Most information presented on this page was gathered from the Texas Department of Insurance. We took the time to prepare this guide to simplify and shorten the language.
Homeowners insurance provides you with a degree of financial protection in the event your home or personal property is damaged or destroyed in an event that is covered by your policy. These polices are a contract between you and the insurance company. As a Texas resident, you are protected by the Consumer Bill of Rights for homeowners and renters insurance. Upon policy issue or renewal, your insurance company is required by Texas law to send you the Bill of Rights.
What coverages are included in a home insurance policy?
Most Texas homeowner insurance policies include:
- Dwelling coverage—pays if your house is damaged or destroyed, as long as it is a covered loss
- Personal property coverage—pays for items such as furniture, clothing, and appliances in the event of damage, destruction, or theft
- Other Structures—pays to repair or rebuild structures detached from your house such as garages, sheds, and fencing
- Loss of use—pays for additional living expenses if you must relocate due to damage to your house, as long as it is a covered loss; this will be paid for a period or as a percentage of your dwelling coverage
- Personal liability—pays for your defense in civil lawsuits that arise from you found legally responsible for someone else’s injury or property damage
- Medical payments—pays the medical bills of people hurt on your property; some policies extend that to covered events away from home
What are the different types of home insurance policies?
Types of homeowner policies include:
- Comprehensive Coverage (also known as all-risk and open perils)—policy that offers broad coverage on various causes of loss, except for those specifically excluded. These policies usually have the highest premiums.
- Named Perils Coverage (also known as specified perils)—policy that offers narrower protection than comprehensive coverage and covers only specific losses. These typically have lower premiums.
Texas homeowner insurance policies offer replacement cost or actual cash value coverage. Replacement costs are what you would pay to rebuild or replace your home based upon current construction rates. It does not include the fair market value of your land. Actual cash value, on the other hand, is what you would pay to replace your property after depreciation. Unfortunately, if your policy only has actual cash value coverage and your home gets destroyed even in a covered loss, the policy will not pay enough to completely rebuild your home.
What’s actually covered by home insurance?
Most policies will cover losses stemming from fire and lightning; sudden and accidental smoke and/or water damage; explosions; theft; vandalism; riots; aircraft; vehicular damage; storm damage (maybe excluded in certain areas in Brazoria and Galveston County).
Conversely, policies will not cover damage due to flooding (separate policy), damage by rodents and pests; damage from freezing pipes while your house is unoccupied; losses that occur while your house is vacant (depends on your policy), wear and tear, wind or hail damage to tress and shrubbery; mold (aside from what’s necessary to be replaced stemming from a covered water loss); long-term water damage.
Do I need separate insurance policies for windstorm and hail damage?
Texas homeowner policies usually do NOT cover windstorm and hail damage for homeowners along the Texas Gulf Coast and in areas of Harris County that border Galveston Bay, such as LaPorte, Seabrook, and the furthest ends of Pasadena.
In addition, Texas homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. Typically, mortgage lenders require homeowners in floodplain areas to buy flood insurance.