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Home Renter's Insurance for my State What should I know about Texas renters insurance?

What should I know about Texas renters insurance?

As of the 2000 census, 36.2% of dwellings in the state of Texas were occupied by renters rather than the homeowners. While many of these will have the home or apartment in which they live covered by their landlord's homeowner's policy against damage to the actual property, their own personal effects are not covered. Depending upon the lease terms, the renter might be required to purchase Texas renter's insurance, but it is not required by the state.

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, Texas renter's insurance is standardized across all companies and divided into three main types. These are all subdivisions of homeowners insurance policies but while their coverage is the same, the prices for the same policy between different companies can vary widely.

Homeowners broad form (HO-BT) is best for those looking for Texas renters insurance who want to cover their personal property in the event of the most common disasters which are clearly delineated in the policy. Most often these are limited to theft and fire, but since these are what most renters are looking for in their policy, they are more likely to choose the homeowners broad form for their Texas renters insurance. Since it is the most commonly purchased policy, this will be likely to be the first type of policy offered by the insurance agencies for renters.

Another form of coverage for renters is the homeowners comprehensive form (HO-CT). This covers the renter's property in all instances, even those not named in the policy outline. The only exceptions are those which are excluded such as damage to the dwelling and flooding caused by rising water. Since this type of policy covers more incidents and disasters, it is more expensive than the simpler broad form.

Customized Texas renters insurance policies can also be purchased from the insurance agencies. These are typically altered forms of one of the two main types, and the costs vary widely. Some renters choose to have a lower deductible or increase the amount of coverage on their electronics, computer equipment, or jewelry. Typical standard policies only cover up to $500 - $1000 for these items, but many renters in today's high technology world have items in their homes worth much more. Many big screen televisions and computers cost thousands of dollars rather than hundreds, and for owners of these, it might be in the renter's best interest to seek a Texas renters insurance policy with wider coverage.

In a comparison of HO-BT and HO-CT Texas renters insurance policies from the Office of Public Insurance Council, neither policy covers the dwelling itself, since this is only covered by the landlord's policy. Water damage from plumbing issues or from sewage backups are covered by both, but in order for the items in the home to be covered in case of flood, a federal flood insurance policy must be purchased to protect against rising water. The landlord's flood insurance will only cover the edifice itself and not the contents inside owned by the renter. Renters should consider purchasing their own separate flood insurance policy from the Federal Emergency Managment Agency (FEMA).

Both standard types of Texas renters insurance cover the actual cost value. This will repay the original purchase cost minus the depreciation amount. Some policies call this the depreciation value. Additional coverage can be purchased at the replacement value. This is more expensive, but after the deductible is paid, it will repay the renter the current market value to replace the lost, stolen, or damaged goods.

Texas renters insurance should be purchased by all renters seeking to protect their property against theft, fire and disaster. The small investment in monthly premiums will be much less than the cost of replacing ones property after a disaster without insurance.