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Hurricane Insurance in Texas

Hurricane insurance in Texas is typically offered to home or business owners to protect their properties from damage caused by windstorms, floods (caused by hurricane storms), and hurricanes. It is also designed to cover the personal items of the insured. Texas is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms. Most of the damage caused by these storms occurs in coastal towns in Texas like Galveston, Padre Island, and Corpus Christi. However, they can also affect inland areas. Unfortunately, this type of disaster insurance is not always available for people as part of homeowners or commercial property insurance policies, even for people living in high-risk coastal areas.

If you're planning on buying a home in a high-risk area in Texas, you might consider getting storm insurance. Typically, insurance companies do not sell hurricane coverage; it comes with various insurance types, including flood and windstorm coverage. Most property insurance policies don't cover flood, destructive winds, and storm surge damage.

What is Considered Hurricane Insurance?

Hurricane insurance doesn't exist as a specific or separate insurance policy. It is a combination of other insurance policies like floods, windstorms, and homeowners, renter, or commercial insurance policies. As such, hurricane insurance is considered supplemental coverage purchased by homeowners and business owners to protect from the effects of a hurricane.

Hurricane insurance Texas combines flood and windstorm insurance coverages because high windstorms and flooding characterize the disaster. It's important to have flood and windstorm insurance to protect yourself, your family, and your building structure against hurricanes. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover damage caused by winds. However, if you live in areas prone to severe weather, such as disaster-designated zones in Texas, it is best to get add-on insurance coverage like windstorm and flood coverage. Most homeowners' policies cover water damage, but not water generated damage caused by hurricanes, such as inland flooding. Hurricane insurance covers hurricane-related flooding, but other sources of flooding are excluded, and a property owner will have to get flood insurance.

What is the Purpose of Hurricane Insurance?

Hurricanes pose serious threats to property and life. Some of the hazards posed include inland flooding, destructive winds, storm surges, and tornadoes. According to resources provided by the National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season starts on May 15 and ends on November 30. The hazards that come with hurricanes occur in the hurricane zones of Texas, like the cities of Galveston, Port Lavaca, and Rockport. However, hurricanes can also affect other parts of Texas. This is why residents of Texas, especially those living in the hurricane zones, can access hurricane insurance to help minimize their exposure to these types of storms. Hurricane insurance helps Texans bounce back from the aftermaths of hurricanes by providing financial protection.

What is Hurricane Insurance for?

Unfortunately, hurricanes most times happen without adequate time to prepare. Hurricanes are characterized by powerful winds that can damage properties which may be difficult for homeowners to recover from if they’re not insured. Likewise, due to the serious precipitation, hurricanes are associated with severe rainfall, which can cause flooding. Aside from destroying buildings and structures, a hurricane can also cause significant damage to personal property. This is why it is important to have hurricane insurance to protect yourself from the damages caused by a hurricane. Hurricane insurance is designed to protect individuals and businesses from damages caused by hurricanes. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, getting hurricane insurance is essential to your homeowner's insurance policy as an added benefit.

Since hurricanes are not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, to avoid damages caused by a hurricane, check the flood elevation of your property to determine if you need flood insurance or not. You can use the FEMA Address Lookup Tool to check the base flood elevation of your property. Alternatively, you can use the U.S Geological Survey website called the National Map Viewer to check the elevation level of your building. You may need to hire a land surveyor to perform this flood evaluation for your property to determine if it should be protected or removed from the flood zone. If it is within a flood zone, you will be issued an elevation certificate that will enable you to purchase flood insurance coverage to protect you against flooding damage after a hurricane.

What are the Types of Hurricane Insurance in Texas?

Understanding the various components of hurricane insurance coverage is important for assessing your options when you intend to buy this policy. Although homeowners insurance generally protects against most forms of damage, it’s important to note that it doesn’t cover certain types of problems such as flooding and excessive wind. As such, when you are thinking of hurricane insurance in Texas, you have to consider these two types of coverages:

Windstorms insurance coverage: In Texas, every year, the state experiences various types of storms, such as hurricanes and windstorms. Recent research shows that when Hurricane Hanna hit South Texas in 2020, it caused extensive damage and insured losses of up to $400 million. This type of insurance policy is usually sold as an endorsement and covers damage caused by wind and natural disasters such as hurricanes. It also includes loss of use coverage, which provides financial assistance for temporary living expenses caused by a storm. Windstorm insurance in Texas covers damage caused by wind, such as broken windows or a damaged roof. It does not cover flood-related damage. Like most insurance policies, Texas windstorm insurance has a deductible. This usually applies to the amount that the policy will pay out when a hurricane or other type of storm occurs. The deductible can be set at a specific dollar amount. In Texas, many companies offer windstorm insurance. Aside from private insurance companies, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) also provides coverage for homes and business properties in high-risk counties.

