Texas Windstorm Insurance and TWIA

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) offers last-resort insurance to homeowners in some parts of Texas.

Aly J. Yale
Written byAly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
  • National Association of Real Estate Editors member

  • Bylines include Forbes, Bankrate, and CBS News

Aly is a reporter specializing in real estate, mortgages, and personal finance. You can find her work in Hearst newspapers and numerous financial publications.

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Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault
  • Experienced personal finance writer

  • Background working with banks and insurance companies

Sarah enjoys helping people find smarter ways to spend their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans.

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Updated June 10, 2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes

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Standard homeowner insurance typically covers windstorm damage to your home or personal belongings. But some insurers may exclude windstorm coverage if you live in an area at high risk for wind damage, like coastal regions.

Fortunately, if you’re in Texas and your home insurance won’t cover windstorms, you may still find coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). This is a type of last-resort coverage for Texans who other insurers have denied wind insurance.

Quick Facts
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) considers the entire Texas coastline as high risk for wind damage.

  • TWIA coverage costs around $1,700–$2,000 per year and must be combined with a standard homeowners policy.

  • To qualify for TWIA, you’ll have to meet strict eligibility requirements set by the state.

Do you need windstorm insurance in Texas?

You don’t legally need windstorm insurance in Texas, though your mortgage lender may require you to have it if you finance your home. The state of Texas — particularly parts of its coast — is highly vulnerable to hurricanes, which can cause severe wind-related damage. In fact, FEMA has labeled the Texas coastline as having a “very high” or “relatively high” hurricane risk.[1]

Hurricanes and other windstorms can wreak havoc on homes, blowing off roofs, damaging walls and windows, or destroying your home entirely. Having insurance against these storms can help protect you financially if you need to repair your home or replace belongings damaged by wind.

Where to buy windstorm insurance

If you live in a high-risk part of Texas and your home insurance policy excludes windstorms, it’s a good idea to purchase a separate policy to secure this coverage. This is likely the case if you live along the coast, where windstorms and hurricanes are most common.

Though private insurance companies offer these policies, you may have a hard time finding coverage if your home is in a high-risk area. In this case, you may be able to purchase special coverage through TWIA. The Texas Legislature created the TWIA in 1971 to offer last-resort wind and hail coverage to Texans unable to secure it through private insurers.[2]

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What is the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association?

The Texas Legislature created TWIA — formerly known as the Texas Catastrophe Property Insurance Association — in the wake of Hurricane Celia, which struck Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1970 and caused $500 million in damages. The association’s goal is to ensure the continued “availability and affordability” of insurance along the state’s Gulf Coast.

Good to Know

A TWIA policy is intended to be a last resort for Texans who can’t find coverage elsewhere. It covers damage inflicted by windstorms and hail but not other perils (like fire and theft). You should combine it with a traditional homeowners insurance policy.[3]

Who’s eligible for TWIA

The Texas Legislature sets eligibility requirements for TWIA insurance. To qualify, you’ll need:[4]

  • A property located in a designated catastrophe area

  • Denial of coverage from at least one authorized insurer

  • Proof of flood insurance (if required in your area)

  • A home built to code, in good repair, with no hazardous conditions

TWIA will inspect the home when underwriting your policy. These inspections may be in person or remote using aerial imagery.

Areas TWIA covers

TWIA only offers policies in certain counties along the Texas Gulf Coast. The Texas Commissioner of Insurance considers these counties as “first-tier” coastal counties.

Covered counties include:

  • Aransas County

  • Brazoria County

  • Calhoun County

  • Cameron County

  • Chambers County

  • Galveston County

  • Jefferson County

  • Kenedy County

  • Kleberg County

  • Matagorda County

  • Nueces County

  • Refugio County

  • San Patricio County

  • Willacy County

  • Harris County (only parts east of Highway 146)

Cost of windstorm insurance in Texas

The average TWIA policy costs around $1,700–$2,000 per year, according to the association. Your exact premium could be more or less than this, depending on several factors, including the amount of coverage, your home’s construction, your deductible, and more. 

TWIA doesn’t use credit scores when setting premiums.[5]

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How to file a claim with TWIA

If you have TWIA insurance and need to file a claim after a storm, you can do so through TWIA’s online policyholder portal.

Here’s what the full process looks like:[6]

  1. Check your policy documents to determine what you do and don’t have coverage for.

  2. Assess the damage to your property and take photos if possible.

  3. Make any necessary temporary repairs. Be sure to save your receipts.

  4. File the claim on the TWIA website. Have your policy number on hand.

  5. Wait for a TWIA representative to call you and discuss your claim.

  6. Use the online portal to track your claim’s status or view payment details.

You can also communicate with the TWIA representative handling your claim through the online portal.

Texas windstorm insurance FAQs

Windstorm insurance can be confusing for many homeowners. Use this additional information to learn more about this type of coverage.

  • Does Texas mandate windstorm insurance for homeowners?

    No. Texas doesn’t legally require windstorm insurance, but mortgage lenders often do — particularly if your home is in a high-risk area. You may also want it for peace of mind.

  • Does TWIA cover all of Texas?

    No. TWIA windstorm insurance is only available in certain counties along the Texas coast. These include Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, and Willacy counties, as well as parts of Harris County (east of Highway 146).

  • How can you purchase windstorm insurance?

    You can purchase windstorm insurance coverage through private insurers, but if they refuse to cover your property, you can use the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) as a last resort.

    This state-created organization offers windstorm and hail insurance to homeowners in certain high-risk coastal counties. Your insurance agent can help you determine eligibility and apply for a TWIA policy.

  • Does homeowners insurance include windstorm insurance?

    Usually. Most homeowner’s policies include wind coverage, though insurers may exclude it for homes located in areas at high risk of hail or wind damage.

Sources

Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer and reporter covering real estate, mortgages, and personal finance. Her work has been published in Forbes, Business Insider, Money, CBS News, US News & World Report, and The Miami Herald. She has a bachelor’s degree in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism from the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at TCU and is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault
  • Experienced personal finance writer

  • Background working with banks and insurance companies

Sarah enjoys helping people find smarter ways to spend their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans.

Featured in

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