More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
Your guide to the best homeowners insurance companies in Austin, the cost of coverage by ZIP code, and special considerations for Austin homeowners.
Published September 25, 2019
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Homeowners insurance is important and lender-required protection for your home, your personal property, and your combined assets in the event your property is damaged or you’re sued because of an accident. If you’re one of the quarter of a million Greater Austin residents who owns a home, you’ll want to make sure you have a good homeowners insurance policy and that you’re insured with a reputable company.
That’s because the Austin metropolitan area is considered among the riskiest areas in the country to own a home. Austin experiences just about every type of natural disaster: flash floods, drought, wildfires, extreme thunderstorms and hail, and remnants from hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. If you’re a homeowner in the Greater Austin area, pay special attention to your policy dwelling coverage and consider extended or guaranteed replacement cost home coverage. Austin residents should also obtain flood insurance, which you can get through the NFIP or a private insurance company.
Keep reading for our guide on homeowners insurance in Austin, and check out our Texas homeowners insurance guide for more information about insuring your home in the Lone Star State.
While low insurance premiums are certainly a reason to select a particular policy, it shouldn’t be the only reason. There are a number of other factors you should consider to ensure you’re getting enough coverage.
When comparing companies, pay special attention to their financial strength, how they handle claims, the number of discounts they offer, and how robust their standard policy offerings are. Sure, Company A’s policy may be 25% cheaper than Company B’s, but it may be worth going with Company B if their base policy includes a number of additional coverages and has an unblemished claims reputation compared to Company A.
The cheapest company for homeowners insurance in the Austin area is Lighthouse, with an average annual premium of around $700. Chubb is far and away the most expensive insurer with an average annual premium of around $3,500.
|Company||Average annual premium|
|Garrison Insurance Company||$1,193|
|Safeco (a division of Liberty Mutual)||$1,511|
|Texas FAIR Plan||$1,119|
|Texas Farm Bureau Insurance||$1,494|
|Texas Farmers Insurance||$803|
Methodology: Average annual premium data is based on a 10- to 35-year-old home in Austin with $200,000 in coverage. Quotes were retrieved using Help Insure—a Texas Department of Insurance quoting tool.
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When determining your homeowners insurance premium, companies factor in your coverage amounts, the makeup, build and age of your home, your credit score, and where your home is located. Around 55% of Travis County and 27% of Austin proper are made up of wildlands, which are areas of 10 acres or more covered by vegetation.
In drought-prone Austin, wildlands are highly susceptible to wildfires. The West Austin neighborhood of River Place, for insurance, is surrounded by wildlands. And although it has a deforested buffer area between it and the forest or a “Community Protection Zone”, homes are still at extreme risk of catching fire. If you live in the River Place area or surrounding neighborhoods of Long Lake, Glenlake, and Westminster Glen, be sure you’re insuring your home and personal property at or above their replacement cost.
The cheapest region for homeowners insurance in the Austin area amongst the areas we researched was the 78666 ZIP code (San Marcos) with a $1,433 average annual premium. The suburb of Taylor (78724) has the highest rates, with a $1,522 average annual premium.
|ZIP code||Average annual premium|
|78745 (South Austin)||$1,470|
|78753 (North Austin)||$1,484|
|78701 (Downtown Austin)||$1,450|
|78744 (SE Austin)||$1,466|
|78759 (NW Austin)||$1,482|
|78702 (East Austin)||$1,500|
|78613 (Cedar Park)||$1,443|
|78666 (San Marcos)||$1,433|
Methodology: Average annual premium data is based on a 10- to 35-year-old home with $200,000 in coverage. Quotes were retrieved using Help Insure—a Texas Department of Insurance quoting tool.
Your coverage amounts are directly impacted by how much coverage you have. Your home’s insured value or dwelling coverage amount should be equal to the rebuild cost of the home. If you live in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed estate, there’s a good chance you’ll need more dwelling coverage than a single-story ranch home.
Here is the average rate for three different coverage levels for a home in Austin.
|Coverage amount||Average annual premium|
Methodology: Average annual premium data is based on 10- to 35-year-old home in Austin with $150,000, $200,000 and $350,000 in coverage. Quotes were retrieved using Help Insure—a Texas Department of Insurance quoting tool.
Homeowners in the Austin area have a number of things to consider when setting up their homeowners insurance policy. Austin sits right in the middle of Flash Flood Alley, a geographical term for the Central Texas region that’s prone to flash flooding. As we’ve already touched on, Travis County is also prone to devastating wildfires and intense rainfall and thunderstorms.
Although homeowners insurance covers damage caused by tornado and hurricane winds, it’s pretty standard for insurance companies in Central Texas to require a separate wind and hail deductible before they’ll reimburse you for damage caused by those perils. Your insurance company will give you the option of choosing your wind and hail deductible amount. They’ll also typically give you the option of leaving it off your policy altogether for a cheaper premium. Keep in mind that wind and hail damage is typically excluded from your policy if you forego this deductible.
Pat Howard is a homeowners insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. He has written extensively about home insurance cost, coverage, and companies since 2018, and his insights have been featured on Investopedia, Lifehacker, MSN, Zola, HerMoney, and Property Casualty 360.
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