Flood insurance coverage: In Texas, hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flooding every year. Hence, many people buy flood insurance as add-ons to their homeowner's insurance policies. In Texas, flooding is a common issue, and many areas are prone to experiencing it, making flood insurance a good idea. The building coverage of a flood insurance policy protects against the damages caused by a hurricane disaster to a building. It covers the building's structural components, including its foundation, electrical systems, and central air-conditioners. The contents coverage also covers the contents of a building, such as furniture, clothes, and electronic equipment. You can purchase flood insurance from private insurance companies or the government-run National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Do you Need Hurricane Insurance in Texas?

Yes. You need hurricane insurance to protect you from incurring financial liabilities due to damages caused by hurricane-related flooding, windstorm, and storm surges. While hurricane insurance is not always necessary if your property is not within the hurricane zone in Texas, it is important to protect your home and belongings from common sources of property damage like windstorms and floods caused by hurricanes. Standard homeowners insurance policy and home repair insurance policies do not cover windstorms and flood damage. However, if you live in a hurricane-prone area, you may want to purchase a separate windstorm and flood insurance policy.

Why Do you Need Hurricane Insurance?

Hurricanes are major causes of high winds and flooding that can damage homes and business properties, but most homeowners and commercial property insurance policies do not cover such repairs. From 1900 to 2020, Texas experienced over 80 tropical storms and hurricanes, and half of these were powerful hurricanes. Since 2000, Texas has been hit by 19 named storms, including eight powerful hurricanes. Some of these include Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Ike. Due to the property damage caused by Harvey, it is estimated that the natural disaster caused over $136 billion in property damages. Storm surges of 13 feet can travel as far as 30 miles inland.

Hurricanes are one of the most common natural disasters in Texas; hence, homeowners must take steps to protect their properties from damage caused by hurricanes. In 2020, most flood-prone homeowners did not enjoy protection under their homeowner's insurance. According to FEMA’s resources, about 30% of flood damage claims are made in low- to moderate-risk areas. Due to Texas's geographical location and the high number of cities with a high hurricane risk, the state is prone to experiencing frequent and powerful hurricanes. Almost every major city in the state has an increased risk of experiencing a hurricane. In addition, flash flood areas are common in certain regions, such as North and Central Texas.

Most homeowners and commercial property insurance policies contain wind and hail coverages. However, hurricane winds, which are tropical cyclones, can sustain 74 miles per hour wind. These winds become Category 1, with a wind speed range of one to five hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Since many coastal areas in Texas are not insured against this type of hurricane-related windstorm, you must purchase windstorm insurance for protection against the hazard posed by hurricane disaster.

A hurricane can easily damage your home and personal belongings. Having hurricane insurance can help protect you from these losses. Speak to a licensed Texas Property and Casualty insurance agent regarding your hurricane insurance needs.

How Much Hurricane Insurance Do you Need?

In Texas, a homeowner, tenant, or business owner should purchase windstorm and flood insurance sufficient to cover the cost of repairs and rebuilding after a hurricane disaster. The amount of windstorm and flood insurance coverage you need depends on your building's type, location, and the cost of rebuilding and repairing the building if a hurricane occurs. Individuals with properties in high-risk hurricane zones will need enough coverage to protect them from incurring any financial liabilities. At the same time, people who live in low-risk areas may need to buy basic windstorm and flood insurance but not as much as people living in high-risk areas. Talk to a licensed Property and Casualty insurance agent in Texas to estimate how much hurricane insurance you need.

What Hurricane Insurance Coverage Do you Need?

Although most homeowners insurance policies will cover windstorms and specific water damage, they may not cover windstorms and flood damage caused by hurricanes. The only type of water damage that homeowners insurance covers is a sudden and accidental discharge of water or steam and water that enters a house through a roof leak due to a windstorm. For homeowners or business owners in areas prone to hurricanes or coastal storms in Texas, windstorm and flood coverage may not be included in their policies. The exact coverage option you need to decide between flood and windstorm will usually depend on your specific protection needs against hurricanes and which perils you are most exposed to. However, it is advisable to get both because they are common dangers associated with hurricanes.

