Homeowners Insurance in Texas & More

Homeowners Insurance in Texas & More

What is homeowners insurance?

Most people’s largest single financial investment will be their house, and a house becomes much more than just a financial asset once purchased. Homeowners insurance won’t help prevent a devastating fire or other incident. Should something ever occur, though, having insurance could provide Texas homeowners with valuable financial protection.

Homeowners insurance usually offers coverage for the policyholder’s residence and personal possessions. Policies often include both property and liability protections.

Who in Texas is required to have home insurance?

Texas homeowners generally ought to insure their residence regardless of any requirement. A major incident could be financially devastating if no or inadequate home insurance is in place.

Homeowners who have outstanding mortgages are usually required to carry at least some home insurance. Lenders stipulate this so that the outstanding amount due will still be paid if something happens to a house.

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What coverages are included in home policies?

Home policies can provide varied coverages, with the exact protections sometimes differing from one policy to another. The following are some common coverages that many homeowners policies include as standard or optional features:

  • Dwelling Coverage: Typically covers the primary structure on the insured property
  • Secondary Structures Coverage: Typically covers auxiliary structures (e.g. detached garages, sheds, etc.)
  • Personal Property Coverage: Typically covers personal belongings (e.g. furniture, electronics, dishes, clothing, etc.)
  • Loss of Use Coverage: Typically provides reimbursement for temporary housing if a covered incident makes the residence uninhabitable
  • Vacant Property Coverage: Typically necessary if the house remains unoccupied for an extended period (e.g. several months)
  • Personal Liability Coverage: Typically protects against liability lawsuits in which the homeowner is held responsible

Does home insurance cover a pool?

Most home policies offer protection for an in-ground pool, but there might be a few conditions around the coverage.

First, homeowners should check whether coverage is included as a standard protection. Some policies might require homeowners to add an endorsement for the pool, or select an optional coverage. An endorsement is a narrowly defined protection that’s usually optional.

Second, policies might require homeowners to take certain safety measures. Pools are often considered “attractive nuisances,” which is insurance jargon for something that kids (or others) might be tempted to play in/around without permission. Safety measures, such as a gate, pool cover or sign might be required to deter kids from endangering themselves.

(Additional attractive nuisances might include farm equipment on a ranch, a natural or manmade pond, or a backyard trampoline, among other fun things.)

An insurance agent who specializes in home insurance can help homeowners make sure that coverage is properly in place, and that they’ve taken any safety measures required, for a backyard pool.

How much coverage should homeowners purchase for their houses?

The portion of a homeowners policy that covers a house itself is normally the dwelling coverage.

Lenders usually require enough dwelling coverage to pay off the outstanding mortgage balance if a home is destroyed, but doesn’t necessarily provide any protection for the equity in a house. Additional coverage is generally recommended.

The next amount that homeowners might purchase coverage for is the home’s value, but this too isn’t necessarily enough protection. Setting the dwelling limit to a home’s value normally protects both the outstanding balance and the homeowner’s equity. Sometimes it can cost more than a house is worth to rebuild it, though.

Full replacement coverage normally covers a home for its value plus some. “Extended replacement coverage” might add a specific percentage (e.g. 25%) above the home’s value. “Guaranteed replacement cost coverage” might add however much is needed to rebuild the house, even if it’s more than 125% of the home’s value.

For the best protection, guaranteed replacement cost coverage is often recommended. A knowledgeable insurance agent can help homeowners determine whether this or another level of coverage is right for them.

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How can homeowners in Texas get homeowners insurance?

For help insuring a Texas home, contact the independent insurance agents at JBH Insurance. Our agents have helped many homeowners make sure their house is well protected, and we’ll work closely with you to identify the best available homeowners insurance policy for your place.

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