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Good Homeowners Insurance Comes in Handy for Battling Texas Wildfires

Like most states, Texas has dealt with more than its fair share of wildfires in recent years. While the risk is not as bad today as it was a few years ago, wildfires are still a major threat to many Texas homes. This is why you need to make sure your homeowners insurance policy gives you ample protection against the risk of wildfires!

Why Homeowners Insurance is Important in Areas of High Fire Danger

Most ordinary homeowners insurance policies in Texas cover fire damage without regard to the origin of the fire. Wildfires deserve special consideration since they transcend ordinary misfortune for individual homeowners and enter into the realm of natural disasters. Recovering in the aftermath of a wildfire is more challenging (and often more expensive) than recovering from an ordinary fire! If you know your home is situated in an area where wildfires are a real risk, it’s a smart idea to ensure that you’re getting the protection you need from your homeowners insurance. Look carefully at the provisions regarding damage to possessions and property as well as your home itself; if your home is destroyed by a wildfire everything inside it will be lost as well!

The Changing Nature of Wildfires

Weather throughout North America is getting warmer and drier over time. Population growth and agricultural expansion are putting severe strains on water supplies. All of this translates into an environment that’s much friendlier to wildfires. When fires do start, they’re often whipped into a frenzy by exceptionally strong winds.

Fires start more frequently today and tend to grow larger and burn longer. The particular areas at risk change over time; California appears to be the state in the “hot seat” at the moment. While fire danger in Texas has dropped significantly from its all-time high in 2011-2012, it’s still far higher than it was in the 20th century.

Bastrop 2011: A Worst-Case Scenario

If you were living in central Texas in 2011, you don’t need anyone to tell you how destructive and dangerous wildfires can be! Multiple wildfires tore through Bastrop County in early September, leaving catastrophic damage and two dead bodies in their wake. The total damage caused by the Bastrop fires is incalculable. Insurance companies paid for more than $300 billion in claims on homeowners insurance policies. More than 1,500 homes were destroyed, and thousands of families had to disperse into surrounding communities for an extended stay. Homeowners insurance proved to be an enormous asset to the people affected by the Bastrop fires!

Insurers treated the situation like any other large-scale natural disaster, moving in well before the firefighting work was complete. They helped their homeowners insurance policy holders relocate for short- and long-term evacuations, cut checks immediately to help with expenses, and paid out generously to families who needed their assistance in rebuilding. At the end of 2011, despite the unprecedented number of claims filed for the Bastrop fires, only 11 homeowners filed disputes with the Texas Department of Insurance regarding their homeowners insurance.

Homeowners Insurance Helps you Even if you have No Damage

Wildfires start to have an economic impact on your family long before the flames arrive at your property. Thanks to its experiences in the past, Texas takes no chances when it comes to wildfires. Evacuations are called well in advance and every effort is made to clear the areas that are at risk. A good homeowners insurance policy should start benefiting you the moment you need to evacuate.

In the insurance industry, the cost of evacuation falls under the category of “additional living expenses,” commonly referred to as ALE. A good homeowners insurance policy in an area with a known risk of wildfires must include ample allowances for ALE payments! With a major disaster like a wildfire, insurers are often instructed by governmental authorities to pay out ALE to people with homeowners insurance regardless of the details of their policies. You shouldn’t rely on this, though; make sure your homeowners insurance will provide a long-term safety net.

Preparing your Property

If you live in an area that’s especially prone to wildfires, you can make some smart long-term adjustments to reduce your personal risk. Besides protecting your property, you might save some money on your homeowner’s insurance! Clear out trees around your home to create a firebreak. Thirty feet of open ground between your home and any heavy vegetation will make the building much safer. Look into fire-resistant plant species for the area around your home, and prevent any branches from overhanging your roof.

If you keep fire danger in mind while building or renovating your home you can make a strong case for lower premiums on your homeowners insurance. Double- or triple-glazed windows will resist the heat of wildfires better, and proper material selection can ensure that your roof achieves fire-resistance of “Class B” or better. Consult the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for more details.

Even though wildfire risks in Texas have been dropping, they’re still not anywhere near what could be considered “safe.” If you make sure your homeowners insurance and your property are both prepared to handle a major fire, you’ll feel that much more secure when the weather turns hot and dry and the wind comes up!

