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Texas Department of Insurance
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June 23, 2022

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

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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?”

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