The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate, we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. To help readers understand how insurance affects their finances, we have licensed insurance professionals on staff who have spent a combined 47 years in the auto, home and life insurance industries. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation of . Our content is backed by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed entity (NPN: 19966249). For more information, please see our .
As with many areas across the nation, the coastal regions of Texas are at high risk of hurricanes each year. When these storms hit, they can cause major damage to the homes, which can, in turn, cause major financial losses for homeowners and insurers alike. Of the $310 billion-dollar weather disasters that occurred between 1980 and 2021, hurricanes caused the most damage nationwide, amounting to over $1.1 trillion in total damage and averaging $20.5 billion in damages per event.
Not all of these weather disasters occurred along the Texas coastline, of course. On average, hurricanes make landfall somewhere along Texas’ 50 mile segment of coast about once every six years. But it can still be helpful for Lone Star State residents to know when hurricane season is in 2022 so they can prepare for what may come. If you’ve been wondering when hurricane season in Texas will occur this year, or how to reduce the risks of hurricane damage to your home, here’s what you should know.
When is hurricane season in Texas?
As with the rest of the United States, the official Texas hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. However, August through October are generally considered to be the peak months for hurricane season, and most storm activity has historically occurred during these months. According to the NOAA, about 78% of tropical storm days, 87% of minor hurricane days, and 96% of the major hurricane days occur during those months. Mid-September is generally more active in regard to tropical storms.
While hurricanes hit the coastline in Texas about once every six years on average, the average annual rate of tropical storms or hurricanes in Texas is 0.8. This means that Texans can expect an average of about three hurricanes or tropical storms to hit over a four-year span.
Texas’ hurricane history
Texas has a long history of hurricanes, with the earliest known hurricane making landfall in this state in 1875. This hurricane was not considered a significant storm and caused little damage. The next time a hurricane made landfall in Texas was 1893, when the Galveston Hurricane devastated the city. This storm would go down in history as the worst natural disaster in US history, claiming between 8,000 and 12,000 lives.
Since 1900, Texas has been more directly impacted by hurricanes than any other state except Florida. Over the last 20 years, Texas has experienced the most direct impact from hurricanes, with Hurricane Harvey in 2015 being the deadliest and the most expensive. The worst hurricanes in Texas history include:
- Hurricane Carla (1961) – Category 4 hurricane, $1.9 billion in damage, 125 fatalities
- Hurricane Beulah (1967) – Category 5 hurricane, $1.6 billion in damage, 56 fatalities
- Hurricane Alicia (1983) – Category 3 hurricane, $1.3 billion in damage, 18 fatalities
- Hurricane Rita (2005) – Category 3 hurricane, $20.6 billion in damage, 11 fatalities
- Hurricane Ike (2008) – Category 3 hurricane, $32.3 billion in damage, 23 fatalities
- Hurricane Harvey (2015) – Category 4 hurricane, $125 billion in damage, 68 fatalities
Common types of hurricane damage
Hurricanes most commonly cause wind and flood damage, both of which can result in extensive damage and expensive repairs to your home. When a hurricane makes landfall, the average sustained wind speeds range from 100 to 150 mph, and the winds from stronger storms may exceed 200 mph. If you’re in the path of the hurricane, there will likely be wind damage to your home. Structural damage, like damage to your roof or siding, is common.
Hurricanes may also cause severe flooding due to storm surges or heavy rains. This can, in turn, cause serious damage to the interior and exterior, or total loss of, your home.
Due to the extensive damage that flooding can cause, flooding events like the ones caused by hurricanes have an average price tag of about $4.7 billion per event, according to NOAA. In general, severe storms have an average cost of $2.3 billion per event and the most frequent type of disaster to occur.
How to prepare your home for hurricane season
The most important part of preparing your home for hurricane season is to have a hurricane preparation checklist. Even if you’ve never experienced a hurricane, you may want to take steps to prepare your home in advance, as you never know what direction the storms will take.
1. Review your insurance policy.
It’s important to take the time to look over your homeowners insurance policy prior to hurricane season. That way you’ll understand what your policy covers and what it does not before you need to file a claim. Many policies include exclusions, and it’s not uncommon to need endorsements or separate policies for certain types of coverage. A good practice is to call your agent or insurance company to review your policy prior to hurricane season. That way, you’ll know if you need additional coverage and will have time to request quotes to obtain the coverage you need.
2. Inspect and maintain your roof prior to hurricane season.
Roof damage is common during hurricanes, but you can take steps beforehand to try and minimize any damage. Prior to hurricane season, do an inspection of your roof to look for missing or damaged shingles and to make sure your roof is in good condition. If you haven’t already, it may be helpful to check your roof’s pitch to make sure it’s steep enough to direct water away from your home.
3. Secure any loose items on the exterior of your home.
Loose or hanging items on the exterior of your house, such as patio furniture, wind chimes and bird baths, can cause damage to your home during a hurricane. If a hurricane is threatening your area, it may be helpful to secure any loose items that you have on the exterior of your home.
4. Remove trees and plants that are within 20 feet of your home.
Trees and plants are heavy and can cause a lot of damage during hurricane season if they fall during a storm, so it may benefit you to remove any trees or plants that are within 20 feet of your home. This may help to cut down on the damage that plants and trees can cause to your home during a hurricane.
5. Remove debris from your yard.
Yard debris can also damage your home due to being tossed around by high winds or flooding during a hurricane. Take time to remove any debris from your yard, and pay close attention to the area around your vents and air conditioning units. Debris could easily be blown into these areas and cause damage.
6. Have a working generator.
It’s not uncommon to lose power due to hurricanes, so it can also be useful to have a working generator on hand to help power your refrigerator and other appliances. Generators should be in an open space away from your home, ideally in a garage or shed.
7. If you have an above-ground swimming pool, drain and store it.
Hurricanes can cause heavy rains and flooding, and these could easily flood your pool and cause the water to overflow. Plus, an above-ground pool can become a hazard to your home when there are hurricane winds and flooding.
8. Take care of basic lawn maintenance.
Low areas in your lawn are more prone to flooding, so it may benefit you to fill in and level any low areas in your yard prior to hurricane season. It may also be helpful to remove branches that have grown over and take care of other routine yard maintenance to cut down on any possible hazards to your home.
9. Have an emergency kit ready.
As you get ready for hurricane season, make sure you have an emergency kit stocked and ready. You should also have your important documents, such as your birth certificate, passports, bank statements and insurance information, in a waterproof container that is easily accessible in case you need to evacuate your home.
Frequently asked questions about hurricane insurance
The location of your home, and the weather-related risks associated with the area, can have a big impact on your homeowners insurance premiums. That’s because areas that are at high risk of natural disasters, like hurricanes, tropical storms and wildfires, typically result in major losses for insurance companies due to the higher risk of claims. As such, insurance companies try to mitigate the risk by charging higher home insurance rates to the homeowners who buy properties in those areas.
A standard home insurance policy does not include flood insurance. If you live in an area that’s at high risk of flooding due to hurricanes or other natural disasters, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to ensure that your home and your finances are protected from losses due to flooding.