Protect Your Biggest Investment

I can’t stress enough the importance of a good insurance policy. Here are some tips on choosing the right policy and protecting your biggest investment from expensive repairs and damages.

  • Review your policy every 3 years
  • Bundling insurance can save 30%
  • Request a CLUE report from insurance agent. Claims stick with the property forever
  • Your deductible should be 1% of the dwelling amount or less
  • Don’t buy a policy just on price
  • Use a local agent who is familiar with the Austin area. *recommendations below

Policy Coverage to Consider:

  • Replacement Cost Coverage (roof, home, personal property)- the amount of money it would take to replace the damage or destroyed home with the exact same home in today’s market. This is recommended over Actual Cash Value coverage which is based on the initial cost of the home plus depreciation
  • Water Back-Up Coverage- included in standard policy & it’s inexpensive. Water damage can happen to anyone when sewers & drains get backed up
  • Leakage and Seepage Protection– covers the damage from slow leaks over time (typically 14 days or more). Includes damages from condensation. Damages accrue due to poor maintenance rather than an accidental event. Important for condo owners.

The National Weather Service has completed a historical rainfall study, called Atlas 14. This study shows that Central Texas is more likely to experience larger storms than previously thought. This means that severe flooding is also more likely. We are proposing to change City code. Currently many of our floodplain regulations are based on the 100-year flood. We are proposing an interim 100-year floodplain for our regulations until floodplain maps can be redrawn. This interim floodplain is based on the current 500-year floodplain. This change means that the current floodplain regulations will apply to more properties. Property owners and businesses in the interim 100-year floodplain would have new restrictions if they want to develop, expand, remodel or improve their properties.

Click here for more info about the Atlas 14 rainfall study.

Flood Insurance:

  • Atlas 14 rainfall study shows that Central TX is the most flash flood prone region in North America.
  • New floodplains have doubled the amount of homes in Austin in a floodplain.
  • Homes in a floodplain will have a lower property value
  • Homes in a floodplain will have higher monthly payments due to higher insurance
  • Homes in a floodplain could price people out of certain neighborhoods
  • Long-term, build costs will go up due to more expensive infrastructure. This will affect affordability and density in Austin.
  • Add flood insurance to your home- FEMA vs Private Policy

FEMA

  • Max $250,000 dwelling coverage
  • Rates standard and set by the government
  • No “loss of use” coverage- wont cover hotel or rentals
  • FEMA may not be around forever- risk of being shut down multiple times a year
  • Typically slow to respond

Private Policy

  • Company sets dwelling coverage. up to $1 million
  • Rates set by carrier- can be more expensive depending on the risk
  • Offers loss of coverage
  • Backed by Fortune500 companies- less risk of shutting down
  • Quicker to respond to claims and payout because they are self-funded

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