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Homeowners Insurance at the Forefront of the Minds in Texas

Homeowners insurance in Texas is at the forefront of the minds of most of the state’s residents. This is because, depending on where you live, homeowners insurance can be a big line in the monthly budget. This is a concern in Texas, where floods and storms can pose a serious threat to houses. As a result, insurance agencies and carriers tend to charge more for homeowners insurance in Texas. Despite this fact, there are a lot of steps that people who live in Texas can take to reduce the cost of homeowners insurance. This post will list some of them and describe how and why they are useful.

First of all, it is important to understand why insurance carriers offer discounts in the first place. When a carrier sells you a homeowners insurance policy, they are buying a stream of payments from you that come in every month. This is all revenue for the company. When a covered event happens to your house and the insurance company has to pay out money, that is a loss for them. The company is making a bet that the value of the payments you make to them is less than they will need to pay out to repair your house over the lifetime of the contract. That means that anything that reduces the risk that they need to pay out is good for them. As a result, insurance carriers selling homeowners insurance are willing to give out discounts to homeowners who can reduce the risk of a covered event like a fire or flood, or at least reduce the damage they can cause.

One of the most popular ways of getting a discount in Texas on homeowners insurance is impact resistant materials. There are a few different possible ways to take advantage of this idea, but the basic idea is that the Texas Department of Insurance has set standards about which products qualify for discounts. These are state-level regulations that insurance carriers must follow for homeowners insurance, so as long as your project uses qualified materials, you should definitely get a discount on your homeowners insurance.

The biggest area of impact resistant materials that are eligible for homeowners insurance discounts is impact resistant roofing. These materials can protect your roof from the hailstorms that can cause significant damage in many parts of Texas. The storms can damage the roof, leading to leakage and more damage to the interior. That is exactly the kind of damage that your insurance company would have to pay to repair. They would rather that you pay a reduced rate than have to deal with sudden large claims after a storm moves through a region. Keep in mind that your house is not the only one that the carrier insures- they are likely the carrier for many houses in the same area. So if a storm damages many of them at once, the company has to make a large payment all at once.

The next thing to consider is the possibility of getting windows and doors that are strong enough to resist the impact of objects thrown around in strong wind. During tornadoes or large storms, the wind can toss heavy objects at high speed into houses. If these hit the glass windows and doors of your home and that glass shatters, then that can cause injury, further damage to the inside of the home, and other problems. Much like the case of the roofing, insurance companies would like to avoid the problem of having to pay for this kind of damage. If you can demonstrate to your homeowners insurance carrier that you have installed windows and doors that are highly resistant to impact, you might be able to get a similar discount.

The key to getting a good deal on homeowners insurance in Texas is to do your research about what kind of products can get you a discount. There might not be much you can do about the basic price, but if you obtain discounts, you will save a significant amount of money over the year. Don’t stop at the items in this post. There are other ways you can get discounts, and most of them involve lowering the risk of your homeowners insurance carrier needing to make a payment on a claim you file. In that sense, the interests of you and your homeowners insurance carrier are aligned- you both want to reduce the risk of anything bad happening to your home. Many Texans are unhappy about having to pay for homeowners insurance, but from this point of view, it’s a good way to protect yourself and your property from damage.

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Why Having Homeowners Insurance in Texas Is Important

During the latter part of May 2015, Texas experienced some of the worst flooding the state has seen in more than three decades. Floodwaters destroyed and damaged homes between Austin and San Antonio. The last time that Central Texas experienced flooding on this scale was a flood that took place on Memorial Day in 1981. The result of that flood was the loss of 13 lives and millions of dollars in property damage. In the days and weeks following the 1981 flood, homeowners insurance was on the minds of Texas residents. However, years of relatively stable weather and only a few natural disasters has caused to some to doubt the importance of homeowners insurance and subsequent flood insurance. Now, as residents are forced to sit idly by and watch their property destroyed by floodwaters, the value of having adequate homeowners insurance and flood insurance has been brought to the fore.

Why Having Homeowners Insurance Is Important

The number one reason why having homeowners insurance is so important is because for most people, their home is the most valuable possession they own. An average American will work one third of their life just to pay off their home. Very few individuals have sufficient savings to cover major damage to their home. This is where homeowners insurance steps in.

Homeowners insurance is designed to provide protection during those “what if” scenarios. For example, what if a hail storm, like the hailstorm that plummeted Hidalgo County in the spring of 2012, happens? The resulting roof repairs and siding repairs can number into the tens of thousands of dollars. Roof damage can leave a home in operable. If an individual does not have homeowners insurance, they will not to be able to cover the expense, their home may be rendered unlivable, and the value of their home will drop drastically.

