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Al Boenker Insurance Blog - Beginners Guide: What should I look for Home Insurance?

anatomy of safest house for a low home insurance rate

If it's your first time looking for home insurance, congratulations!

Most likely your lending company is requiring you to have it or you just want additional coverage. Whatever the case is, don't go fast and take your time before choosing your home insurance policy.

According to our home insurance agents, consider these things for home insurance in Texas. 

Why you need home insurance?

Are you planning to get a home loan? Definitely, home insurance is required for this. Although, it is not the only reason for having it.

Texas is a great state, we're proud to live here but it's no secret every year natural disasters occur. We can't avoid them but we can protect our assets. 

The most common natural disasters in the area are:

  1. Flash Flood
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Extreme Cold
  4. Lightning
  5. Tornados. 

What kind of coverage is right for my home?

Looking at the natural disasters mentioned above, If you live in Texas, protect your patrimony from those. During the unforeseen weather conditions, rest assured you are covered and focus on your family and their safety.

Take notice, most policies don't usually protect your home from flooding, or busted pipe leaks. However, consider these additional coverages based on your location

Six types of home insurance in Texas

The following six coverages are usually included in your home policy, but it's good to know what are you protecting. Always ask your insurance agent if your policy includes one of these or what is best for you depending on your needs. 

1. Dwelling coverage

Can pay if your house is damaged or destroyed by something your policy covers.

2. Personal property coverage 

Can pay if your belongings are destroyed, stolen or damaged. {PRO TIP: This why you should bring your belongs inside the house and not leave in your car.}

3. Other structures coverage 

Repair structures on your property that aren't attached to your house, like  fences, storage sheds, and detached garages. 

4.Loss of use coverage

If you have to move while your house is being repaired because of an accident, this coverage can pays additional living expenses like rent, food, and other costs you wouldn't have if you were in your home.

5. Personal liability coverage 

Can pays medical bills, lost wages, and other costs for people that you're legally responsible for injuring. 

6. Medical payments coverage 

Perfect for pet owners because this can pay the medical bills of people hurt on your property or if something happens away from your home like your dog bites someone at the park.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance

Enough coverage to replace your home 

It is possible, choose replacement cost coverage over actual cash value coverage. This helps you replace or repair your house if needed during a devastating time. 

Choose Replacement Cost that match the current price for items in your home. As you know, year by year prices are higher and your belongs will be more cost more to replace.

In shorter words, if your roof cost $3,000 years ago, repair it right now will cost more. With this coverage, your insurance company may only pay the cost associated with the value at the time of purchase versus what it will actually cost to repair.

Our advice-  Speak with your local independent insurance agent on the coverages that make sense for you and your home. Licensed agents are experts in their field and can provide guidance.

Consider what type of belongings you have

Insurance agents emphasize how important is to be aware of your assets.

Your Texas home insurance can cover you from:

  1. Clothes
  2. Furniture
  3. Electronic device

What commons policies don't cover is:

  1. Jewelry
  2. Fine arts
  3. Antiques

To have control over your belongings, create a home inventory. It helps you before getting home insurance and make it easier during the claims process.

Click here --> You can download our free home inventory template that is ready-to-use and editable.

Pets could increase your premium

Even though home insurance tends to cover you, having a dog could increase your premium if your furry friend bites someone.

Typically if you have one of these breeds:

Alaskan Malamute

Chow chow 

Doberman Pinscher

Pitbull

Rottweiler

Siberian Husky

Wolf Hybrid 

We know every dog is the best for their owner, we love them. Just keep in mind and seeking coverage that gives you the best rate, protection and won't deny you coverage because of your furry pal

What is the best way to compare home insurance quotes?

Comparing quotes one by one it's overwhelming and can be a waste of time. There are a lot of options on the internet, word of mouth recommendations and insurance companies around you. 

The best way to compare home insurance quotes could be by talking with an independent agent for this simple reason: they can compare and recommend you the best quote for your needs from several companies at once.

They partner with top-rated carriers and offer options, rates, and coverages that fit your needs for the best rate.

How do I choose a home insurance provider?

At last but not least, who will get coverage from? You have some options: a captive agent- can only offer one product/ company (i.e. State Farm, Farmers Insurance, etc.) or an independent insurance agency.

Look for history and experience 

Working with an independent agency isn't enough, look for an agent that has years of experience because they can offer expert advice and be a knowledgeable resource for you. Your agent should be your advocate. They don't work for one particular company, so their job is to provide you the best resources.

If you have doubts about your next Texas home insurance policy or would like an insurance check up, give us a call at 1-800-842-6572 or get a quote clicking here.