Properties in 14 coastal counties and in parts of Harris County east of Highway 146 are in a designated catastrophe area. Homeowners in these areas may not be able to get private insurance that covers windstorm and hail damage. Homeowners who aren’t able to get private coverage can buy a policy through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).
Building to code
To buy a TWIA policy, most homes and properties must have a certificate of compliance verifying that the structure meets applicable building codes and can withstand high winds and hail. TDI issues two types of certificates of compliance:
- A WPI-8 is issued for ongoing construction. These inspections can be done by an appointed Texas licensed professional engineer or TDI windstorm inspector while the work is underway.
- A WPI-8-E is issued for completed construction. These inspections can be done by a Texas licensed professional engineer.
Most new construction, roof replacements, major repairs, and other alterations require an inspection and certificate of compliance. Examples of projects that do not require an inspection include:
- Roof repairs of less than 100 square feet that don’t involve decking.
- Painting, carpeting, cabinets, and other non-structural items.
- Repairs or replacement of fences, gutters, decorative shutters, steps, and screen doors.
- Plumbing and electrical repairs.
- Replacement of glass in windows or doors.
Finding an inspector
Make sure to ask your contractor how they will meet the requirements for an inspection and get a certificate of compliance. There are two ways to have your project inspected:
- During construction, the inspection can be done by an engineer appointed by TDI or a TDI inspector. Check the windstorm website for a list of appointed engineers or call TDI at 800-248-6032.
- If the construction is finished, then a Texas licensed professional engineer can do the inspection and send it to TDI for a certificate of compliance. Because it’s more difficult to inspect a completed structure for building code compliance, it may cost more.
Search for a certificate
You can check for a property’s certificate of compliance (WPI-8 or WPI-8-E) on the TDI Windstorm website. To check for a certificate issued by TWIA (WPI-8-C) between January 1, 2017, and May 31, 2020, use the TWIA certificate lookup tool.
- Windstorm insurance in Texas (video)
- What is windstorm insurance?
- Protect yourself from contractor scams
- Re-roofing after a storm (PDF)
- Repairing windows after a storm (PDF)
- Repairing siding after a storm (PDF)
- Repairing garage doors after a storm (PDF)
- Product evaluations
- Texas Windstorm Insurance Association