Homeowner’s / Hazard Insurance
If you’re purchasing a home for the first time, CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to a whole new world of excitement and uncertainty. There is a lot to learn! For example, did your lender or mortgage broker tell you that you need to get wind & hazard insurance? If so, all (s)he means is that you need homeowner’s insurance.
Why do you need home insurance? If you’re a cash buyer or if you don’t have a mortgage on your home, technically you don’t. But if you have a mortgage and/or you are financing a home, then your lender requires that you have it because they have an interest in your home as much as you do.
The purpose of having a hazard insurance policy is to protect yours and your lender’s assets in case of a lawsuit that arises from a “hazard” that occurred on your property, theft, damage, or complete destruction.
Examples of hazards:
An influenza pandemic.
Improper disposal of hazardous materials or waste.
An uninsured contractor injures herself on your property.
Someone slips on your wet sidewalk and breaks a wrist.
An oil pipeline bursts, poisoning your drinking water.
Causes of damage or complete destruction:
This is also called wind and hail insurance. Hurricane insurance basically covers the same things that your homeowner’s / hazard policy covers above.
How much does home insurance cost in Galveston?
The cost for home insurance depends on the following 10 risk factors:
Claims. The more claims you file, the more your insurer raises your rates. If you have a lot of claims, you probably won’t qualify with many carriers because they’ll consider your policy too “high-risk.”
Lack of maintenance. People who don’t maintain their homes tend to file more claims due to damage from a leaky roof, for example. See factor #1.
Aggressive dogs. More on that here.
Location. Expect to pay more for living close to an ocean, river, or lake. The closer you are to a body of water, the more intense the winds are, which drives up the cost of your premium.
Trampolines. Children love them until they wind up in the ER.
Pools. Fences and screen enclosures add value to a pool but also have a high risk of being damaged in a storm.
Low insurance score. Less favorable credit usually (not always) causes a premium increase.
Exterior construction type. Owners of frame homes pay more than concrete block homeowners do.
Fire. The further away you live from a fire hall or hydrant, the more you’ll pay.
Weather prep. The more prepared your home is to withstand high winds, the better. It pays to get a wind mitigation inspection.
Now that you know the factors that drive the cost of hazard insurance in the Oleander City, you’re probably wondering:
How can I get the best value on my home insurance policy?
That’s the question on everyone’s mind. You want the best value for your premium and you want to be sure that your insurance carrier will help you when you need it most. We work with some top insurance carriers with some of the best ratings to give you peace of mind.
We have lots of great partners. However when it comes to insuring homes in Galveston, we have found the following five companies provide very competitive rates, to ensure you get a great deal.
Galveston, TX Home Insurance Discounts
The Texas Department of Insurance recommends asking for discounts when shopping for homeowners insurance. If you can reduce the chances of loss, insurance companies like ours may reward you with money saving discounts to your premium. The following is a list of ways to qualify for a discount:
Being over 65 years old and
Being claim free for three or more consecutive years.
Having a home security system with alarm.
Having fire extinguishers, a fire alarm, or a sprinkler system.
Having a newer home or a home in good condition.
Having other policies (such as auto & flood) with the same insurance group.
Galveston Liability Insurance
Most standard home insurance policies come with liability. Liability protection on a home insurance plan extends to cover the named insureds and resident relatives in the event they were to be found negligent. But some people want coverage for liability only on their house. At Regency, we have the option to write “liability only” policies for homeowners. This is one of the ways in which we’re set apart from our competitors because the majority of them won’t offer this type of insurance.
In addition, if you’re a handyman, farmer, electrician, or landscape guy, we can write general liability coverage and cover those business exposures too.
Pet Insurance Liability
Regency Insurance Group completely understands the value of having a dog protect your home, especially if you’ve ever been a victim of theft or a violent crime. We also understand that “Swifty” may be the sweetest pup on the planet. And we respect the fact that your dog is probably like a family member.
But as you may know by now, getting home insurance in Galveston while owning a dog that’s considered an “aggressive breed” is tough. The reason why is because most insurers believe that legal and medical bills arising from the bite of a dog is too much of a risk to insure your home. They consider the following breeds to be dangerous or “bully breeds.”
