Texas windstorm insurance: Costs & requirements in 2022

Texas windstorm insurance protects homeowners in high-risk areas of the Lonestar State from wind and hail damage not covered by their standard home insurance policy.

Pat Howard 1600Jennifer Gimbel

By

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

&Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Updated|5 min read

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

Key takeaways

  • Wind and hail coverage is often excluded from standard home insurance policies for homes in high-risk counties in coastal Texas.

  • If it’s excluded from your policy, Texas homeowners will need to purchase separate windstorm insurance to protect your home against wind and hail damage. 

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

  • The average cost of Texas windstorm insurance is around $1,750 a year, according to the TWIA.

Compare windstorm insurance in Texas

We don't sell your information to third parties.

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).

Weston Insurance insolvency leaves thousands of Texans without windstorm insurance

Texas homeowners who had their windstorm policies canceled in August 2022 by Weston Insurance due to its insolvency may be eligible for TWIA coverage. Homeowners have through November 6, 2022 to apply for a TWIA policy, which comes with a temporary payment plan that won’t require any premium payment when you submit your application. Your TWIA policy will be backdated to September 7, 2022, meaning you won’t have a lapse in coverage on your insurance file.

You can learn more by reaching out to the TWIA at 800-231-5360.

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.)

  • Aransas

  • Brazoria

  • Calhoun

  • Cameron

  • Chambers

  • Galveston

  • Harris (parts of the county east of Highway 146)

  • Jefferson

  • Kenedy

  • Kleberg

  • Matagorda

  • Nueces

  • Refugio

  • San Patricio

  • Willacy

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.

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association — by the numbers

  • Year established: 1971

  • Texas counties served: 15

  • Average cost of policy: $1,750

  • Number of 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, 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.

What's covered

How it works

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 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

Compare windstorm insurance in Texas

We don't sell your information to third parties.

How much does Texas windstorm insurance cost?

The average cost of a TWIA windstorm policy is around $1,750 annually, according to the association’s website. [1] 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

  • Deductible amount

  • Optional coverages you add on

For TWIA policies, you have the choice of deductible from $500 to 5% of your policy’s coverage level. [2]

Values logo

Good news: TWIA windstorm policies won't see rate increases in 2023

In their August board meeting, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association voted not to increase rates for 2023 windstorm insurance policies. 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: [3]

  • 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. 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: [4]

  • 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

You can search the Texas Department of Insurance’s Windstorm Search to see if your home already has a certificate on file. Otherwise, you can apply for a certificate on the TDI website.

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. How much they’re required to participate depends on their statewide sales and sales within TWIA’s 15 counties it covers.

Here’s a list of the top 15 insurance companies in 2021 that wrote the most TWIA wind insurance policies: [5]

Insurance company

Share of TWIA policies written in 2021

Allstate

13.8%

Farmers

11.6%

USAA

10.9%

Liberty Mutual

9.6%

Travelers

8.7%

State Farm

4.9%

Nationwide

4.4%

Chubb

3.4%

Texas Farm Bureau 

3.3%

State Auto

2.8%

Progressive

2.7%

Hartford

2.1%

AAA

1.4%

Assurant 

1.3%

Amica

1.2%

Compare windstorm insurance in Texas

We don't sell your information to third parties.

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

  • Ocean Harbor

  • SafePoint Insurance 

  • Southern Vanguard

  • Spinnaker Insurance

  • State National 

  • TWFG Insurance

  • UPC Insurance

  • USAA

  • Wellington 

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.

→ Learn more about filing a claim after a natural disaster

What information do I need to file a windstorm insurance claim?

Be sure to have the following information handy when filing your claim:

  • Your policy number

  • The cause of the damage (wind, hail, or both)

  • Details about what was damaged and a description of what caused the damage

  • Your contact information

  • Photos or videos of the damage

Compare windstorm insurance in Texas

We don't sell your information to third parties.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Texas FAIR Plan and the TWIA the same?

No, the Texas FAIR Plan offers standard home insurance policies throughout the entire state of Texas to homeowners unable to find coverage through the voluntary market, while the TWIA only provides windstorm insurance to Texas homeowners in select coastal counties who aren’t able to find coverage elsewhere.

Does the TWIA have a hurricane deductible?

The TWIA has a separate windstorm deductible that ranges from $500 to 5% of your coverage limits. It’s automatically subtracted from your first claim payout.

What Texas counties require windstorm insurance?

Windstorm insurance is not legally required in Texas. However, if you have a mortgage your lender will likely require you to have it — especially if you live in a coastal area at high risk of wind damage, including: Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Harris (parts of the county east of Highway 146), Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, or Willacy counties.

References

dropdown arrow

Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

    . "

    Rates

    ." Accessed September 09, 2022.

  2. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

    . "

    Factors That Affect the Claim Payment Amount

    ." Accessed September 09, 2022.

  3. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

    . "

    Coverage & Eligibility

    ." Accessed September 09, 2022.

  4. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

    . "

    Windstorm Certification

    ." Accessed September 09, 2022.

  5. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

    . "

    Member Company Participation

    ." Accessed September 09, 2022.

Authors

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard

Managing Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

gray twitter icon linkgray linkedin icon link

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Questions about this page? Email us at .