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Texas Department of Insurance
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Home insurance shopping guide

How to shop smart for home insurance


This checklist can help you make sure your home insurance fits your needs. Here are some questions you should ask when shopping for home insurance.

Print this checklist (PDF)


  • How much coverage do I need for my house and personal property? Consider what it would cost to rebuild your home.
  • Do I need other coverages?
    • Other structures, like fences, detached garages, or sheds.
    • Additional living expenses.
    • Personal liability.
    • Medical payments.
  • Should I get an all risk or named peril policy?
  • Should I get replacement cost or actual cash value coverage?
  • Do I need other coverages because of where I live or what I want to cover?
    • Flood insurance.
    • Windstorm and hail insurance.
    • Extra coverage for jewelry, firearms, or special collections.
    • More liability insurance.


  • What should my deductible be?
  • What discounts do I qualify for?
  • Is the price different if I pay in advance?


What discounts do you have to lower my premium?

  • Monitored burglar or fire alarm system.
  • Fire sprinkler system.
  • Other policies with the same company.
  • No claims filed for three years in a row.

Shopping tips

  • Get price quotes from several companies using
  • Contact your top choices to get actual price quotes. Use our worksheet to compare policies.
  • Look at a company's complaint record.
  • Make sure the company is licensed.
  • Don’t cancel your current policy until you get your new policy or a written statement that proves you have coverage.

Need more help?

Call TDI’s Help Line at 800-252-3439 to see if a company is licensed, check its complaint history, or ask other questions.

Use our Homeowners insurance guide to learn more about how home insurance works, including coverages, deductibles, and limits.




Actual cash value coverage pays replacement cost minus depreciation. Depreciation is a decrease in value because of wear and age.

Deductibles are the amount of a claim that you must pay before the insurance starts paying.

Loss of use coverage pays your additional living expenses (rent, food, and other costs) if you have to move while your house is being repaired to fix damages your policy covers.

Perils are risks or causes of loss (like fire, windstorm, lightning, or theft) that your policy will cover. All-risk policies cover events the policy doesn’t specifically exclude. Named perils policies cover only events listed in the policy.

Personal liability coverage pays medical bills, lost wages, and other costs for people that you’re legally responsible for injuring. It also pays if you’re responsible for damaging someone else’s property and it pays your court costs if you’re sued because of an accident.

Personal property is your tangible property that is movable, such as furniture, jewelry, electronics, clothes, and other items.

Replacement cost coverage pays to repair or replace your house and personal property at current prices.

Questions? Call us at 800-252-3439.