Skip to Top Main Navigation Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content Area Skip to Footer
Texas Department of Insurance
Topics:   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All


May 24, 2024

Experts predicting double digit hurricanes this season. Use our tips to help prepare.


Hurricane map

Texas has been hit by more than 25 major hurricanes
over the years (NOAA illustration).

Click on image to enlarge

Texas and the U.S. could be in for a busy hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that 17 to 25 named storms could develop over the Atlantic Ocean during hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Eight to 13 of the storms could develop into hurricanes, NOAA says, four to seven of them major storms.

Colorado State University experts expect 23 named storms, including 11 hurricanes, five of them major storms. They warn there’s an 80% chance that a named storm hits Texas this hurricane season.

The good news is that Texans have time now to prepare.

Some tips:

  • Consider buying flood insurance. Flood damage isn’t usually covered by your home insurance. Don’t wait long: It typically takes 30 days for flood policies to take effect.
  • Write a family disaster plan. Start on the website
  • Decide where and how far you’ll go if you evacuate.
  • Build a “go-kit” with food, medicine, clothes, pet food, and other vital supplies.
  • Make a room-by-room home inventory. This could help later if you file a claim.

Learn more

Plan to be safe before a hurricane hits Texas

Hurricane season: How to prepare your home and property

Flood insurance: Why you need a policy

Before the storm

May 9, 2024

Hurricane season starts in May? Prepare now.


Hurricane season starts June 1, right?

Maybe officially, but not anymore, according to Dan Reilly, a Texas-based National Weather Service meteorologist. “In most of the recent years, we’ve had many storms, before June” Reilly said. “So, in reality, I would say hurricane season probably starts in May.”

Protect your family and property by preparing now.

A few tips:

  • Make or update your home inventory. Take pictures or videos of each room in your home. For major items, write down the serial number, what you paid, and date you bought it. Don’t forget to get a video of items inside closets and drawers. Having a home inventory is one of the best things you can do to make sure you get the value of your claim.
  • Have an emergency kit packed and ready to go Set aside 3 gallons of water per person, enough to last three days. Also pack non-perishable food, a can opener and utensils, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight and extra batteries. See a full kit list at Put some water and food supplies in your car too, just in case.
  • Check your roof. Damaged shingles or leaks around chimneys or skylights will get worse in a storm. Have a professional secure loose shingles and check the metal flashing around openings or on roof valleys for leaks.
  • Get your yard ready. Remove dead tree limbs and branches that hang over your house. Check for loose items that can become windborne such as yard furniture or trampolines. Tie them down.

For more tips, watch the Texas Insurance podcast.

Learn more

April 9, 2024

Danger, danger! Don’t mix up tornado watches and warnings


Ever mix up a tornado watch with a tornado warning?

Big difference!

  • A tornado watch means keep an eye out for a possible tornado.
  • A tornado warning means a tornado’s been spotted in your city or county.

Tornado warning in your area? Take cover.

People in a warning zone need to take cover immediately. If you’re in a vehicle, trailer, or mobile home, leave and head to the closest building if you have time.

If you’re in a house or building, go to an interior room, bathroom, or closet on the lowest level. Cover yourself with blankets, towels, or a mattress to stay safe from falling debris. Never open windows; it doesn’t help equalize pressure. But you should shut all your doors because that will help reduce the chance that your roof will blow off.

If you’re driving, don’t stop under bridges or overpasses. They don’t offer protection from tornadic winds or flying debris. If you can’t get to a building, lie flat and face down in the nearest ditch or depression. Cover your head with your hands.

Tornado watch in your area? Get ready.

Tune in to your local weather report to keep track of the tornado watch. Get ready to move to a safe space.

A tornado watch area is often large, covering counties, even states.

If you are under a tornado watch:

  • Review your emergency plans.
  • Bring in or secure outdoor objects that might blow around.
  • Check supplies, such as batteries, flashlights, water, non-perishable food, and medicines.
  • Identify your safe room.

Summing up: A tornado watch means get ready. A tornado warning means move quickly to safety.

Learn more

May 2, 2023

Plan to be safe before a hurricane hits Texas


The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) regularly leads the state’s response to natural disasters including summer storms and hurricanes.

It also wants Texans to plan ahead to stay safe.

For instance, it’s a good idea to keep emergency “go-kits”— basic disaster supplies including food, water, medicine, clothes, and other vital items — in your home, office, and car.

Also wise: Settle with family members ahead of time where you’re going to go if a bad storm hits. And if you think you might need flood insurance, shop before you hear a scary weather forecast. It takes 30 days for a flood policy to take effect.

View podcast Q&A: How to prepare for hurricane season

Learn more

June 23, 2022

When a storm enters the Gulf, it’s too late to ask: ‘Do I have enough insurance?’


Gulf of Mexico

Insurance companies often put a hold on approving new policies when a storm is in the Gulf of Mexico.

It can be hard to imagine the drenching rains and powerful winds of a hurricane when a lot of Texas is suffering through drought-like conditions. But today’s high temperatures should be a reminder that some of the strongest hurricanes have formed in the heat of late summer, including Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.

Once a named storm enters the Gulf of Mexico, most insurance companies, including the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), stop selling new policies or making changes to existing ones.

That means you can’t wait until a storm is approaching to think about your insurance coverage, because you won’t be able to buy or change it then!

Of course, this is especially critical for Texans with homes near the Gulf Coast. But the effects of a hurricane, like flooding and tornado force winds, can extend well beyond the coast.

Which leads us to another key point, flood insurance. Most home policies don’t pay for damage from rising flood waters. Most people buy flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program. And unless you’re buying coverage for a new home, these policies don’t go into effect until 30 days after you buy them.

So again, you can’t wait until a storm is coming to ask: “Am I covered?”

Learn more

May 20, 2021

Start preparing now for 2021 hurricane season

Hurricane season in Texas means the potential for strong storms and flooding. The season starts on June 1, but you can start now to make sure your home and family are ready.

We talked to the Texas Department of Emergency Management to get some tips.

Gabriela Stermolle says we should put together a disaster kit with food, water, important documents, and pet supplies in case we need to leave the house fast.

We can also make our houses storm ready and think about flood insurance. But don’t wait too long: it takes 30 days for flood insurance to take effect.

Watch our interview for more tips to help you prepare for hurricane season.

Learn more about preparing and flood insurance: Before the storm.

May 13, 2021

A look at the 2021 hurricane season

Tropical storm Andres made news this week as the earliest named storm to ever develop in the Pacific Ocean. If it’s a year for surprises, what can we expect for the Atlantic hurricane season? We talked to the National Weather Service to find out.

Paul Yura said the 2021 forecast will probably be like recent years. He also explained that rip currents and improper generator use can lead to more deaths than storm winds.

Watch our interview for tips to prepare for the hurricane season, which begins June 1. For bonus science points, you’ll also learn about Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and how it affects hurricane activity!

For more tips, see Before the storm.

Texas Insurance Blog

Insurance tips and help

How to get help or file a complaint: We can answer insurance questions, help with problems, and explain how to file a complaint against an insurance company or agent.

Videos: Our video library has short tips and interviews with experts on dozens of topics.

Insurance tips: Use our tips to get the best deal on insurance, protect yourself from fraud, and learn what to do when you have a problem.

RSS feed