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Homeowners Insurance Information
Greater Austin Area Homeowners Insurance
Protecting Residences Across Cedar Park, Austin and surrounding areas
In the last decade, Texas has experienced massive population growth and a significant increase in real estate values, particularly in urban areas. The housing market remains competitive, and any residential property you possess needs the benefit of a quality homeowners insurance policy.
Here at Dowd Insurance, we understand the unique liabilities that every homeowner faces, which is why we know that your policy must be tailored to both your coverage needs and your budget. Our commitment to our customers is that we will do the hard work for you when it comes to researching, enrolling in and managing their coverage, both today and well into the future.
Call us at 512-331-0787 or request your free policy quote online now.
Homeowners Insurance Policy Questions & Answers
The best time to learn about what’s included in a basic homeowners insurance policy is before you have a claim. We’ve gathered the answers to the most common who, what, why, how and “Am I covered if...” questions about your homeowners insurance policy to help you to minimize any coverage surprises.
Why Is Home Insurance Important?
Houses cost money, and represent both an important financial and personal asset that represents security and stability for you and your family. While it’s something that you will strive to protect, you cannot eliminate the risk of something like a fire, vandalism, severe weather or other hazard damaging either the dwelling, surrounding property or possessions inside.
In situations such as these, a claim against your homeowners insurance will help you receive the assistance you need to restore your property to a secure condition without spending incalculable personal funds. It’s there to make sure you don’t drain your hard-earned savings just trying to pick up the pieces of an accident that you could not have anticipated.
Who Needs Homeowners Insurance?
Anyone who owns a home needs home insurance. Policies can be adapted to cover properties of all shapes and sizes, including:
All in all, if you don’t want to run the risk of losing out on the value of the investment you made in your property, then you can benefit from coverage. In fact, coverage is so important that most mortgage lenders will require applicants to obtain coverage. Still, regardless of any lender’s requirements, you cannot deny yourself the critical protection offered by this essential benefit.
How Much Home Insurance Do I Need?
Since home insurance policies must be made specific to the property and policyholder in question, they will contain numerous types of coverage, all of which are designed to cover different liabilities in different ways. The coverage offered in most policies includes:
Structure Protection: This insures your house in the event of damage from fires, weather, theft, vandalism or other hazards.
Detached Structures Coverage: Other buildings on your property – such as fences, carports, gazebos and detached garages - will have coverage.
Possessions Insurance: This pays for damaged belongings. Protection might cover everything from furniture to food in the pantry and computer systems.
Liability Coverage: If you accidentally harm someone else or damage their property, you can use this coverage to repay them. Coverage will often pay for incidents both on and off your property.
Additional Living Expenses Coverage: Do you need to move out temporarily after household damage? Let this coverage reimburse you for expenses like dining or hotel bills.
Additionally, you can invest in numerous endorsements and supplementary policies that will further increase your benefits, such as:
Replacement cost value possessions coverage
Umbrella liability insurance
Earthquake and windstorm endorsements
Pet liability insurance
What Is The Different Between Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value Coverage?
Homeowners insurance policies can offer financial protection in the event of an unexpected disaster involving your home or personal property. But how you will be reimbursed following a claim depends on the type of coverage you have. Watch this video for an outline of the two main policy valuation methods—replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage.
What property and perils are excluded from my policy?
Typically, coverage does not apply to damage caused by flood, surface water, water that backs up through sewers or drains, earth movement, nuclear damage, war, etc. Personal liability and medical payments do not apply to the operation, ownership, use, etc., of any aircraft, automobile, RV, water craft powered by more than 50 horsepower motor; bodily injury or physical damage caused by an intentional act of the insured.
What happens if I have a fire? How do I collect for my personal property?
Whether your policy pays for the replacement or just the actual cash value of your possessions, you will be paid for personal property that you can show you owned at the time of loss. It is a very good idea to keep an up to date inventory in a secure place. Also, to help you remember what you had, it is helpful to take pictures or video of each room.
If my sump pump fails due to water backing up through the sewers, am I covered?
No, but you can easily add a sewer and backup endorsement to your homeowners policy to cover the loss.
Is my boat covered?
Theft to watercraft, including furnishings, equipment and outboard motors, is typically excluded if the theft occurs outside your residential premises. To cover your boat and its accessories, you need a separate boatowners insurance policy.
I have insured antique items listed on my policy. If I have a total loss, do I receive payment for the full insured value?
We will first confirm the value of the items with one or more independent antique dealers. You should then be paid a dollar value based on the dealer(s) estimate of the worth of the antique items. The best way to insure your antiques? Get appraisals and establish the stated values in the policy.
During a storm, a tree from my neighbor’s yard fell and destroyed my fence. Who pays for the loss?
Generally, your own policy should cover the loss. Our agency may be able to recover the amount paid for the loss from the neighbor’s homeowners insurance if the loss occurred as a result of your neighbor’s negligence.
If I have water damage from a rainstorm, am I covered?
No, a separate flood policy is needed to covers losses to your property caused by flooding. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you’re eligible to purchase flood insurance. We can assist you in determining if your community participates in the NFIP.
What if I lose power and the food in my freezer spoils?
A basic policy typically does not cover this loss; however, coverage for electrical outages is available for a nominal additional premium.
If my iPod is stolen from my vehicle, is it covered under my auto insurance or my homeowners insurance policy?
Almost all auto and homeowners policies exclude coverage for any losses of iPods and other sound transmitting or receiving equipment used in an automobile. For added protection, check with us to determine if coverage can be purchased for the stereo and media players used in your auto.
How can I be sure I have the right coverage?
A complete review of your policy is the only way to determine what property is covered and what perils are insured against. We can help you identify your risks and explain what’s included in a homeowners insurance policy, including the standard limits of coverage on property insured such as money, watercraft, theft of jewelry, silverware and guns. Contact us today to learn how we can help you insure your home, auto and life.
Let Us Help You Get Your Home Insurance Solutions
We understand that it might feel daunting to choose the homeowners insurance policy that is best for you. After all, there are a lot of different things you have to consider. That’s why you can rely on our agents to help you customize your plan to your advantage. By helping you tailor your deductibles and overall coverage limits, we will make sure you always have the protection that your home deserves. Contact us today or start a free quote online now!