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Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes windstorms. The Lone Star State borders the Gulf of Mexico on its southeast side, leaving it vulnerable to strong winds from tropical storms and hurricanes. Even the interior of Texas isn’t safe, though, as strong summer storms can cause intense straight-line winds and tornadoes. If you own a home in Texas, you should be aware of how your home insurance covers damage caused by wind. Bankrate’s insurance experts can help you understand the ins-and-outs of Texas windstorm insurance.
Windstorm insurance for Texas homeowners
Windstorm insurance is a bit of a misnomer because most home insurance policies automatically cover damage caused by wind. This means that, in most areas of Texas, your regular home insurance policy covers damage caused by wind. This can be wind from any scenario, including tornadoes and hurricanes. Wind damage typically occurs on the exterior of homes, including roofs and siding.
Some areas of Texas, however, are far more likely to sustain widespread wind damage than others. In the 14 counties that border the Gulf Coast, home insurance policies do not cover wind damage. In these areas, homeowners must purchase a separate wind coverage policy. Some private carriers may offer this coverage, but if your home is a high enough risk, you may be denied coverage from the private market. If this is the case, you may be able to get coverage from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), which covers wind and hail damage.
Where to get windstorm insurance in Texas
There are several insurance companies in Texas that offer windstorm insurance policies. Windstorm insurance is available from private insurance companies and government-funded programs. Here are some Texas insurance companies that offer windstorm insurance in Texas.
Wellington Insurance Group
The Wellington Coastal Insurance Program offers windstorm insurance for Texas homeowners who live in high-risk areas. This policy includes dwelling, other structures and personal property coverage that is reimbursed at Replacement Cost Value (RCV). Homeowners have the option to add endorsements for consequential loss, wind-driven rain, increased construction costs and mandatory evacuation coverage.
Maison Insurance offers wind and hail insurance for homes that are valued between $75,000 and $750,000. It is only available to Texas homeowners who own a single-family or duplex home and do not have windstorm coverage through their home insurance policy. With Maison Insurance, required deductibles start at $500 for unnamed wind storms and max out at 5% for named storms.
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) offers insurance coverage to homes in high-risk counties that cannot get standard insurance from a private insurance provider. TWIA insurance includes dwelling, personal property and miscellaneous items coverage. There are also policies for commercial buildings, manufactured homes, condos and townhouses.
TWIA insurance is currently available in 14 counties and parts of Harris county:
- Harris (certain areas)
- San Patricio
Not all homes in Texas qualify for TWIA. The home must be located in one of the 14 covered counties and applicants must show proof of denied windstorm coverage from a private insurance provider. Additionally, the home must be built in compliance with certain building codes and be kept in good condition overall. Homes that are located in certain high-risk flood zones are required to carry flood insurance.
The main differences between TWIA insurance and private windstorm insurance are price and coverage limits. Wind insurance from private insurance providers may be cheaper and often has higher coverage limits. However, it is more difficult to qualify for private insurance. Homeowners in Texas should apply for private wind insurance before looking into TWIA.
How much does windstorm insurance cost in Texas?
Windstorm insurance rates in Texas vary. The average TWIA policy costs $1,750 per year, but the rate is based on your home’s location, condition, and age, as well as coverage limits on the policy.
Frequently asked questions
The best home insurance company in Texas is different for every homeowner. Some homeowners are looking for the lowest rates and others are looking for great customer service or multiple discount options, for example, and those desires could lead them to choose different carriers. If you are a Texas homeowner, you may want to shop around and compare home insurance quotes to see which company is right for you.
You should likely have enough windstorm coverage to ensure that your home can be rebuilt if it is destroyed by a covered windstorm. Unless you live in a high-risk area, keep in mind that your home insurance policy likely covers wind damage, so you don’t need a separate amount of coverage (although you may have a separate windstorm deductible still). If you do require a separate windstorm policy, work with your agent to determine the appropriate amount of coverage.
No, windstorm insurance is for your home and will not cover vehicle damage. A car insurance policy with comprehensive coverage will cover your car’s damage after a hurricane or windstorm. This also applies to falling objects. For instance, if your garage roof caved in during a hurricane and damaged your vehicle, your comprehensive coverage would cover the damages.