Arguments against Homeowners Insurance

While the majority of Texas residents understand the importance of purchasing homeowners insurance, there are some individuals who are still skeptical about its value. They worry that they are paying for nothing. Some individuals argue that instead of purchasing homeowners insurance, they will set money aside and then in the event a disaster strikes, they will use the money they have saved in order to make a repair.

Unfortunately, there are multiple errors in this way of thinking. First, when a person purchases home insurance, it is true that they do not receive something tangible immediately. However, in exchange for their monthly premium, what they do receive is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if something happens, the insurance company will foot the bill.

Second, based on information provided by governmental agencies monitoring insurance rates, on average Texas homeowners will pay less than $1,700 in insurance premiums. However, according to statistics provided by Angie’s List, the average price to repair or replace a roof is between $11,000 and $25,000. This means that it would take anywhere between 6 and 14 years to save up enough money to equal the amount needed to cover the repair of a roof. While most individuals who make this argument have good intentions, there are very few individuals who actually take the money they would have used for homeowners insurance and save it in case of a future disaster. In the vast majority of cases, individuals who choose not to purchase homeowners insurance find themselves in a quandary when an unexpected accident happens.

What Texas Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover

Texas homeowners insurance policies are divided into two types. There is what is referred to as an ‘all risk policy.’ These policies provide comprehensive coverage and will protect the homeowner against any type of loss unless the policy explicitly excludes them.

The second type of Texas homeowners insurance is called a ‘peril policy.’ These policies dictate specific causes of loss that they will cover. Depending on the type of policy selected, a Texas homeowner could expect coverage for the following things:


This includes any damage or a complete destruction of a home.

Personal Property

This would include items in the home, like appliances, furniture, or clothing that is either stolen or destroyed.

Additional Structures

This includes things like buildings not attached to the home such as sheds, fences, and unattached garages.

Loss of Use

This is going to cover housing, rental expenses, motel expenses, and other expenses that arise when a family needs to temporarily move because of damage in their home from a covered loss.

Personal Liability

This defends the homeowner in court and provides coverage if they are legally responsible for someone who is injured on their property.

Medical Payments

This includes the medical bills of anyone who is hurt on the property. They can also include injuries away from the property, such as if a dog bit someone in the park.

Homeowners insurance is a must for Texas residents who are concerned about protecting themselves from liability, protecting themselves from financial loss, and protecting and maintaining the value of their home.

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Homeowners Insurance in Texas is Little Larger than Life

Although residents of the Lone Star State are typically pleased with everything being bigger in Texas, the unfortunate fact is that homeowners insurance in Texas tends to be a little larger than life as well. To figure out why the average homeowners insurance in Texas rates tend to be higher than others, however, it’s important to keep in mind that Texas policies are about as unique as the state is; forms you may find are standard in other states are replaced with different policies in this state. As such, it’s important to examine these different unique policies and compare different companies to ensure you receive the best value for your home.

Why Homeowners Insurance in Texas is Different

In the United States, it is most common to have the standard HO-3 insurance policy for your home with most providers. In some cases, you might even know about the HO-1 coverage for convenient affordability of the HO-8 to help protect an older home.

Homeowners insurance in Texas varies quite a bit more. To start, there is the HO-A policy, which costs the least and naturally offers the least coverage for a home. The HO-B offers significantly more coverage, and the rare HO-C policy offers the greatest coverage at more costly rates. It is also possible to get an HO-A amended policy to help bridge the gap between the HO-A and HO-B policies without paying a huge premium.
Comparing Homeowners Insurance Texas Rates

Because the policies in Texas are much more different than homeowners insurance in other states, it is often difficult to adequately and fairly compare rates to the nation. On average, it costs about $1,409 per year to have homeowners insurance in Texas; however, the average rates for insurance in other states appear to be significantly lower since it is not possible to get the common HO-3 in the state of Texas.

To provide an example, it costs about $937 to insure a home in California per year. It seems to be much cheaper and affordable, but those in California simply have different policy options available that aren’t in Texas, skewing the comparison.

Looking for Homeowners Insurance in Texas

Although it may be a bit confusing trying to shop for insurance in Texas with unique forms that differ from the rest of the country, there are a few core rules to follow while shopping around.

