Most homeowners have some baseline understanding of what homeowners insurance is and how it can be beneficial. However, questions often arise about what’s covered and what’s required by a standard homeowners policy, e.g., is it mandatory for homeowners to read their policy? Is it mandatory for homeowners to have insurance in the first place?
In Texas, homeowners and renters have key legal protections enshrined in a Consumer Bill of Rights. This document codifies the provisions the law makes for policyholders and should be made available whenever a homeowner gets or renews a policy.
Knowing Your Rights as a Policyholder
In Texas, it is not legally mandated that homeowners have insurance policies, but mortgage lenders almost always require it. Even homeowners who aren’t required to have insurance may wish to procure coverage anyway, protecting their assets against theft, fire, and natural disaster.
If you do have homeowners insurance, we would highly encourage you to read your policy and understand what it does and does not cover. While the law cannot compel you to sit and study your policy, knowledge of your insurance coverage can help you ensure that you have adequate protection for your home, and that you know what steps are expected of you as you file a claim.
Additionally, we would recommend studying your copy of the Texas Consumer’s Bill of Rights. If you do not have a copy of it, ask your insurance carrier to provide you with one as soon as possible. This document will help you understand your legally enforceable rights as a policyholder and allow you to identify anything your insurance carrier does that infringes on those rights. If you ever do find your rights being violated, that may be reason enough to consult with an attorney who specializes in insurance law.
Basic Rights as a Policyholder
A few basic rights that are upheld in Texas include:
- Your insurance company can’t turn you down or charge you more due to your race, color, religious belief, or nation of origin.
- Your insurance company also can’t turn you down or charge you more on the basis of your age, marital status, gender, disability, or geographic location, unless they can prove that these factors put you at a greater level of risk.
- Your insurance company can’t turn you down or charge you more solely on the basis of your credit score.
These are just some of the basics, and again, we would encourage policyholders to review their coverage in greater detail, paying attention to what is and isn’t covered, conditions for rate increases, and your responsibilities in the wake of property damage.
With any questions about your rights as a Texas homeowners policyholder, feel free to reach out to McLaurin Law at your next convenience.
Know your rights as a #homeowners #insurance policyholder. Here’s an overview. #mclaurinlaw