More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
Your guide to the best homeowners insurance companies in Houston, the cost of coverage by ZIP code, and special considerations for Houston homeowners.
Published September 20, 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 almost 1 million homeowners in the Greater Houston area, you’ll want to make sure you have a good homeowners insurance policy and that you’re insured with a reputable company.
The Houston metropolitan area and Southeast Texas at large are considered among the riskiest areas in the country to own a home because of its exposure to catastrophic and costly tropical storms. Hurricane Harvey and its subsequent storm surge caused a record $125 billion in damage, and the city of Houston and its suburbs accounted for a good chunk of it. The low-sitting, overdeveloped geographical makeup of H-Town, combined with frequent tropical winds and a high average annual precipitation (49.8 inches) creates ripe conditions for extensive Gulf Coast flooding as well as flash floods in inland pockets bordering the San Jacinto River. If you’re a homeowner in the Greater Houston area, be sure your home is equipped with sufficient flood insurance protection in addition to homeowners insurance.
Keep reading for our guide on homeowners insurance in Houston, 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 reason. There are a number of other factors you should consider to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying the premiums for.
Pay special attention to companies’ 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 additional coverages and has an unblemished claims reputation compared to Company A.
The cheapest company for homeowners insurance in the Houston area is Kemper, with an average annual premium around $1,000. Chubb is far and away the most expensive insurer with an almost $6,000 average annual premium.
|Company||Average annual premium|
|Garrison Insurance Company||$1,451|
|Safeco (a division of Liberty Mutual)||$4,510|
|Texas FAIR Plan||$3,106|
|Texas Farm Bureau Insurance||$4,277|
|Texas Farmers Insurance||$2,121|
Methodology: Average annual premium data is based on a 10- to 35-year-old home in the West Houston area with $200,000 in coverage. Quotes were retrieved using Help Insure—a Texas Department of Insurance quoting tool.
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Your homeowners insurance rates are largely dependent on which ZIP code you live in the Houston area. There are a number of reasons for this: ZIP codes in East Houston and Southeast suburbs are at greater risk of tropical storm damage than their more inland brethren. Insurers also often base rates on the claim frequency of particular ZIP codes and how prone the area is to property-related crime like theft and larceny.
The cheapest region for homeowners insurance in the Houston area amongst the areas we researched was the 77084 ZIP code (West Houston) with a $2,658 average annual premium. The 77550 ZIP-code (Galveston) sees far and away the highest rates out of the areas we gathered data from with a $5,510 average annual premium.
|ZIP code||Average annual premium|
|77084 (West Houston)||$2,658|
|77095 (Northwest Houston)||$2,533|
|77015 (East Houston)||$3,004|
|77099 (Southwest Houston)||$2,770|
|77002 (Downtown Houston)||$2,732|
|77587 (South Houston)||$2,858|
|77381 (The Woodlands)||$2,636|
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 multi-story customized craftsman home, 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 West Houston area.
|Coverage amount||Average annual premium|
Methodology: Average annual premium data is based on a 10- to 35-year-old home in West Houston 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 Houston area have a number of things to consider when setting up their homeowners insurance policy. Just about every natural disaster in the U.S. that you can think of occurs in Southeast Texas—hurricanes, tornadoes, subsidence, and even earthquakes are possible considering Harris County sits on multiple fault lines.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the summer and fall are somewhat of an anxiety-ridden time for Houstonians. This time of year usually means preparing homes for the possibility of another catastrophic hurricane or flood, doing everything from retrofitting and fortifying your home to double-checking your homeowners insurance to make sure you’re fully covered.
If you’re a Houston resident, consider extended or guaranteed replacement cost coverage to maximize your home’s coverage against total losses, replacement cost protection for your personal property, and even if you don’t live within 50 miles of the coast or in a floodplain—a comprehensive flood insurance policy for your home. A staggering 55% of Houston homes damaged by flooding during Hurricane Harvey occurred outside of even moderate to low-risk flood zones.
Although homeowners insurance covers damage caused by tornado and hurricane winds, it’s pretty standard for insurance companies in Southeast 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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