Texas homeowners insurance

By Sam August 1, 2015

Many standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover things like flooding or other things termed “acts of God” like forest fires or earthquakes. That should be a concern to homeowners living in Texas because the state has seen its fair share of flooding and other natural disasters in recent years. If you need homeowners insurance in Texas visit

Flash floods hit north Texas in May 2014 and Austin was slammed with rain in September, 2014. Areas around Dallas sustained serious damage in flooding last May. More than 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in the latest round of rains and floods.

Those who don’t consider earthquakes a possibility in the western state should think again. There have been four earthquakes reported in Texas in July and 96 reported in the past year. They have all been small, around 2.7 in magnitude, but the possibility is there for some damage if a strong one should occur. Wildfires are a known hazard for Texans, with forestry officials reporting fires this summer near Austin and in between Odessa and San Antonio.

Galveston has regular hurricane events and has ever since the late 1800s. The longest gap between storms is 16 years with the average time gap of nine years between a direct hit from a hurricane. The city is three years overdue, according to statistics, with the last one named Hurricane Ike making landfall in September 2008. The hurricane caused a 20-foot surge over the peninsula and flooded Chambers County. The hospital had to close and the storm wiped out every building on the Bolivar Peninsula.

One of the problems in recent events, like Hurricane Ike, and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana is that many people living more inland didn’t realize their homes were susceptible to flooding and considered to still be in a flood plain, even though they were living more inland. This stalled insurance claim payments and caused some denials because the homeowners didn’t have insurance specific to flooding. There are also some technical aspects to homeowner’s policies related to whether damage was caused by a direct hurricane hit or wind damage from the storm and how much damage must be sustained before insurance will consider it valid.

Homeowners should know the risk factors of their property. Some properties are considered to be in a flood plain or in a high-risk forest fire area without the property owner even knowing it. The local tax agent’s office may have some of this important information on maps or property listings, but your insurance agent would have the specifics regarding how your property is listed for claim purposes. All of this information can affect whether an insurance company will pay on a claim as well as insurance premiums every year.

Homeowners should ask their insurance agent about whether their coverage would apply to specific events like flooding, wildfires, earthquakes and hurricanes. Most homeowner’s policies will attaching a rider for these events, but do not include them in a general policy. Knowing exactly what your insurance covers in advance of an event is key to planning for the unexpected and recovering should Mother Nature strike.

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