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Texas windstorm insurance

Updated Apr 16, 2024
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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 TWIA, which covers wind and hail damage.

Is a separate Texas windstorm insurance policy mandatory?

In Texas, there is no law that mandates homeowners must hold a separate windstorm insurance policy. However, some lenders may require you to maintain Texas windstorm insurance for the duration of your mortgage if you live in an area that is considered at high risk for windstorm damage. These areas are most often along the Texas coastline. Homes that are in areas that TWIA insurance has deemed “Tier 1” counties are mostly likely to be subject to lenders requiring a Texas windstorm insurance policy.

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.

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.

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

The 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 often required by lenders for homes that are located in “Tier 1” counties, where windstorm risks are higher. Tier 1 counties include the following 14 counties and parts of Harris County:

  • Aransas
  • Brazoria
  • Calhoun
  • Cameron
  • Chambers
  • Harris (certain areas)
  • Galveston
  • Jefferson
  • Kennedy
  • Kleberg
  • Matagorda
  • Nueces
  • Refugio
  • San Patricio
  • Willacy

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. Still, it’s recommended that 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 about $1,850 per year, but the rate is based on your home’s construction type, deductible and coverage amount, including optional coverage endorsements. 

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association has not submitted a rate increase for 2023. However, 2023’s actuarial analysis shows that TWIA should increase residential policy rates by 20 percent and commercial policies by 22 percent to remain adequate. However, the actual amount is yet to be determined and there have been several years where the rate did not increase. TWIA has to file rate changes with the Texas Department of Insurance by August 15 for the following year.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Contributor, Insurance

Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, and NextAdvisor, among others

Edited by Editor II, Insurance