Questions about the program
- When did the windstorm inspections requirement begin?
In 1987, the Texas Legislature enacted the requirement to mitigate losses to structures due to hurricanes along the Texas Gulf Coast (HB 2012). The inspection process through the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) began on January 1, 1988.
- Who does the Windstorm Inspections Program apply to?
The Windstorm Inspections Program applies to structures located in the designated catastrophe areas, known as Texas' First Tier Counties: Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson, Kenedy, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Willacy, and certain cities east of State Highway 146 in Harris County (La Porte, Morgan's Point, Pasadena, Seabrook, Shoreacres). The areas designated by the commissioner of insurance as catastrophe areas, often use Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) as the insurer of last resort for the wind and hail portion of their homeowner's insurance.
- What is the Coastal Barrier Resource Area?
The federal government designated certain areas along the Texas Gulf Coast as Coastal Barrier Resource Areas (CBRA).
Construction in these areas may not be eligible for wind and hail coverage through TWIA. A property located in CBRA must have had a building permit or plat filed with the municipality, the county, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers before June 11, 2003, to be insurable for wind and hail insurance through TWIA.
To determine if a property is located within CBRA, contact the local county permitting office, the district offices for Fish and Wildlife (Clear Lake 281-286-8282 or Corpus Christi 361-994-9005), or the local TDI Windstorm field office. View the national website for coastal barrier issues.
Questions about the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
- What is the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA)?
TWIA is the "insurer of last resort" and provides wind and hail insurance for structures located in designated catastrophe areas along the Texas Gulf Coast.
- How do I qualify for windstorm and hail insurance coverage through TWIA?
To qualify for wind and hail insurance through TWIA, new structures, alterations, additions, or repairs to existing structures, including re-roofs or roof repairs, located in the designated catastrophe areas must be constructed and inspected according to the building specifications adopted by TDI.
- Can structures built prior to January 1, 1988, obtain insurance through TWIA?
Structures built prior to January 1, 1988, are eligible for insurance through TWIA under certain conditions. Please contact your insurance agent for details. Structures built prior to January 1, 1988, that have coverage through TWIA must have all construction inspected and certified to maintain their TWIA coverage.
- What is the BC-10-85 Texas Windstorm Insurance Association form for Building Certification?
The BC-10-85 Building Certificate is a form that TWIA uses to qualify structures built prior to January 1, 1988, for eligibility of wind and hail insurance. Please contact TWIA for complete information: twia.org.
- Are commercial structures required to follow the construction guidelines adopted by TDI?
Yes, if the commercial structure will be insured for windstorm and hail coverage through TWIA. As a minimum, the structure must be built in accordance with building standards which have been adopted by TDI.
- I heard that TWIA offers insurance credits if I construct my home in a certain manner or if I install exterior opening protection. How can I find out more?
TWIA offers wind and hail insurance discounts for new homes that are constructed in accordance with the International Residential Code (IRC) or the International Building Code (IBC). In addition, a discount is available for existing structures that retrofit their exterior openings with Windborne debris resistant products. To learn more, contact TWIA at 800-788-8247 or visit their website twia.org.
- I want to install Windborne debris resistant products to obtain a retrofit insurance credit for protection of all exterior openings; however, I would like to install them a few at a time. How do I go about this?
You must get an inspection for each windborne debris resistant product that you install. If a Texas licensed professional engineer performs the inspections, he or she must submit the applicable WPI-2-BC Inspection Verification form for each certification. TDI will record each approved inspection. After the engineer inspects the final Windborne debris resistant product, he or she will check off the appropriate box of the applicable WPI-2-BC Inspection Verification form. This will inform TDI that all exterior openings are protected with Windborne debris resistant products.
Questions about locating windstorm documents
- I just bought a new home and do not know if the house was ever inspected or certified by TDI. How do I find out?
You may call the Windstorm Inspections Program at 800-248-6032, Option 3, or visit TDI's website at appscenter.tdi.texas.gov/windstorm/p/searchForAppl for any previous certifications (WPI-8s) on your property. If there is a WPI-8 on file, you can view and print it from the web.
- I live in a city that has adopted TDI's building standard. Before I am able to get a building permit, I must first prove that I have enrolled with TDI for an inspection. How do I get proof of enrollment?
Ask your contractor or builder for a copy of the WPI-1 that he or she submitted to TDI for processing, or go to our website appscenter.tdi.texas.gov/windstorm/p/searchForAppl to view the information. TDI received the information on our website through an electronic or paper Application for Certificate of Compliance (WPI-1). If you have questions regarding the information online, contact the inspector listed.
- Who is responsible for forwarding my WPI-8 to TWIA?
TDI sends electronic information nightly to TWIA about inspections and WPI-8s. TDI also publishes all WPI-8s on our website appscenter.tdi.texas.gov/windstorm/p/searchForAppl.
- What do I do if the WPI-8 has the wrong address?
If a TDI inspector completed the inspections, forward a written request to TDI to change the official record. Once a TDI inspector receives and verifies this request, TDI will issue a revised WPI-8.If an appointed Texas licensed professional engineer completed the inspections, contact the appointed Texas licensed professional engineer and request that he or she submit revised forms (WPI-1 and the applicable WPI-2-BC) to TDI.