Understanding Homeowner's Insurance Coverage In Texas
Texas homeowners insurance is designed to protect financial loss as a result of fire, theft, storms as well as additional events identified in a policy. Homeowners need to know what is covered in their policy. They should know about the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights. An insurance company providing homeowners insurance must send a copy of this with each policy or renewal.
Types Of Policies
A homeowner in Texas can choose from a variety of insurance policies to protect their house. They are HO-A, HO-B as well as HO-C. The language contained within these policies are the same. It is possible for several companies to have the same language in their policies, but charge very different rates for the same type of coverage. It is possible for an insurance company to offer a policy that is different from the standard ones required by law. All non-standardized policies are required to be approved by the Texas Commissioner of Insurance.
Homeowners in Texas are able to purchase a policy that only covers a structure. They also have the option of purchasing a policy that can include up to five different insurance products. They can have dwelling coverage. This will pay should the homeowner's house or another building on their property be damaged. This coverage can provide protection for storage sheds, detached garages and more. It's also possible to have coverage for personal property such as clothing, furniture, appliances and more. This policy will pay when these items are destroyed or stolen. A homeowner's insurance policy can pay medical bills should an individual be injured on a policyholder's property. It may even pay for certain injuries away from the home such as dog bites. Should a person's homes be too damaged to use when it's being repaired, a policy could pay for living at another place.
It is possible for homeowners to get discounts on their insurance policy. A Texas homeowner may do things that decrease their chances of experiencing a loss. These things include installing an alarm system, sprinkler system, fire extinguishers, fire alarms and more. This could earn them a discount. A newer home in good condition could qualify for a discount. Should a homeowner be claim free for three years, they may qualify for a discount. It's also possible to get discounts for being over 65 as well as having multiple insurance policies with the same insurance company.
A Texas homeowners insurance policy will cover a homeowner's personal property. This includes such things as tools, bicycles, household electronics, jewelry, firearms and more. The amount of protection provided will be a percentage of the homeowner's dwelling coverage limit. Should an insurance company's policy cover a homeowner's personal property at 50 percent of their dwelling coverage, and the house is insured for $175,000, the items in the home are insured up to $87,500. Should a homeowner feel they need more coverage for their personal items, they will have to pay a higher premium.
There are certain losses that homeowners insurance companies are not required to cover. On the Gulf Coast, an insurance company may not be required to cover wind and hail damage. This is because of the weather history of storms in the area. An insurance company may offer to pay the cash value of a roof, but not the total replacement cost. The cash value will cover the cost of damage to a roof with an amount deducted for depreciation. This will be based on the roof's condition and age when damaged.
Hail And Windstorm Protection Filing
Most homeowner insurance policies will not cover hail and windstorm damage to a home. This is a concern for individuals who live in the 14 coastal counties of Texas. Coverage is available from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). This provides coverage for a home damaged by hail and windstorms. It is possible to purchase this type of insurance product from a local insurance agent. Should a homeowner want to get TWIA coverage after having renovations on their home, they'll need to get a certificate of compliance. This will require their renovation work to be inspected by a Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) windstorm inspector prior to it being completed.
Filing an Insurance Claim
An insurance company must follow deadlines when it comes to acting on a claim. These deadlines are part of Texas state law. An insurance company has up to 15 days to acknowledge a homeowner's claim. They also have up to 15 days to accept or reject the claim. It's possible for an insurance company to request a policyholder provide a proof-of-loss form that has been signed and notarized. The information provided on this form will be used to determine the value of a claim. A policyholder will be asked to estimate the cost of replacing damaged as well as lost personal property and home repairs. Should an insurance company reject a claim, they must inform the policyholder in writing. If a large disaster occurs, the deadline may be longer. Should an insurance company agree to pay a claim, they must send a check or bank draft within five business days.
In conclusion the Texas homeowner insurance policy has many different components and coverage sections therefore it is always a good idea for the consumer to educate themselves and ask their agent to explain all the parts of a policy. Several resources online, including the Texas Department of Insurance go in to further detail regarding consumer policies and the laws governing insurance companies.