Choose your coverage
There are different types of home insurance policies. Most mortgage companies will require that you have a replacement cost policy, which will pay to repair or rebuild your home based on current construction costs. There are also actual cash value policies that pay to repair or rebuild your home, minus depreciation.
Pick a coverage amount
Make sure you have enough coverage to replace your house if it’s destroyed. Your agent can help you determine the cost to rebuild your home. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough coverage for your personal property. You can use our home inventory checklist or search for home inventory apps. There are several free options available, including one from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Get several price quotes
Look at a company’s record
A good way to assess a company’s customer service is to look at its complaint record.
Choose a deductible
A deductible is the amount you have to pay before the insurance company will pay. The higher your deductibles, the lower your premium. If a policy has a deductible that’s a percentage, make sure you know how that translates to a dollar amount.
Ask about discounts
Most companies offer discounts if you reduce the chances of a loss. Common discounts include having an alarm system, having fire alarms or sprinkler system, having other policies with the same company, and being claim free for three years in a row.
Check a company’s license
Once you decide on a company, check to make sure its license is up to date. You can get this information by calling our Help Line at 800-252-3439.
Avoid gaps in coverage
Never cancel a policy until you get your new policy or a written statement that proves you have coverage. Keep shopping if a company turns you down. If you have trouble finding insurance, contact the Texas FAIR Plan at 800-979-6440.
Look at other coverages
Depending on where you live and what you’re insuring, you might need more coverage.
- Flood insurance. Home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. If your property is in a flood zone, your lender will require you to have flood insurance. But don’t rule out flood insurance just because it isn’t required. More than 20% of flood claims happen outside of flood zones.
- Windstorm and hail insurance. If you live on the Texas coast or in Harris County on Galveston Bay, your home insurance policy won't cover windstorm and hail damage. The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association sells windstorm and hail coverage for Texas coastal residents.
- Extra coverage. You can get extra coverage for jewelry, fine arts, electronics, or other expensive items. You can also buy coverage for damage caused by backup of sewers or drains, mold, and leaks from plumbing, heating, or air conditioning systems.
- Liability insurance. If you want more liability coverage than a home insurance policy provides, you can buy a separate umbrella policy. Make sure the agent or company explains the coverage because policies vary.
Know where to get help
We have staff ready to answer your questions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday. Call us at 800-252-3439. We also have guides on a range of insurance issues.