Why is Houston homeowners insurance so expensive?
In short, it’s a perfect storm. Homeowners premiums in Houston are rising for three reasons: worsening weather patterns, insurance companies leaving Texas insurance markets, and increasing inflation and home values.
Many of the current struggles with insuring Houston homes began in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey. According to a 2019 report created by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), Hurricane Harvey was responsible for approximately 262,000 homeowners claims and $2.3 billion paid out by insurers.
The Texas Freeze of 2021 also played a big part in the current state of the Houston homeowners insurance market. In another report, the TDI credited the 2021 Texas Freeze with creating 434,135 homeowners claims and $4,461,000 worth of paid losses.
Of course, you can’t forget to also factor in regular weather patterns like seasonal storms and the annual tornado season from April to June.
Because of the many recent weather struggles Texas has faced, some insurance companies decided to pull out of the Houston area. They literally could not afford to keep business in the region. With fewer carriers and more weather-caused claims than ever, prices have increased.
Recently, Houston home prices have seen a downward trend. In January 2023, the median price of a single-family home was $315,000—down from the June 2022 high of $353,995. However, neither price compares to the pre-pandemic median of $235,000. Homes still cost much more than what they did in years past.
Additionally, because of inflation, houses are now worth more. To stay adequately insured, homeowners need to increase their policy limits to reflect the increased value of their home.
Can I lower my homeowners insurance costs?
You may be able to lower your homeowners insurance spending by doing a few simple things.
- Choose a higher deductible plan. You will pay more for a loss before your homeowners insurance kicks in, but your annual premium will be lower. It’s a give-and-take.
- Insure your home, not the land it’s on. Consult with an independent insurance agent, and ensure you’re only insuring your home and belongings—not the land your home is on.
- Disaster-proof your home. Check with your agent to see if your insurance company provides discounts to clients who make their homes more disaster resistant.
- Improve your home’s security. Some insurers have discounts for specific alarm systems or safety precautions such as deadbolt locks on external doors, working smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, and burglar alarms.
This list was compiled from a more extensive article by the Insurance Information Institute. You can find the entire article here.
How can I find homeowners insurance in Houston?
Finding a policy that works for you in the current Houston homeowners insurance market may be difficult, discouraging even. However, all is not lost. Working with an insurance agent may solve many of your homeowners insurance problems.
Independent insurance agents can help you in many ways. They do the research and pricing for you, then bring back multiple options. Often, an independent agent also has established working relationships with many insurers, giving you access to more options.