When others tell you “Sorry we can’t insure you. Your dog is too dangerous”, request a quote from us. One of the benefits of working with Regency Insurance Group is that we can still get your home insured even with multiple dogs considered to be aggressive.
New Construction Insurance
Pricing on newly constructed homes is going to be significantly less expensive than a home built in 2001. Insurance companies are so motivated to earn the business of new construction that they give discounts for it being brand new. Many national builders have an “accredited builders discount”. They have the latest and greatest Texas building code credits. Some insurers actually give a discount if the original year of construction is less than 3 years old. New homes typically are very well maintained and have less claims.
First Time Home Owners Insurance
Hey there nooby! Welcome to the wonderful world of homeownership! We’ve been where you are now and we know how daunting it can be to absorb all the information that’s being tossed at you. Keep a stiff upper lip! You’ll get through this and we’re happy to help. So here’s what you need to know in terms of insuring your home in Galveston.
1. If you’re buying a home, it’s important to consider what your insurance costs are going to be. You can always get a quick quote on the property to get some preliminary numbers and whether or not you’ll need flood insurance. Don’t worry, we won’t charge you! 🙂
2. A home inspection can be your best friend for saving money on home insurance. The condition of your home’s roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems are the biggest driving factors toward the cost of your premium. That’s what insurance companies look at the most. So if those systems are new and in good shape, you’re sitting pretty. Be aware that if the home you’re purchasing is over 30 years old, insurance companies will want to ensure it can pass a 4 point inspection.
3. Rebuild value and Purchase Price are very different. If you’re buying a home with a lot of square footage, be prepared to insure for at least $110 per square foot. If you’re buying a 3,600 square foot home for $200,000, your insurance value is going to be a lot higher than what your purchase price is going to be.
“Force Placed” or Lender Placed Home Insurance
WARNING: Avoid force placed lender insurance (aka lender placed home insurance) like the plague. It’s the last thing you want!
When you finance a home in Galveston County, you have to sign a lot of disclosures and agreements. One of those agreements authorizes your lender to “force place” flood and home insurance on your property if at any time your policy lapses for non payment or gets cancelled. In this event, your lender is notified and they have the ability to purchase on your behalf at whatever rate they want, with no discounts. In essence, it’s a “no frills” kind of coverage. Typically the cost on those policies are 2 to 3 times higher than what you can find on your own.
The lender will only cover what you owe on the home. So if you have a $200,000 home and you owe $20,000 they usually only cover the interest on the loan. They don’t cover water damage, theft, or vandalism. It’s the most basic fire & hurricane policy that you can buy and it’s expensive.
If you forget, your bank will purchase one for you and it’s not pretty! In fact we saw one case in which a man accidentally let his insurance policy lapse. He also didn’t realize that his lender force placed a $15,000 policy on his home. Even though he secured his own insurance 45 days later, they charged him $41 per day from the date his previous policy ended, to the date he secured a new policy. The lender added the $1,845.00 onto his mortgage and forced him to pay it.
Moral of the story: Don’t forget to pay for your homeowner’s insurance. If you have forced placed home insurance, call 409.974.7398!
Galveston Landlord Insurance
Thinking about leasing your property? Just like any home or condo, you’ll want to protect it from mayhem. There is a difference between standard homeowner’s policies (HO3) and a landlord policy. A lot of standard home insurance policies don’t allow tenant exposure. So if you have a standard home insurance policy and you’re leasing your property to others, that could be a big problem in the event you need to file a claim. Instead, what you should have is either a DP1 or DP3 policy.
DP1 insurance policy – A basic policy available for rental properties in Galveston, often referred to as Dwelling Fire Form 1, or DP-1 insurance. It provides very basic insurance coverage for your rental property.
DP3 insurance policy – Considered the best insurance policy for rentals and is often referred to as the Dwelling Fire Form 3 or DP-3 insurance. It provides excellent coverage for Landlords.
But what if you bought a duplex and your plan is to live on one side while renting the other? What kind of insurance do you need, then? Generally insurance companies consider this situation the same as if you were purchasing a town home or a villa which falls under the HO3 Home Insurance Category. But if you’re planning to purchase a tri-plex or any multi family home larger than a duplex, then you’ll want a commercial insurance policy.