Getting Enough Austin Homeowners Insurance Coverage
A recent report revealed that the insurance premiums for Texas homeowners have risen a whopping 21% since 2009. And it may only get more expensive in the long run, for several reasons including industry models which are predicting greater losses due to severe weather events such as hurricanes and wildfires. As well, expenses for insurance companies are rising. Couple that with declining interest rates, and Texas homeowners investment returns are cut short.
So it's no surprise that Austin residents, along with many others in the state of Texas have a high average loss per homeowners insurance policy, losing $7.6 billion to losses occurring from hail alone. Much of that amount occurred among counties located along the Texas coast.
Getting the coverage you need may not be easy at first, as Austin homeowners insurance companies exclude hail, flood and other peril damage from their homeowner policies. Thankfully, you can obtain coverage from hail via the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, and flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program.
Common Myths Surrounding Hail Damage and Insurance Claims
Do you know when to file a claim for hail damage, spot damage or know what your insurance company will do once you file a claim? Checking these common myths can help ensure your roof receives the repairs it needs.
Austin Residents May Have Over One Year To File Homeowners Insurance Claim
While it is true that many companies have a limit of one year or less to file a hail damage claim, this may be extended if the storm affected a wide geographical area. Contacting your insurance company and asking them what their claim deadlines are for hail will give you the answers you need.
Just Because It's New, Doesn't Mean It's Covered
If you recently replaced your roof, you may think it's covered by your home builder, contractor or manufacturer's warranty. But hail is often named specifically as an exclusion by one or all of the individuals listed above. This is because new roofs are more vulnerable to damage from hail than older roofs. It's important to check the details in your policy.
Hail Damage May Not Be Readily Visible
If you've gone up on your roof to survey the damage after a storm but didn't see any, or you had a roofer inspect it and they didn't see any issues, doesn't mean that no damage has occurred. Only an individual with training and experience can tell you if there is damage to your roof. Insurance company adjusters are not only trained to spot this type of damage, but obtain ongoing training. Roofers do not. As well, it may take years for leakage to occur inside your home following roof damage from hail.
Canceled Policies And Higher Rates
Many homeowners think that their insurance company will cancel their policy once they file a claim. But there are actually laws in place in most states which prohibit companies from doing this when severe weather occurs. It's always a good idea to check with your state about their laws, as well as reviewing the language of your policy.
You may also expect that your rates won't go up if you don't file any claims. But rates can be raised for everyone. As well, not filing means that any increase you incur personally will help pay for the damage other homeowners incur, and not your own damage.
What You Need To Know About Flood Insurance
Many homeowners think that once they purchase flood coverage, they are covered for all kinds of water damage. But this is not the case. Flood insurance does cover damage to the building and the contents of that building, but only in cases where the homeowner couldn't prevent the damage from occurring.
Other situations, such as when mildew, mold or moisture develop are considered to be things that are preventable, and so they are not covered by flood insurance. Other things not covered include the loss of important papers, and any cash or precious metals in the home at the time of the flood and business losses.
Another situation not covered is the need for living expenses should you have to leave your home due to a flood. But this may already be included in your basic Austin homeowners insurance policy.