Though Lone Star Staters are generally pleased with the notion that everything is bigger in Texas, the fact that Texas insurance quotes are a little larger-than-life is hardly something most residents feel is worth celebrating. To understand why average Texas home insurance quotes are higher than those in many other places, however, you need to understand that Texas home insurance policies are as unique as the state, itself. The standard policy forms that those in other states are familiar with are replaced in Texas with a different breed of policies. Examining the differences that make Texas home insurance unique is important for those who have lived in their homes for years as well as those who are shopping for their first homeowners policy.
How Texas Home Insurance Is Different
Throughout most of the country, standard home insurance policies are available from most providers. Of these policies, the HO-3 is the most common nationwide, but other standard policies like the HO-8 for older homes and the HO-1 for those who want the most affordable coverage are also available. In Texas, home insurance policies are very different. The HO-A policy is the least expensive and provides the least amount of coverage, the HO-B policy is far more comprehensive, and the HO-C (though rather rare) offers the most coverage at the highest rates. HO-A amended policies are also available and offer somewhat of a middle ground between the minimal HO-A policy and the far more expensive HO-B policy.
Comparing Texas Home Insurance Rates to Rates in Other States
The unique policy forms of Texas homeowners insurance makes comparing rates between Texas and other states very difficult. The average cost of Texas home insurance is about $1,409 a year, but because the most common nationwide policy (the HO-3) is not available in Texas, the average home insurance rates of states that might otherwise be similar appear to be much, much lower. The average cost of an HO-3 policy in California, for example, is $937 a year; while this seems like a markedly more affordable market, the fact that Californians have different policy forms to choose from than Texans do skews the comparison dramatically.
Shopping for Home Insurance in Texas
While the lack of the standard policy forms found throughout the country can make shopping for Texas homeowner insurance a bit confusing (especially for those new to the state), there are certain considerations every homeowner needs to examine carefully. When comparing insurance policies and their prices, you should always examine the limits (the maximum amount the insurance company will pay when damage occurs), the perils covered (the situations in which the insurance company will pay out), and the deductible (the amount you pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company chips in). A low deductible, a high number of covered perils, and high limits will all raise the cost of your policy, while higher deductibles, fewer covered perils, and lower limits will reduce the amount you pay for your policy each year.
Discounts on Texas Home Insurance
As is the case in other states, discounts on your home insurance premiums are available in Texas. Insurance costs are likely to be lowered if: you don't make any claims for several years, you reach 55 years of age, you install safety equipment like smoke detectors, you install a monitored alarm system, you increase your credit score, or you improve your property in specific ways (i.e. updating plumbing or wiring, installing fireproof roofing, installing window and door locks or other anti-burglar equipment, etc.).
Reducing Rates with Texas Home Insurance Quotes
Different insurance providers may offer different rates for the same homeowner seeking the same policy. In Texas, home insurance quotes are an easy and effective tool for identifying which (if any) insurance company is offering lower rates for the policy you want. Thanks to computer technology, getting Texas home insurance quotes is no longer a lengthy process of going through the phonebook and contacting individual insurance agents one-by-one. By taking advantage of online services like NetQuote, homeowners can enter their zip code, fill out a brief form, and quickly be given quotes from multiple providers in their area. NetQuote's easy-to-read results make comparing homeowners insurance quotes simple, and the possible savings of hundreds per year make a short stop at NetQuote well worth your time.