Stormy weather is a fact of life in Texas, whether you’re a resident of the tornado-prone high plains or living along the Gulf of Mexico coast, where hurricanes have been known to cause major damage. Although coastal living has its attractions, the threat of a complete loss of property due to a big storm certainly gives some pause to the potential buyer or builder. Homeowners insurance will typically cover storm damage, as well as fire and other occasional hazards, but may also make an inconvenient exception for hurricane-force winds and hail which pose an even greater threat to personal and financial security.

If you’re a Texas resident living in a coastal county, and even if you already have homeowners insurance, it’s wise to get well acquainted with state law on wind and hail coverage and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. This agency provides a very important backstop for homeowners who find themselves unable to secure or afford homeowners insurance coverage against the major storms and hurricanes that periodically batter the Gulf coast.

Even with homeowners insurance, residents in this storm zone, which also includes sections of Harris County adjoining Galveston Bay, may find their policies don’t cover damage caused by high winds or hail. There’s no law in Texas that requires insurers to provide the coverage, but there is TWIA, the Lone Star state’s “insurer of last resort.” It’s state-sponsored coverage available through private insurance agents.

Homeowners living in one of the 14 coastal counties in southeast Texas are likely to discover that they’re homeowners insurance won’t cover damage from hail or high winds. The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is the state’s insurer of last resort for windstorm and hail coverage. You may buy TWIA coverage through local insurance agents if you need it.

Coastal residents must plan ahead, however. An impending storm that reaches the Gulf of Mexico means windstorm coverage is temporarily unavailable, at least until the storm passes. Without coverage for wind damage through TWIA or conventional homeowners insurance, any damages will be paid for out of pocket.

It’s also key to remember that Texas requires a certificate of compliance when homeowners undertake any renovations or additions to existing structures. This document, formally known as a WPI-8, is secured through an inspection that takes place while construction is under way. The inspections, which may also be required by a homeowners insurance policy, are available free of charge from the Texas Department of Insurance, or through a a licensed inspector.

TWIA also requires that some residents have flood insurance. This applies to property newly constructed or renovated after September 1, 2009, as well as homes lying in certain federal flood zones (V1-V30, VE or V). If you’re unsure if this requirement applies to your residence, the National Flood Insurance Program maintains detailed maps on its website that delineate the zones down to each residential block and house. Homeowners insurance policies don’t normally cover flood damage for homes in actual danger of seasonal flooding, which is the reason the NFIP exists.

The letter of the law in Texas today for automobile drivers is to pay for any injuries and damages related to a vehicle accident you caused. In turn, there are Texas drivers who simply purchase low-rate liability automobile insurance to satisfy the requirements of this law. However, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles reminds drivers that “not all car insurance is the same.”

Thus, the best advice is to shop around for auto insurance quotes using the Internet to find car insurance websites featuring rates that match you and your family’s needs.

Texas insurance quotes online

Another aspect of securing a good car or even homeowner insurance rate is linked to more and more major insurance companies offering their best quotes for coverage online. While it is always best to speak to an insurance professional in person, there are some pretty good car and homeowner insurance companies featured online with true user friendly websites that seem to answer all sorts of questions.

For instance, a Texas driver looking for the best car insurance quotes online should follow this common sense advice that includes:

– Ask for special discounts on various types of automobile insurance. For instance, Texas law states that if drivers take an alcohol or drug awareness course they qualify for car insurance discounts.

– Understand that Texas law requires all drivers to be able to pay for any and all damages or injuries they may cause during an accident. If you are unsure what minimum limits of coverage is required in the state, then go to the Texas DMV website to learn about such things as the requirement to have $30,000 in auto insurance coverage for “each injured person,” and $60,000 for injuries per traffic incident.

– Review a car insurance quote to ensure you have the state required liability insurance; while also having other optional coverage for such things as uninsured and underinsured Texas drivers, including coverage for collision, towing and labor.

– Consider comprehensive car insurance coverage since if an “act of nature” occurs, it may be covered through a comprehensive auto insurance coverage.

In general, it is best to research car insurance companies online to learn more about Texas auto insurance rates, programs and laws.

Texas homeowners insurance rates explained

While it is both easy and convenient to e-mail an insurance company about such things as Texas homeowners insurance quotes or the same for auto insurance, drivers should know that most insurance companies will discount automobile insurance if the customer also has homeowners coverage with the company. Thus, when requesting a quote for homeowners, it is also a good idea to ask about the company’s auto insurance rates. The goal is to protect you and your family with the best rates and insurance coverage for both your home and motor vehicles.

Driving safe in Texas with proper car insurance

Drivers can get fast automobile insurance rates for operating a motor vehicle in the state of Texas. While there is a view that home is where your heart is, the same can be said about your motor vehicle being an extension of your home. Thus, it makes sense to get the best insurance quotes for your automobile, truck and home at the same time.

Overall, your motor vehicle is an important investment that can only be properly protected when you have proper car insurance for driving in the state of Texas.

Almost every lender will require that you have basic hazard insurance before they approve a loan, but most homeowners will want comprehensive coverage before getting the keys to their new home. These policies can be invaluable when any number of common mishaps or accidents take place and you are in need of financial compensation. If you have recently begun to search for affordable California home insurance quotes, then here is a look at exactly what kind of policy you will need in the beginning and what your options are for expanding your coverage.

The Basics of Coverage
Almost every homeowner is going to choose a policy that is classified as HO2 coverage. This form of coverage is considered adequate for the average home and covers against 16 perils. HO1 coverage is the bare minimum that homeowners will need in order to receive a loan from most lenders while an HO3 policy provides broad coverage for all perils that are not specifically excluded. The most common perils include fire, smoke, hail, riots, windstorms, vandalism, theft, and freezing. If there is any damage from these perils, the policy will help homeowners repair or replace their home as well as any property inside the home. This includes the cost of relocating for a short period if the home is deemed unsafe.

What Isn’t Covered?
A homeowner can opt for a premium policy that will essentially cover any form of damage, but this is not financially practical in most situations. This means that there will be gaps in the coverage for perils that are less likely. The average policy may not include coverage for water damage from either floods or slow leaks, but this can be remedied with a rider. The 16 perils that are covered by basic policies make up around 90 percent of all claims that are made. Attempting to add comprehensive coverage to your policy could make your California insurance quotes much more expensive. Instead of covering every single peril, it may be more prudent to go with a basic policy and then add riders for specific issues.

Special Riders and Additions
Practically any type of rider can be added to homeowners insurance. Homeowners should take a look at their own personal belongings, what will be stored on their property, and what some of the local threats may be when choosing a rider. In order to keep California homeowners insurance rates to a minimum, you may also want to increase your deductible to $500 or even $1000 depending on your own financial stability. Some of the most common riders include extended coverage for expensive jewelery, antiques, and electronics. If anyone is working out of your home, you may also want to include office supplies in your policy in the event of damage or theft.