What Are The Best Windstorm Insurance In Texas? Expenses And Regulations (2024)

The best windstorm insurance in Texas shields homeowners residing in high-risk regions of the Lone Star State from wind and hail damage that falls outside the coverage provided by their standard home insurance policy.

Best Windstorm Insurance In Texas
Best Windstorm Insurance In Texas

Key takeaways:

Standard home insurance policies frequently exclude wind and hail coverage for residences in high-risk counties along the Texas coast.

If your policy excludes it, Texas homeowners must procure separate windstorm insurance to safeguard their homes against wind and hail damage.

You can obtain Texas windstorm insurance from a specialty wind-only insurer or the Texas Wind Insurance Association (TWIA).

According to the TWIA, the average annual cost of Texas windstorm insurance is approximately $1,750.

An infographic about the best windstorm insurance in Texas

What is Texas windstorm insurance?

In high-risk coastal areas of Texas, where standard home insurance policies exclude wind and hail coverage, homeowners purchase Texas windstorm insurance as a separate policy.

This coverage is available through both private insurers and the Texas Wind Insurance Association (TWIA).

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How does Texas windstorm insurance work?

In the event of wind or hail damage to your home, you must file a claim with your windstorm provider.

Upon approval, you’ll be required to pay your policy deductible—the out-of-pocket amount you’re responsible for before the insurer covers the damage.

With windstorm insurance, your deductible can either be a flat dollar amount, like $2,500, or a percentage of your policy’s dwelling coverage limit, typically between 1% and 5%.

For instance, if your windstorm insurance deductible is 2% and your dwelling coverage is $250,000, you must pay $5,000 (250,000 x 0.02) out of pocket before the insurer covers the remaining damage.

It’s essential to note that while windstorm insurance covers damage directly caused by hurricane winds, it does not cover flood damage from storm surges.

For comprehensive hurricane coverage, homeowners require flood insurance in addition to their home and windstorm policies.

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Is windstorm insurance required in Texas?

Windstorm insurance isn’t mandated by Texas law.

However, if your standard home insurance policy excludes wind damage, you’ll likely need to purchase a wind-only policy, especially if you have a mortgage on your home.

Most mortgage lenders require borrowers to have home insurance—including wind coverage—to safeguard their investment.

In high-risk flood zones, lenders may also mandate flood insurance.

Homeowners in the most high-risk areas of Texas may end up carrying three different types of insurance: home, windstorm, and flood.

What Texas counties are most at risk for hurricane damage?

The following coastal counties in Texas are considered the most high-risk for hurricane damage, potentially qualifying residents for TWIA coverage if they meet other eligibility criteria:

  • Aransas
  • Brazoria
  • Calhoun
  • Cameron
  • Chambers
  • Galveston
  • Harris (parts of the county east of Highway 146)
  • Jefferson
  • Kenedy
  • Kleberg
  • Matagorda
  • Nueces
  • Refugio
  • San Patricio
  • Willacy

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) offers windstorm insurance to Texas residents.

These residents must have been denied coverage by at least one insurer on the private market.

They must also live in one of the 15 coastal counties most at risk of hurricane damage in Texas.

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association — by the numbers

Established: 1971

Serving: 15 Texas counties

Average policy cost: $1,750

Policies in force: 194,000

What does TWIA windstorm insurance cover?

A Texas Windstorm Insurance Association policy covers the cost of wind and hail damage to your home, excluding other perils.

Here’s a closer look at what’s covered under a TWIA windstorm insurance policy and its operation.

Covered items:

Physical structure of your home:

  • Pays to rebuild your home, attached garage, porch, and swimming pool after wind or hail damage.

Personal belongings:

  • Pays to replace your furniture, clothing, appliances, and other belongings damaged due to wind or hail.

Temporary living expenses:

  • An optional add-on covering the cost of food, hotel stays, and other living expenses if a hurricane or severe windstorm forces you from your home.

