Today, many new homeowner’s experience surprise when they consider the high cost of an important monthly expense. Mortgage companies require payment of homeowner’s insurance premiums as a routine property ownership obligation.
Curbing Rising Homeowners Insurance Costs
Homeowners insurance Houston helps protect local owners of property against unexpected property losses, such as storm damage or leaks in a roof. Yet on average, residents of Houston sometimes pay higher rates than people in many other locations. What accounts for this situation? Many experts believe that prevailing local conditions play a significant role in the variations in homeowners insurance in Houston and elsewhere.
Yet one new study conducted in Oklahoma by an economics team from Austin College suggests that local governments sometimes help lower homeowner’s insurance rates by rewriting building codes to provide for stronger structures. Potentially, in some locations, planners enjoy the ability to help residents lower monthly homeowners insurance bills by implementing tougher, more stringent building standards to help protect buildings during storms. Whether this approach would work in Houston also remains unclear. However, it has offered benefits for people in some other cities.
Higher Homeowners Insurance in Houston
Many Houston property owners would likely benefit from measures designed to lower the high cost of homeowners insurance in Houston. A report presented at valuepenguin.com recently examined insurance costs charged by 28 companies across Texas. It revealed that for a hypothetical homeowner with an above average credit rating residing in a ten year old brick veneer single family residence insured up to $150,000, the annual cost of homeowners insurance in Houston averaged $2,245 annually.
This figure would make Houston the ninth most expensive community in Texas for homeowners insurance purposes. The $187 a month a typical Houston property owner pays towards homeowners insurance in Houston, on top of the monthly mortgage payment, does represent a significant bite out of many household budgets. In fact, residents here on average pay more for homeowners insurance in Houston than homeowners in Florida, the state with the costliest premiums!
The Oklahoma Study
A group of researchers from Austin College reportedly recently completed a study of building codes in the State of Oklahoma. They compared existing building codes with a newer, more stringent one adopted by the City of Moore, Oklahoma after that community suffered a devastating tornado in 2013. The team conducted a meticulous costs-benefit analysis.
City planners had upgraded Moore’s existing code following the 2013 tornado. The revised code requires that new buildings possess the ability to withstand winds of 135 miles per hour, well above the previously required 90 miles per hour minimum. The academic study also considered the extra costs the new provisions would impose on local homebuilders.
Saving Money And Lives
The study produced a startling discovery. The enhanced construction code would reduce building damage by an estimated 30%. Over the total lifetime of a residential structure, this step would save homeowners significant sums of money. Property owners could expect a $3 reduction in damage for every additional $1 invested in more stringent building code requirements.
As a result of the study, some experts believe many communities in North Texas and the Panhandle might benefit by considering raising building code standards. Although the recent study focused on Oklahoma, weather conditions in nearby Texas communities often prove similar.
Houston’s Building Codes
What implications could this type of cost-benefit analysis of building codes hold for Houston? Obviously, Houston faces significantly different environmental and weather conditions than Sherman or Moore. Yet city planners might want to examine Houston’s building codes in light of changes made to building codes in other coastal cities facing similar weather conditions and seasonal threats.
For example, many homeowners in communities in Florida pay very high monthly premiums due to harsh seasonal storms that blow across the Florida Peninsula from the ocean. Possibly a cost benefits analysis of any important recent safety changes impacting Florida construction codes might offer some insight into reducing property losses in Houston from storm damage. Ultimately, this type of review might help produce lower homeowners insurance in Houston.
The importance of homeowner’s insurance remains clear when people consider the devastating consequences of unexpected real estate damage. Few households these days do not experience financial pain when a storm uproots a tree and sends it flying through the roof, or when groundwater seeps indoors and damages a home’s foundation. Homeowners insurance in Houston helps many families cope with these types of unforeseen, unfortunate crises.
Saving money on homeowners insurance in Houston represents a very important goal for numerous property owners, however. While high quality homeowner’s insurance matters to most property owners, no one wants to pay more than necessary for this essential cost. Financial savings benefit Houston residents today!