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Tips to help you buy homeowners insurance

buy homeowners insurance

1. Choose your coverage

There are different types of home insurance policies. Most mortgage companies require you to have a replacement cost policy, which pays 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.

2. Select the coverage amount

Make sure you have adequate coverage to replace your home if it is destroyed. Your agent can help you determine the cost of rebuilding your home. You should also ensure that your personal assets are adequately protected. You can use our home inventory checklist or search for home inventory applications. There are several free options, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

3. Get multiple price quotes

Use TDI's HelpInsur to get sample rates and compare policies.

Once you've narrowed down your search, contact your top picks for price quotes.

Check the company record

A good way to evaluate a company's customer service is to look at its complaint record.

Select an exemption

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 percentage deductible, make sure you know how that translates to a dollar amount.

Ask about discounts

Most companies offer discounts if you reduce your chances of loss. Common discounts include having an alarm system, having a fire alarm or sprinkler system, having other policies with the same company and claiming three years in a row for free.

Check the company's license

Once you've decided on a company, check to see if its license is up-to-date. You can get this information 

Avoid gaps in coverage

Do not cancel the policy until you receive your new policy or a written statement proving you have coverage. Shop around if a company rejects you. If you have trouble finding insurance,

Check out our other coverage

Depending on where you live and what you're insured for, you may need additional coverage.

Flood insurance. Home insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If your property is in a flood zone, your lender will require you to have flood insurance. But don't dismiss flood insurance just because you don't need it. More than 20% of flood claims occur outside flood zones.

Storm and hail insurance. If you live on the Texas coast or in Harris County along Galveston Bay, your home insurance policy may not cover wind and hail damage. The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association sells windstorm and hail coverage to Texas coastal residents.

Additional coverage. Additional coverage is available for jewelry, fine art, electronics, or other valuables. You can also purchase coverage for damage caused by sewer or drain backups, 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 purchase a separate umbrella policy. Make sure the agent or company explains the coverage, as policies vary.


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