Increased cost of construction:

  • An optional add-on that activates if home reconstruction prices exceed the dwelling limit in your policy.

Debris and tree removal:

  • Pays to remove a fallen tree damaging covered property or other debris resulting from the covered loss.

Temporary or emergency repairs:

  • Covers the cost of temporary repairs to safeguard your home and belongings from further damage.

The average cost of a TWIA windstorm policy is around $2,000 annually, according to the association’s website.

Unlike typical home insurance policies, the TWIA does not factor in your credit score or where you live in deciding your rates.

Main factors that affect how much you pay for a TWIA windstorm policy 

  • Policy coverage limits
  • Type of home’s construction
  • Deductible amount
  • Optional coverages you add on

For TWIA policies, you have the choice of a deductible from $500 to 5% of your policy’s coverage level.

This decision was partly made due to concerns raised by coastal homeowners who said their current TWIA rates were already higher than they liked.

This means coastal homeowners in Texas who purchase TWIA windstorm policies should continue to see average rates around $1,750 per year in 2023 as well.

Who qualifies for TWIA insurance?

To qualify for a TWIA wind insurance policy, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Live in an eligible coastal county.

This includes one of the 15 coastal counties prone to hurricane damage that we discussed above.

  • Denied coverage by at least one insurer.

You’ll need to show proof that you’ve been denied coverage by an insurer who writes policies in your community.

  • Live in a home certified by the TDI.

Your home is certified by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) as windstorm compliant to meet applicable building codes. (More on that below.)

  • Have NFIP flood insurance if you live in a high-risk flood zone.

Homeowners in high-risk coastal areas of Texas purchase Texas windstorm insurance separately because their standard home insurance policies exclude wind and hail coverage.

  • House is in “insurable” condition.

If your roof is in bad shape or if there’s a damaged section of the property that hasn’t been repaired, the TWIA will likely deny coverage.

TWIA windstorm certification requirements

To qualify for wind and hail insurance through the TWIA, the state requires that your house be certified as meeting windstorm building code requirements where you live.

Called a Windstorm Certificate of Compliance, homeowners can get this through the Texas Department of Insurance.

There are three different types of Certificates of Compliance you might have depending on your home and when improvements were completed:

  • WPI-8: Issued by the TDI for new and ongoing improvements to your home
  • WPI-8-E: Issued by the TDI for completed improvements — the TDI started issuing these certificates on June 1, 2020
  • WPI-8-C: Issued by the TWIA for completed improvements — the TWIA stopped issuing these certificates on May 31, 2020

Private insurance companies offering home insurance policies with windstorm coverage in coastal Texas

  • Cypress Texas Insurance
  • Ocean Harbor
  • SafePoint Insurance
  • Southern Vanguard
  • Spinnaker Insurance
  • State National
  • TWFG Insurance
  • UPC Insurance
  • USAA
  • Wellington

You can work with an independent insurance broker like Policygenius to get quotes from multiple companies, including private insurers that sell windstorm insurance in Texas.

If you don’t qualify for coverage through a private insurer or the TWIA, you might be able to purchase a policy via the Texas FAIR Plan.

Keep in mind that Texas FAIR Plan policies generally provide less protection and are more expensive than other windstorm policies.

To file a windstorm insurance claim in Texas, contact your windstorm insurance provider as soon as possible to report the loss and initiate your claims process.

If you’re filing with the TWIA, you can do so online, over the phone, or by contacting your specific agent.

Remember, you have up to a year from the time of wind or hail damage to file a claim with the TWIA, and up to two years for an increased cost of construction claim.

Once filed, you’ll be assigned a claim representative and can track the claim through the TWIA claim center or over the phone.

The TWIA has 60 days to reject or accept your claim, and if accepted, they have 10 days to pay out for repairs.

When filing your claim, have the following information ready:

  • Your policy number
  • Cause of damage (wind, hail, or both)
  • Details about the damage and its cause
  • Your contact information
  • Photos or videos of the damage
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