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Home Insurance and Your Options for Supplemental Coverage: An Interview with Brian Pool, Owner/Principal Agent at Lonestar Integra Insurance

By Brian Pool

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Lonestar Integra Insurance Services is a full service multi-line independent insurance agency serving all of Texas for home, auto, flood, boat, RV, business, life, and health insurance from more than 100 carriers in all.

What is an example of typical/basic coverage for home insurance in Texas?

Homeowners policies in Texas are packaged policies that range from the basic HO-A policy with narrow, named-peril coverage, to the coveted HO-B policy with broad, All-risk coverage. In between the HO-A and HO-B you have the HO-3 policy form which is the most widely offered policy form and therefore the most popular form in Texas due to its coverage features and reasonable rates.

When should a homeowner consider additional policies on top of their basic protection?

If a homeowner has valuable items such as jewelry, those can be insured on a homeowners policy, but there are cases where it may not be a good idea to do so. In those cases, a separate jewelry or personal articles policy would provide the necessary coverage.

How should homeowners decide what supplemental coverage that they need?

It's best to talk with your agent about your needs and what options are available to determine the best route and the best options to select to maximize your insurance value.

Can you briefly explain what flood insurance and earthquake insurance policies are?

Flood insurance coverage is available from the FEMA-sponsored National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) throughout most of the United States, and it's not includes in most homeowners policies. Flood Insurance covers RISING WATER, generally water that enters the home from the exterior from the ground level due to an out of doors rain or flooding event. Many homeowners confuse water damage with flood, but a pipe that bursts inside your home and "floods" your home in that manner would not be considered a flood insurance event, but rather a water damage claim that could be covered on your home insurance policy. Separate earthquake insurance is not something that's sold in Texas, so unfortunately I have no knowledge of that particular coverage that I can share.

What does animal liability cover?

Animal Liability covers the bite or attack of an insured's owned animal on a person, property, or even another animal. It's important to check your policy to see if this coverage is included, as many carriers are excluding it unless it has been added back in by endorsement. If you have a dog with a bite history or any dog on the carrier's ineligible breed list, you may not be able to obtain coverage with certain carriers or may have difficulty locating a carrier to provide coverage due to the presence of the "problem" dog.

What are two or three of the most popular supplemental policies for homeowners in Texas?

Assuming you're talking about endorsements, the most popular endorsements I see and/or use often are those for residence glass coverage and for foundation/slab buyback coverage. Residence glass coverage gives you a zero deductible on glass claims on your home, which can be a nice perk since if you only have 1 window that has been broken, you're likely not going to reach your standard deductible and would therefore have no coverage benefit. Foundation/Slab buyback coverage provides coverage for damage to pipes or other items within the slab that require the repairs to include getting into the slab to fix the problem. I have had several clients with this type of claim who were extremely happy that I had talked them into adding the endorsement to their home policy.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

On the web at < a href="http://www.lonestarintegra.com" rel="nofollow"> www.lonestarintegra.com, by email to brian@lonestarintegra.com, or via phone at 713-264-8929

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