The old adage that “everything is bigger in Texas” can be applied to homeowners insurance in Texas as well. The Lone Star State is subject to a number of hazards, including flooding, tornadoes, sinkholes, hurricanes/tropical storms and wildfires. Therefore, it’s essential to have the best home insurance in Texas to protect your home and property from the inevitable.
Homeowners have plenty of choices when it comes to home insurance. How do you choose from the best home insurance companies in Texas? This guide will break the companies down for you, according to customer ratings, average home insurance cost Texas, and coverage requirements. Here’s what you need to know about homeowners insurance in Texas.
The best home insurance companies in Texas
The table below compiles the five most well-known and well-reviewed providers in Texas according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Home Insurance Study.
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Amica is considered one of the best because you can get just about any type of coverage you need. Whether it’s property replacement, earthquake and flood coverage or even identity fraud protection, you can get it through Amica.
One of the things Amica’s customers like best, however, is that the company offers a dividend policy where members get on average 5-20% of their annual premium back each year.
State Farm is a national insurance provider that offers multiple insurance products besides homeowners insurance. For example, you can get car insurance, motorcycle insurance, life insurance, boat insurance and many others (should you choose to bundle, you can save on all premiums).
Needless to say, State Farm offers a slew of coverage options and will even work through NFIP (the National Flood Insurance Program) on your behalf to get your home protected from flood damage (because only NFIP is able to offer flood insurance). The company’s website is super straightforward and goes into great detail about what is covered and what is not covered with each policy.
If you’re looking for a company that offers discounts and convenient ways to access your account either online or via a mobile app, State Farm may be your provider.
Allstate is a solid insurance provider that, like the rest of the providers on this list, offers a variety of ways you can save each month on your premium. Allstate also has numerous coverage options to choose from so you don’t overpay for protection.
One of the things that stands out the most about Allstate is its online presence. It offers a variety of tools and free resources on its webpage for both members and non-members. For members, however, it teaches them how to make the most of their policy as well as giving them ways to save.
Like State Farm, Allstate will act as a liaison and help you get flood insurance through the NFIP, which you’ll want if you’re anywhere near the coast or a major river.
Farmers insurance is a full service insurance provider that offers home, auto, renters, business, condo and life insurance. For homeowners insurance it offers three customizable plans for its members to choose from: Standard, Enhanced and Premier.
One of the greatest things about Farmers is that it offers earthquake insurance. With other insurance providers you will need to purchase earthquake insurance separately, making Farmers unique.
Farmers also offers three unique ways to save on your premium. You can put $50 towards your deductible each year you renew, receive a discount every three years you don’t file a claim and you can get ‘claim forgiveness’ should you go five years between claims. This last feature prevents your premium from rising if you have to file a claim.
The reason USAA is not higher on this list (even though it outperforms Amica) is because, currently, only active or former military members and their spouses are eligible to purchase insurance.
But if you’re eligible, USAA needs to be on your shortlist. You can do everything that you can do with other insurance providers, such as bundle and save, choose from a variety of coverage options and do everything you need to do via its highly-rated mobile app (on the apple store, it currently has a 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 885,849 reviews).
USAA is member-owned, so its customers get paid dividends each year just for choosing USAA as their insurance provider.
Average home insurance cost in Texas
Texas homeowners insurance premiums can be higher than other states due to the number of natural disasters the state is subject to. Therefore, you’ll want to shop around to take advantage of available discounts and find the best price.
How much is homeowners insurance in Texas? The average insurance premium for a Texas homeowner is $3,429. If you escrow your payments monthly with your mortgage, you can get protection for you and your property for less than $158 a month. That’s not a lot of money to pay to get coverage for things like hail and fire damage to your home.
Home insurance coverage options in Texas
Buying homeowners insurance doesn’t need to be overwhelming and stressful. Below, find some information on the type of insurance coverage you’ll most likely encounter and what they are used for:
- Dwelling Coverage: This is your standard insurance policy and it covers the physical structure of your property.
- Personal Property Coverage: You want personal property coverage for your belongings, whether inside or outside of your home.
- Liability Protection: Liability protection covers you in case someone is hurt on your property or you damage another person’s property.
- Guest Medical Protection: This coverage is specifically to cover people who are injured on your property.
In addition to these standard types of insurance coverage, most insurance companies offer optional coverage that you can add on to your policy for more protection. In Texas, flood insurance is an optional coverage that may be required by your lender if you live in or nearby flood prone areas. Also know that if you live on the Gulf Coast, your insurance likely excludes damage from wind and hail, so you’ll want to get a specific policy for them.
Do I need flood insurance in Texas?
Texas was the number two state in 2017 for flood payouts (second only to Louisiana). This alone should highlight the importance of having a flood insurance policy in Texas.
Since many parts of Texas are prone to flooding, it’s a good general rule for Texans to strongly consider purchasing flood insurance. Though you can get an idea about whether or not you live in a flood prone area by inputting your address into a FEMA flood map, you’ll want to also look at your area’s history of flooding. If your hometown was hit hard by a flood a hundred years ago, it could get hit again.
Flood insurance is not offered by insurance companies and must, instead, be purchased through the U.S. government. Called the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you or your insurance provider can purchase this insurance for your home through Flood Smart.
Consider flood insurance a must if you live near the coast or a major river. All it takes is one good tropical storm to completely transform an area.
Common causes of home insurance losses in Texas
In Texas, there are some types of claims that are more common than others. Home damage caused by nature is a common occurrence and is one of the reasons why you should have insurance.
Hurricanes represent one of the most significant sources of claim costs in Texas. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes, “It is estimated that Hurricane Harvey alone had total costs of $125 billion” — which made landfall in Texas in 2017. Statistically, you will likely file a home insurance Texas claim for:
- Water damage, including plumbing issues and burst pipes, but not including flood damage
- Hail damage from thunderstorms and hurricanes, but not extended to shrubs and trees
- Wind damage from thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes
- Theft and/or burglary of property
- Fire damage caused by lightning
You’ll want to be very careful about your policy as it concerns wind and hail. If you live near the coast, your policy may exclude wind and hail damage. If it does, you’ll need to purchase additional protection. Check for exclusions for roof damage caused by hail, as well as tornado damage caused by high winds.
If you have any questions about a policy, pick up the phone and ask to speak with an agent. If there are a lot of exclusions you may have trouble filing a future claim, which is something you don’t want.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in Texas?
The cheapest insurance in Texas depends on a number of factors, including the value of your home, the area in which you live, what type of home you live in and what type of coverage you select. Your deductibles and coverage limits will make up a portion of the cost.
How do I get homeowners insurance in Texas?
To get homeowners insurance in Texas, you’ll want to start with getting your home appraised. This is something that is likely to be done when you purchase the home, so you should have it on hand when you’re buying insurance. You can apply online in many cases and get an instant quote.
If you’re looking to switch insurance companies, it’s a good idea to have your current insurance information on hand so you can compare the policies. This will ensure you get the appropriate amount of coverage.
What do I need to get homeowners insurance in Texas?
Whether you’re buying your home or just looking to switch to a new insurance provider, you’ll need to provide some personal information, as well as your home’s address. Any additional information that is needed will be requested by the insurance provider.
Does flood insurance come with my homeowners insurance policy?
No, flood insurance must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Does my homeowners insurance cover COVID-19 losses?
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are unprecedented, leaving many wondering if a homeowners insurance policy would cover the cost of sanitizing a home if the inhabitants were infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Although many people are spending more time at home to shelter in place and work remotely, there is no legislation on the matter. It’s best to check what kind of coronavirus coverage you may have on your homeowners insurance policy by calling your insurance company.