To start, when you compare policies and cost, be sure to look at the maximum amount that the company will pay should damage occur, the dangers that would be covered, and the amount that you’ll need to pay out of your own pocket before the policy kicks in, known as the deductible.

Getting a low deductible, high coverage limits and more dangers that are covered will make your homeowners insurance in Texas more costly, paying a higher overall premium. On the other hand, getting homeowners insurance in Texas with a high deductible, few perils covered and lower maximum amounts reduces how much you pay in a year.
Cities with Cheapest Homeowners Insurance in Texas

For the most part, while cities with cheaper Texas insurance follow little pattern spread around the state, all of the ones on the list are generally a safe distance from the tropical storms and hurricanes of the Gulf of Mexico. They’re also not too far north, which is known for tornadoes.

Cheap Cities for Homeowners Insurance in Texas

El Paso

On the border to Mexico opposite Juarez, El Paso is mere minutes from New Mexico. It was recently listed as the safest large city for families, and now it even has the cheapest homeowners insurance in Texas; paying about half the average of the nation, El Paso residents pay about $824 per year.

Round Rock

Another city praised for a family setting, Round Rock sits about 20 miles north of Austin and offers some of the most affordable homeowners insurance in Texas. Second only to El Paso, residents of Texas’ sports capital pay $919 per year.

San Marcos

The U.S. Census Bureau noted San Marcos as the fastest growing city in 2013 and 2014, resting 10 miles north of Round Rock and 50 miles outside of San Antonio. Annual insurance rates in San Marcos are about $963 per year, which is 41 percent cheaper than Texas on average.

Additional Cheap Cities for Homeowners Insurance in Texas

  • College Station: $1,018 per year
  • Killeen: $1,032 per year
  • Austin: $1,036 per year
  • Laredo: $1,117 per year
  • San Antonio: $1,152 per year

Most Costly Homeowners Insurance in Texas

While the above cities are a bit more favorable, there are some cities that pay more than 50 percent more for homeowners insurance in Texas than other state residents.


Known for its friendly population, Needville sports fewer than 3,000 residents. Regardless of this, Needville residents are stuck paying $2,569 per year to ensure their homes — that’s 57 percent higher than the state average.

Corpus Christi

A port city that sparkles by the sea, Corpus Christi is the eighth largest of the state. However, because it’s so close to the sea, it’s more likely for homes to become flooded by a tropical storm or worse; homes are susceptible to falling apart in hurricanes. Because of this, residents can expect to pay about $2,509 per year for homeowners insurance in Texas.


A whole 50 miles southeast of Houston, Galveston is another port city that is home to the Carnival Cruise ships Magic, Triumph, Ecstasy and Conquest as well as the Mariner of the Seas. Because of its port location, residents tend to pay $2,384 per year for homeowners insurance in Texas.

Seeking Discounts for Homeowners Insurance in Texas

Just like with other states, it is possible to get discounts on premiums for homeowners insurance in Texas. It is possible to get your insurance costs lowered in the following situations:

  • You don’t make a claim for many years
  • You are 55 years or older
  • You install a monitored security system in the home
  • You install smoke detectors and similar hazard prevention equipment
  • You improve your credit score
  • You improve the property, including fireproof roofing, installing locks and updating the wiring

Reducing Rates and Quotes for Homeowners Insurance in Texas

Different policy providers will quote different rates for the same individual who is looking for the same policy for his own. In the state of Texas, quotes are an easy way to determine who offers lower rates for the most coverage.

Thanks to the Internet, you no longer need to manually contact individual companies and write down quotes in a lengthy process. By taking advantage of technology, you can simply provide your zip code and answer a few brief questions to immediately receive quotes from a variety of different providers; the time you save frees you up to see which insurance provider offers a policy that fits your specific needs.

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Homeowners Insurance Simplified

Texans looking for home insurance quotes may find themselves in over their heads. Not only are there many different websites that will provide home insurance quotes, but the concept of homeowner’s insurance itself is very complicated. It can feel like the only people who actually understand the process are the insurance agents. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to be sure that the insurance agent has your best interests in mind when he or she presents you with home insurance quotes. Are they taking something for themselves? A thorough understanding of how homeowner’s insurance works will keep the average Texan from being overwhelmed when they receive their home insurance quotes.

What Homeowners Insurance is and what it Covers

Homeowner’s insurance, or home insurance as it is sometimes called, is a kind of property insurance. It differs from renter’s insurance in that one must own the residence to even get home insurance quotes. Generally, this means the residence is a condominium or house. When getting home insurance quotes, it is important to specify which type of property the quotes are for.

