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Houston Home Insurance
Houston Home Insurance
Houston, the oil capital of America, is the fourth largest city in the USA and the largest in Texas. It is a bustling economic center where fortunes are made and lost every day. Like other Texas cities though, Houston sees it's share of bad weather, which makes having Houston Home Insurance even more important. Having the right kind of Houston Home Insurance, will give you piece of mind and more importantly home insurance coverage in case of accidents.
What Is Included In A Houston Home Insurance Policy?
Home insurance is a term used in insurance, to describe a policy consisting of extensive coverage for your household. It is a type of insurance that covers most of your needs on a day to day basis with a few exceptions such as auto-insurance, which must always be signed a separate insurance. Home Insurance does not only cover your house and property, but also your personal items and personal liability and accidents.
In general a home insurance package is made up from 4 different cover areas:
Homeowner Dwelling And Personal Property, Liability, Medical Payments and Additional Home Living Expenses.
Home Dwelling and Personal Property Coverage
This part of the home insurance package is the one that most people consider when they are looking to purchase home owner insurance. Home dwelling coverage covers any damages done to your house and property. It includes coverage for modifications and structures that are not part of your main house. This could be a garage, tool shed or other storage facilities, which are usually valued at 10% of the total insurance limit. Basically home dwelling covers your house and property against damage.
Personal property is a category that includes all your personal items and belongings on your property, such as furniture, electronics, valuables and personal effects. In case of fire, theft or other damage, this will protect your belongings. Personal property contains items on your property, as long as they are not a vehicle. The value of the personal property insurance, is usually set at 50% of the total insurance policy, but if you wish, you can get lower coverage limit. This serves to reduce your premium payments.
Personal Liability Coverage
Liability is a term used in insurance to describe a situation when damage or injury has been done to a person on your property, and there is a claim for compensation. Personal liability covers expenses to both legal fees and eventual compensation made out by a court. Automobile damage is not covered under personal liability. Your entire household and family will be covered under this, including pets, such as the family dog. There is no personal minimum deductible on personal liability, which means that you will never have to front any money yourself, if you accidentally injure or damage another person or their belongings. The usual limit for personal liability is 100.000$, but can be raised if you feel the need to do so.
Medical Payments Coverage
If someone is injured at your property and requires medical attention, they will be covered under medical payments coverage, regardless of your involvement, though some insurance companies will not compensate the full cost if you were liable, so it pays to study the fine print!
Additional Living Expenses
In the unfortunate event that an accident renders your home useless for living, then you will need temporary accommodation. Additional Living Expenses covers expenses for motels or apartments for up to 12 months, while your home is being repaired. The total amount you can receive is usually around 20% of the insurance limit.
Some parts of the country is more prone to bad weather, such as parts of Texas where there is an additional risk of fire and storm damage due to the environment. To protect yourself against damage that is not covered by the above, you can opt for additional coverage. Common additional coverage are:
After a storm or a flood there can be a lot of debris on your property, which can be costly or time consuming to remove yourself. This extra will cover you against the costs.
Trees, Plants and Shrubs:
If you have trees and other plants on your property and want to protect them, you can choose this extra. It covers damage to your green plants and threes for amounts up to 500$
Credit Card Coverage and Identity Theft:
Included in some home insurance policies and an optional in most. This policy will protect you against credit card fraud and identity theft, but only up to a certain amount, usually 500$.
Mold damage is rarely included in a standard home insurance policy, but can be purchased additional.
Main Types of Home Insurance Packages in Houston
Home owners insurance in Houston can be purchased as three general packages:
HO1, HO2 and HO3.
HO1 is a the most basic insurance policy. HO2 is an extensive coverage policy and HO3 is the most inclusive coverage. HO2 and HO3 are by far the most popular types of home insurance.
HO1(Basic Coverage) insures you against the following perils:
Lightning and Fire
Damages to Cars and Aircrafts from Earthquakes
Mischief and Vandalism
Riots and Civil Unrest
Windstorm, Hail and Hurricanes
Accidental Water Damage
HO2 (Extensive Coverage) insures you against the same perils as HO1 as well as:
Building and Home collapses
Water and Steam Damages Incurred From Plumbing and Water Heating
HO3 (All Risk Coverage) covers just about all perils. It is easier summarized by the things it does NOT cover:
Property Damage from Earthquakes
Vermin Infection (mice, rats, insects)
Freezing Damages While Your House Was Unoccupied (Except if you turned of water or turned on heating)
Wind or Hail Damage To Shrubs and Trees
Vacated Home Expenses (Expenses incurred while you were away from your home for over 60 days in a row)
Maintenance (Wear and Tear)
Water Seepage Damage.
Choosing The Right Insurance Limit For Houston Home Insurance:
Once you have decided on which overall coverage you want, you must choose the total insurance limit. This will affect you in several ways. First of all, it will determine how much you are eligible to receive, when you make a claim, and secondly it will determine how much you will pay in premium. Choosing the total insurance limit is a balance act, between making sure you are covered and lowering premium payments. Set the limit to high and you are overpaying. Set it too low and you will not have sufficient coverage.
To better be able to choose insurance limits, here are some tips on how to prepare:
- Make a detailed list of your belongings. Be sure to include original receipts or make a good estimate where needed. This will help you get a realistic view of what you need.
- Decided on the how much personal risk you are willing to undertake. Your premium will be cheaper if you have a larger deductible.
- Get your house valued by a professional, including costs of rebuilding.
What Is The Cost of Houston Home Insurance?
The total cost of your home insurance policy will depend on several factors:
Type Of Coverage
Most of the price of home insurance is decided by your choice of HO1, HO2 or HO3 insurance.
House Construction and Property Age
The age of your house is a factor included in the calculation. Because building requirements were different in the past, some insurance companies will add an extra cost to older houses.
Insurance companies do in some circumstances add a credit risk premium to your policy if they think it is necessary.
Your deductible is the second most determining factor in the price of your policy. Deductible is the amount you are required to pay yourself when you have an accident. For example if you have damages worth $1000 and your deductible is $500 then you will only receive $500 in compensation. A higher deductible means a lower premium and vice versa.
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