Homeowners, Windstorm, & Flood Insurance – What You Need To Know
When you purchase a house what is one sure way to protect your investment? Insurance. If you are financing you are required to have insurance on the property, but lets break down the main insurance policies you will see as a home buyer in Houston.
Windstorm insurance is a big deal down here. We live very close to the coast and deal with hurricanes or tropical storms often. But are you required to have windstorm insurance if you are in Houston? It all depends on the county the property is located in. If the county is considered a coastal county, then the lender will require you to carry windstorm insurance. The coastal counties in the Houston region are Galveston county and Brazoria county. So if you find a property you want to make an offer on and it’s in either of those two counties, be prepared to pay for windstorm insurance.
So how much does windstorm insurance cost?
Just depends on the value and age of the home, and where it is located. Also, who you decide to have your policy though makes a difference as well. I can tell you for about a $250k home you are looking around $1,200 annually. Again, there are too many factors at play, so it is best to speak with your insurance agent about getting quotes.
Ever since Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in the Houston region, the potential for flooding has left many consumers scarred. Although the concern for flooding is starting to dwindle again, the threat still remains. If you find yourself wanting to purchase a home in a flood zone, it’s a good idea to check if the property is a habitual flooder. If it only flooded once, let’s say during Harvey then you might be okay. Harvey poured biblical amounts of rainfall over Houston and the entire city was pretty much under water. Even properties that have never flooded nor where they in a flood zone. Truly was once in a lifetime storm (At least we hope!). Now if a property has flooded multiple times, then that could raise some areas of concern. But ultimately it’s what you are comfortable with.
So how much does flood insurance cost?
Well this all depends on if your property is located in a flood zone or not, the elevation of the structure, and the property’s value. If it’s not located in a flood zone, the policy is somewhere around $600-$700 annually. If you are in a flood zone, It will be more expensive and your insurance agent would have to give you a quote. You don’t have to get flood insurance if you aren’t located in a high risk zone, but if you are, the lender will require it. Regardless, it’s still great to have just in case another storm like that ever happened again – God forbid.
General Homeowners Insurance
Basic homeowners insurance is a must have no matter what. You are going to spend 100s of thousands on a house, why not protect your investment? Let’s review quickly what typical policies cover.
The Dwelling Itself – This is self-explanatory. Covering the inside and outside of the home, the main structural components of a house.
Content – covers personal items that are not part of the dwelling. Like clothes, furniture, firearms, jewelry, etc..
Personal Liability – protects you if an accident were to happen inside the home or on the property that injures someone or damages something.
Medical Expenses – covers someone’s medical bills if they were injured on your property.
Loss of Use – coverage for additional living expenses if you are unable to reside in your home because of a total loss.
What factors are considered when determining the costs of homeowners insurance?
Well there are several actually! Location, type of construction materials used, the age of the house, if the property has a pool or not, and the type of coverage the consumer wants. I would advise you to speak with your insurance agent to provide you a quick quote on the property you are considering to purchase. If you need recommendations, let us know!
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