What is Texas windstorm insurance?
Texas windstorm insurance is a separate policy that’s purchased by Texas homeowners who live in high-risk coastal areas where wind and hail coverage is excluded from their standard home insurance policy. This type of coverage is available through both private insurers and the Texas Wind Insurance Association (TWIA).
How does Texas windstorm insurance work?
If your house is damaged by wind or hail, you’ll need to file a claim with your windstorm provider. If your claim is approved, you’ll need to pay your policy deductible — the out-of-pocket amount that you’re responsible for paying before the insurer will cover the damage.
With windstorm insurance, your deductible will either be a flat dollar amount, like $2,500, or a percentage of your policy’s dwelling coverage limit, usually between 1% and 5%.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Say your windstorm insurance deductible is 2% and you have $250,000 in dwelling coverage. You have to pay $5,000 (250,000 x 0.02) out of pocket before your insurer will pay out for the remainder of the damage.
Keep in mind that if your home is damaged in a hurricane, windstorm insurance will cover damage directly caused by hurricane winds, but won’t cover flood damage from the resulting storm surge. For complete hurricane coverage, you’ll need flood insurance in addition to your home and windstorm policies.
Is windstorm insurance required in Texas?
No, windstorm insurance is not required by law in Texas. But you’ll likely need to purchase a wind-only policy if you have a mortgage on your house and your standard home insurance policy excludes wind damage from coverage.
That’s because most mortgage lenders require borrowers have home insurance — including wind coverage — in order to protect their investment. If you live in a high-risk flood zone, your lender may also require you to purchase flood insurance as well.
Altogether, homeowners in the most high-risk areas of Texas could 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 to be the most high-risk for hurricane damage. If you live in one of these counties, you might qualify for coverage through the TWIA if you meet other eligibility requirements. (More on that below.)
What is the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association?
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) offers windstorm insurance to Texas residents who have been denied coverage by at least one insurer on the private market and live in one of the 15 coastal counties most at risk of hurricane damage in Texas.
What does TWIA windstorm insurance cover?
A Texas Windstorm Insurance Association policy covers the cost of wind and hail damage to your home, but it does not cover any other perils.
Here’s a deeper look at what’s covered under a TWIA windstorm insurance policy and how it works.
How it works
Physical structure of your home
Pays to rebuild your home, attached garage, porch, and swimming pool after wind or hail damage
Pays to replace your furniture, clothing, appliances, and other belongings damaged due to wind or hail
Temporary living expenses
An optional add-on that covers the cost of food, hotel stays, and other living expenses if a hurricane or bad windstorm forces you from your home
Increased cost of construction
An optional add-on that kicks in if home reconstruction prices are higher than the dwelling limit in your policy
Debris and tree removal
Pays to remove a tree that falls and damages covered property or other debris that results from the covered loss
Temporary or emergency repairs
Covers the cost of temporary repairs to protect your home and belongings from further loss
How much does Texas windstorm insurance cost?
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.
This means the main factors that affect how much you pay for a TWIA windstorm policy include:
Policy coverage limits
Type of home’s construction
Optional coverages you add on
For TWIA policies, you have the choice of deductible from $500 to 5% of your policy’s coverage level. 
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. If your home was built or remodeled after August 31, 2009 and you live in a designated high-risk coastal flood zone (V, VE, or V1-30), you need to purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to be eligible for wind coverage.
House is in “insurable” condition. If your roof is in bad shape or there’s a damaged section of the property that hasn’t been repaired, you’ll likely be denied coverage by the TWIA.
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
How do I buy windstorm insurance through the TWIA?
TWIA insurance policies are sold by private insurance companies, not the TWIA itself. Texas state law requires all companies licensed to write property insurance in the state to be a member of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
Here’s a list of the top 15 insurance companies in 2021 that wrote the most TWIA wind insurance policies: 
10 private companies that offer windstorm insurance in Texas
Here are a few private insurance companies that also offer home insurance policies with windstorm coverage in coastal Texas:
Cypress Texas Insurance
Working with an independent insurance broker like Policygenius can help you 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. Just keep in mind that the Texas FAIR Plan policies generally provide less protection and are more expensive than other windstorm policies.
How to file a windstorm insurance claim in Texas
In the event your home is damaged in a hurricane or other windstorm catastrophe, be sure to contact your windstorm insurance provider as soon as possible to report the loss and get your claims process underway. If you’re filing a claim with the TWIA, you can file a claim online, over the phone, or by contacting your specific agent.
Keep in mind that 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 the claim has been filed, you’ll be assigned a claim representative and you’ll be able to track the claim through the TWIA claim center or over the phone.
The TWIA has 60 days to reject or accept your claim. If your claim is accepted, the TWIA has 10 days to pay out for repairs.