If you’re a homeowner, having robust homeowners insurance is crucial when it comes to protecting what is likely your most valuable asset. While we all hope nothing ever goes wrong, it brings peace of mind knowing that in the event of an emergency you’ll be covered.
Home Insurance in San Marcos TX
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Whether you already have home insurance and are looking for better options or you’re in the process of buying your first home and just getting started with the process, it’s important to know what all homeowners policy covers—and what it doesn’t. The majority of homeowners insurance policies provide protection against property damage caused by fire, lightning strikes, windstorms, vandalism, theft, and other events. Most also include liability coverage for accidents involving injuries to others and legal fees incurred if someone sues you after being injured due to negligence.
Policies generally cover these things:
Dwelling coverage protects your house and the cost of repairs if damage occurs.
Replacement Cost Coverage
Replacement cost coverage protects the personal belongings inside of your house.
Personal Liability Coverage
Liability coverage protects you in the case of a lawsuit due to others being injured on your property.
Many lenders require you to have homeowners insurance before they’ll finance your home—that way they know that in the event your house is damaged, their investment in the property will be protected and repaired when needed, and not simply written off.
Choosing a cost-effective homeowners insurance policy is in your best interest if you are a first-time homeowner, you’re moving to a new home, or if you’re just looking to get better protection and/or better pricing. If you cover your bases in advance, you will protect your financial security and save yourself potential stress and headache.
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Named Perils Insurance Policies
Named perils policies are explicit in what they cover. If your home or belongings are damaged by any of the perils listed in your insurance policy, it will be covered. However, if a peril outside of those expressly listed on your policy causes damage, it won’t be. While these plans are generally cheaper, they don’t provide as much protection as more robust plans, so it’s important to weigh your choices before committing.
Basic Form (HO-1)
Basic form coverage is the most limited and least comprehensive of homeowners insurance policy forms. It focuses mainly on insuring your home against some common perils (named below), but little else. It won’t protect you from losses due to theft or burglary, and if your home is damaged due to a peril not specifically listed, it won’t be covered. This option is a good choice only if you’re on a very tight budget or if the property is in poor condition or vacant, as it generally has a lower monthly premium than other options.
Broad Form (HO-2)
Broad form coverage is similar to basic form, but covers a handful of extra named perils (named below). While this form covers more types of damage, it still does not cover your home and property as well as more robust policies do. Broad form protects against all of the perils a basic form policy does, plus covers damage that may be caused by burglars if they were to break into your home, but generally won’t cover the actual cash value of the stolen items.
All-Risk Insurance Policies
All-risk policies (sometimes referred to as “named exclusions policies”) are more robust than named perils policies because they cover you for every peril except for exclusions that are explicitly named in your agreement. You can see a list of the most common exclusions below—if you live in an area where any of these excluded perils occur, it’s a good idea to discuss adding coverage for them with your insurance agent.
Special Form (HO-3)
Special form coverage is the most common type of homeowners insurance across the country. These policies cover damage to your home due to a wide variety of perils (all except those listed specifically as exclusions), some types of personal property damage, lawsuits against you (due to injury on your property, etc.), and may help cover the costs of temporary relocation if your home was damaged and made temporarily uninhabitable by a covered peril.
Comprehensive Form (HO-5)
Comprehensive form is generally more expensive than the previously listed property insurance policies, but it provides the most protection against damage to your home and personal property, protection against lawsuits (liability insurance), temporary relocation costs and living expenses, and more. These policies may help cover more expensive losses as well (jewelry, art, etc.) and help you recover more of the actual cash value in event of losses, though you may need a separate policy to fully cover these types of valuables. While this plan may cost more, it can provide huge relief during times of emergency.
Other Types of Home Insurance
The policies listed above are the most common types of insurance for homeowners, but there are other policies which are designed to protect more specific types of dwellings. The main two are mobile home insurance policies and older home insurance policies. However, if you’re a renter you’ll need renter’s insurance, which can help with the replacement cost of stolen or damaged belongings when renting a home.
Mobile Home Form Insurance (HO-7)
Mobile home form coverage is similar to homeowners insurance, but is specifically designed to protect manufactured and mobile homes. If you own a mobile home, you’ll want to get mobile home form coverage to protect it and yourself against perils, lawsuits, and costs of temporary relocation. If you live in a different home and have your mobile home as a vacation home or similar, you can opt for secondary mobile home options.
Older Home Form Insurance (HO-8)
Older homes can cost more to insure than newer homes for a number of reasons, so if your home is old or is considered historical, you may need this special form of insurance with a higher premium to protect it. From older electrical systems to plumbing, there are several types of issues that may arise that can result in damages to the home. In addition, many older homes may not have been built to current safety codes, which can also lead to problems that need repair.
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The Named Perils
As mentioned in the insurance policies outlined above, there are named perils that various forms of home insurance will cover. Depending on what type of insurance you choose, your home and property may be covered for damage caused by these circumstances—this will be determined after filing a claim.
Basic Form Coverage
Most basic form policies will cover at least these perils:
Broad Form Coverage
Broad form policies will cover the basic perils, plus the following:
While some or all of the named perils outlined above are covered by homeowners insurance (depending on what policy you opt for), there are explicit exclusions that aren’t covered in by all-risk policies unless you add extra coverage to your plan. If you live in areas where any of these occurrences happen (floods are a possible issue in San Marcos and various parts of Central Texas so flood insurance may be wise), it’s a good idea to discuss additional coverage options for these perils with your insurance agent.
Choosing the Right Home Insurance in San Marcos TX
Choosing the right home insurance can be a daunting task. There are plenty of factors to consider, including your current financial situation. It’s important to choose a plan that won’t negatively impact your current and future finances. On the other hand, you want to ensure you have adequate coverage to protect your home in case of damage, or you can be looking at expensive repairs that may not be covered.
No matter what type of home insurance policy you choose to go with, it’s important to make note of what your various deductibles will be, as each deductible can vary depending on what type of damage or loss has occurred.
The best way to figure out the right balance of protection vs. cost is to talk to a local, reliable insurance agent. They can help you weigh your options and look at the pros & cons and costs & benefits of various plans to help craft the perfect protection plan for your needs, goals, and budget.
You can often save more on your homeowners policy if you bundle it with other insurance services (such as car insurance), so be sure to consider these options when you discuss insurance coverage options with your insurer. If you’re looking for an insurance company in San Marcos, TX that you can trust, Matt Patterson Insurance Agency is here to help. From home insurance to renters insurance, auto insurance, to business insurance and life insurance, we’ve been proudly serving Texans throughout San Marcos and Central Texas for years. Contact us today to discuss your needs!