your policies through them, dispelling a common myth that the only way to obtain a bundled discount is through a single carrier. In fact, modern insurers (like us) automatically add these types of discounts to their policies, making saving money a breeze.
Texans have many options for properly protecting their homes, no matter if they own a ranch house with land or a townhome in the heart of Dallas. In addition to Insurtech companies like us, some state-wide programs are available to those who need financial assistance or coverage for specific disasters not covered by their current policy.
In addition to the programs below, The Consumer Bill of Rights can also be a helpful resource. Your insurance company is required by law to provide you with a copy of it. Keep it handy if you ever need to file a claim and want to know more about the process.
The Texas Fair Plan Association (TFPA) offers limited insurance coverage to homeowners who don’t qualify for other policies. To get TFPA coverage, you must have been rejected by at least two insurance companies. You can read more about TFPA on their website, though it’s worth noting that they don't offer policies themselves, but instead, they’ll connect you with insurance agents registered with their program.
If you live in an area prone to flooding (like Houston), you can find coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) runs the NFIP. You can check the flood map on FEMA’s website to assess your flood risk and contact local insurance agents to purchase an NFIP flood policy.
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) gives residents in 14 coastal counties and parts of Harris County access to wind and hail insurance. Created by the Texas state legislature in the 1970s, TWIA supplies otherwise unavailable policies through the insurance marketplace. Applicants must have faced at least one rejection from another provider in the private market to qualify.
As it is in most cases, it’s better to secure enough insurance coverage before a storm hits. When a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico, you can no longer purchase a TWIA policy. And in some cases, you may not get coverage for up to 60 days after you purchase a policy aimed to protect you from floods, windstorms or hurricanes.
Want an insurance company that genuinely understands what Texas is all about? Look no further than Hippo. We’ve been servicing Texans since December 2017. Nearly a quarter of our national team is based in Texas, so you can bet we take pride in getting Texans the modern protection they need.