Wind, Hail, Flood and Other Homeowner Insurance Coverages
You may have to buy separate policies to cover wind, hail, and flood damage. Homeowners, farm and ranch, renters, windstorm, and condominium policies do not cover damage from rising waters.
- Use the One-Step Flood Risk Profile feature on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website to determine your relative flood risk.
- Use the Homeowners, Flood, and Windstorm Policies Comparison chart to see the differences between homeowners, flood, and wind and hail insurance.
- Check the Flood Resource Page for links to current weather conditions in Texas and flood disaster information you can use before, during and after a flood.
Texas ranks near the top of the nation in weather-related property damage each year. A large portion of this damage is caused by flooding. Homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. To protect yourself from losses caused by most flooding, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Local insurance agents sell NFIP flood policies and can tell you about the program in your area. For more information, call NFIP.
If a lender determines that a property is at a high risk of flooding (called being in a “special flood hazard area”), it will require you to purchase flood insurance. A special flood hazard area has a 1 percent chance of being flooded in any given year. NFIP defines a flood as an excess of water on land that is normally dry, including overflow of inland or tidal waters.
Hurricanes and Windstorm Insurance
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is the state’s insurer of last resort for wind and hail coverage in the 14 coastal counties and parts of Harris County on Galveston Bay. TWIA provides wind and hail coverage when insurance companies exclude it from homeowners and other property policies sold to coastal residents. You can buy TWIA coverage through local insurance agents if you need it.
When a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico (80 degrees longitude and 20 degrees latitude), you can no longer change or purchase new windstorm coverage.
If you plan to build, add to, or renovate a home or other structure and want to obtain or maintain TWIA coverage, you must have an inspection of your property during the construction phase. A TDI windstorm inspector can conduct an inspection for free, or you can use a Texas licensed professional engineer appointed by TDI. Your agent can tell you how to get an inspection. For more information about windstorm coverage, contact TWIA
Flood insurance requirement. Certain Gulf Coast residents may be required to purchase flood insurance on their property before they are eligible for a TWIA policy. The requirement applies to you if:
- you constructed, altered, remodeled, or enlarged your property (to the extent that a certificate of compliance is required) on or after September 1, 2009;
- any part of the property is located in flood zones V, VE, or V1-V30 as defined by NFIP; and
- flood coverage is available from the NFIP.
Note: Property repairs are excluded from the requirement. Repair is defined as the reconstruction or restoration of a structure that is damaged or deteriorated.
To view flood maps, visit FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov.
Note: Review the Homeowners, Flood, and Windstorm Policies Comparison above to see the differences between homeowners, flood, and wind and hail insurance.
If you are concerned about earthquakes, you can get coverage with a separate policy. The cost is relatively low because earthquakes are rare in Texas.
Extra Coverage (Endorsements)
You might want more coverage than your policy provides for certain items. For an extra premium, you may be able to buy endorsements that expand or increase the coverage on these items. Some of the most common endorsements expand or increase coverage for jewelry, fine arts, camera equipment, coin or stamp collections, computer equipment, and radio and television satellite dishes and antennas.
Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance
If you have assets to protect and want more liability coverage than a homeowners policy provides, you can buy a separate umbrella policy. Because policies vary, make sure the agent or company fully explains the coverage.
For more information contact: