Climate change may be part of rising homeowner's insurance rates in Houston

Elyse Smith Image
Thursday, February 15, 2024
What may be driving the cost of your homeowner's insurance in Houston
Flooding, severe storms, freezes, and hurricanes are partly to blame for homeowner's insurance rates rising in Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- From flooding to severe storms, freezes, and hurricanes, weather across Southeast Texas can impact homeowners and their properties any day of the year. That, plus inflation and the increasing cost to build and maintain homes, has led to a substantial increase in the price of homeowner's insurance in Houston and across the state.

The video above features information about flood insurance.

Our partners at the Texas Tribune found that homeowner's insurance rates across the state increased by 22% on average in 2023. That's twice the national rate.

David Varon of Varon Insurance says that's happening here in Houston, too. He's seen policy rates increase from 20% to 30% locally. And it's not just because of inflation.

ABC13 has previously reported on how climate change will shape Houston over the next 30 years through our Weathering Tomorrow initiative. For example, in Fort Bend County, 32% of homes are at risk of a major flood over the next 30 years, and 100% of homes could face damaging winds from either storms or hurricanes. And insurance companies have taken notice.

SEE ALSO: Several Houstonians focused on protecting properties for future flood events

ABC13's Weathering Tomorrow dives into why homeowners should consider purchasing flood insurance in Houston to prepare for future flood events.

"To be honest with you, I've seen a lot of insurance companies pulling out of not only Houston but Texas altogether because of the costs after a huge loss," Varon said.

And while companies won't say climate change is the reason for higher prices or leaving the state, Varon suggests the best thing to do when your policy is coming up is to shop around for what will best suit your needs in the future.

And that's what Connie Garcia does for her home. She's lived in the Richmond area for the past three years and never had to file a claim. But her homeowner's insurance policy has gone up.

To help combat those rising prices, she takes care of her property and prepares for incoming weather.

"Always we have to be aware what is happening outside, how the weather is going so we can cover our pipes," she said, referencing last month's freeze. She also isn't afraid to call her insurance agent for help when it comes to finding the best policy.

The Insurance Council of Texas says that while there could be changes in coverages over the next few years, thus increasing prices, they predict that rates alone will not increase as much as they previously have here in Texas.

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