Homeowner’s insurance covers loss of property and liability concerns. If a hurricane hits your house in Galveston, your homeowner’s insurance will pay for the repair of your house and the replacement of your possessions. The same goes for a house in Amarillo that is engulfed in a wildfire. While natural disasters are events that most Texans have in mind when they get home insurance quotes, the liability protection is used far more commonly. It’s important to ensure that you specify the amount of liability protection you want when getting home insurance quotes.

The Premium

The unique dual nature of homeowner’s insurance means that one premium covers both the property damage and liability facets of the coverage. The premium, of course, is the fee that the insured has to pay the insurer in return for the coverage. The premium is the amount you will be comparing when you are getting home insurance quotes.

The cost

The cost of homeowner’s insurance in Texas varies as widely as the cost of a house. As you might imagine, the cost of homeowner’s insurance increases with the value of the house. What you might not know, however, is that additional clauses tacked on to the insurance policy can increase the premium significantly. For example, damage caused by a flood is usually not covered under homeowner’s insurance. It’s possible to buy flood insurance to go with homeowner’s insurance, but the premium will increase significantly. Consider this when comparing home insurance quotes.

Legal Information Regarding Homeowners Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is a term contract, which means it is a legally binding agreement in effect for a specified length of time. The policyholder must pay the insurer the full amount of the premium, or the insurer has the right to cancel the policy and nullify the legal contract. Certain factors that influence the amount of the premium are specified in the legal contract. For example, a house in close proximity to a fire station will see a lower premium due to the reduced risk of fire damage. Also, the contract will specify which improvements will see a decrease in the amount of the premium. A house in a tornado-prone area will cost less to insure if a secure storm cellar is built. It’s important to research the specifics of a policy instead of merely looking up home insurance quotes.

Perpetual term

As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the standard legal agreement is a term contract. However, perpetual term homeowner’s insurance is available in some areas. This sort of homeowner’s insurance involves a contract that lasts until the insurer or the insured cancels it. To begin a perpetual term homeowner’s policy, you must make a deposit with the insurance company that is much larger than the annual premium would be for a term contract policy. However, you do not have to pay a yearly premium after this point. Perpetual term homeowner’s insurance may not be right for many Texans. Consult your insurance agent. Do not get home insurance quotes for a perpetual term policy without being informed.

Is Homeowners Insurance Required?

Many first-time home buyers in Texas are confused about whether they must purchase homeowner’s insurance when they buy a home. The simple answer is probably. Nearly every mortgage company will require that the buyer’s purchase a policy to cover the house. This is because the bank or mortgage company actually owns the house and needs to protect their investment. This is common practice in the insurance industry and actually stops banks from charging homeowners for damages that may occur. It’s the same as an auto loan lender requiring collision insurance on a financed car. Just as with auto loans, some home buyers are surprised by the expense of homeowner’s insurance the first time they get home insurance quotes. Keep in mind the value of what you are protecting.

If you own a house outright, homeowner’s insurance is not required. However, experts highly recommend that you carry a policy to protect what is likely your most valuable possession. Covering home repair expenses yourself can be ruinous. Run a few home insurance quotes to check rates for your house or condo. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Is Homeowners Insurance Complicated?

Homeowner’s insurance, like most types of insurance, can be difficult to understand. There are many different levels of coverage. Several of them are listed here from the bare minimum to full coverage. Note that the premiums increase as the level of coverage increases.


This is the lowest level of coverage. It’s also the cheapest. It covers natural disasters such as fires, smoke damage, windstorms, hail, lightning, explosions, damage from vehicles, and civil unrest. If a mortgage lender requires a policy and the homeowner cancels their policy, the lender will usually purchase this an HC0 policy. In fact, homeowners usually cannot get home insurance quotes for an HC0 policy.


This is the second cheapest type of homeowner’s insurance. It is generally the cheapest that a private person can get home insurance quotes for.

HO3 Special

87% of Texan homeowners have this type of insurance. It provides an excellent combination of value and protection. Compare home insurance quotes for HO3 to home insurance quotes for H01 when looking for a cheap policy.

H05 Comprehensive

This is the most complete policy available. When comparing home insurance quotes for H05 to home insurance quotes for the other types of policy, you will notice HO5 is much more expensive. However, some homeowners choose it because of the peace of mind such all-encompassing coverage gives them.

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