Your insurance company will usually cover the cost of repairing damaged home components such as doors and windows. Meanwhile, your homeowner's policy will typically not cover wind-driven rain that comes with hurricanes that cause serious damage. Also, when a hurricane causes rising floodwaters, and the water causes damage to your home, a flood insurance policy can only cover you.

Those in Texas areas prone to hurricanes or coastal storms should check with their insurance company to see whether they have other windstorm and flood coverage options. Having both types of insurance can help minimize the damage caused by a hurricane.

Is Hurricane Insurance Required in Texas?

No, under Texas law, hurricane insurance is not required by law. Hurricane insurance is made up of two coverages that is windstorm and flood insurance coverage. Even though the state does not require windstorm insurance in Texas, it's important to have it to qualify for a mortgage or stay in a high-risk county. Similarly, flood insurance is not required in Texas, but it is still important to have it if you live in a hurricane zone. If you have a mortgage on a property located in a hurricane zone, the lender will typically require that you have flood insurance as part of the contract. This means that if you don’t have coverage, you will have to pay out of pocket for damages caused by the storm.

How Do I Know if Hurricane Insurance is Required?

A lender may require hurricane insurance in writing, as part of the mortgage application. This can be a legally-binding requirement that is included in the contract. However, where there is none, you can use the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to check if your home location requires you to get flood insurance. Likewise, you can use the online resources provided by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) to confirm if your home is eligible for windstorm insurance coverage.

How Does Hurricane Insurance Work in Texas?

Although hurricane insurance can help protect your home from damage caused by a storm, it doesn’t cover everything. If you don’t have adequate coverage, you may not be able to cover the cost of repairs fully.

If you don't have flood insurance, you may pay a large sum for repairs caused by hurricane-related flood damage. For instance, during Hurricane Harvey's landfall in 2017, the average residential claim was around $7,600. Meanwhile, the average claim for the flood was as high as $80,000. That is why you need hurricane insurance which comes as flood and windstorm insurance, to help protect you from financial disaster following a hurricane.

Hurricane insurance is usually purchased to protect the insured from the damages caused by a hurricane. It works similarly to other insurance policies in that it charges a yearly premium after the insurance provider has duly assessed the risk exposure. The premium paid for hurricane insurance is usually determined by the property's risk and the deductible the insured chooses. If the insured has already paid their insurance premium, they can file a claim in the event of hurricane damage. The insurance company will then pay for the expenses related to the repairs and reconstruction of the property after deducting the deductible the insured is obligated to pay.

What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover?

Many people don't realize that their homeowners insurance policies don’t cover every damage caused by a hurricane until a hurricane happens. Your homeowner's insurance or home repair insurance policy does not cover wind-driven floodwaters or storm surges caused by a hurricane. Since there are no single policies known as hurricane insurance, you will need to buy separate coverage for floods and windstorms to get full protection from hurricane damages. To understand what is covered under hurricane insurance, you need to consider what is covered under windstorm and flood insurance.

TWIA covers the following damage caused by windstorms:

  • Dwelling coverage by paying for the repairs or rebuilding of the structure after it gets damaged by a windstorm. It also covers additional structures on your property, such as swimming pools and garages

  • Personal property like furniture, clothes, appliances, and other items in your home damaged by a windstorm.

  • Additional living expenses incurred if your home gets severely damaged by a windstorm. This can include hotel bills and laundromat expenses

  • Additional costs of bringing your up to building code if your home gets damaged by a windstorm

  • The removal of debris accumulated on your property due to damages caused by windstorms

What flood insurance covers depends on the coverage type, which can be building or content coverage. The following are covered under a flood insurance policy:

Building Coverage

  • Electrical and plumbing systems

  • Furnaces and water heaters

  • Appliances

  • Permanently installed carpeting

  • Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, and bookcases

  • Windows

  • Foundation walls, staircases, and anchorage systems

  • Detached garages

  • Fuel tanks, well tanks, and pumps

  • Solar equipment

Contents Coverage

  • Personal property

  • Furniture

  • Curtains

  • Portable and window air conditioners

  • Currency, precious metals, and valuable items

What is Hurricane Insurance Good for?

Hurricane insurance can help you avoid paying out of your pocket for repairs and damages caused by hurricanes. Homeowners, renters, and commercial property insurance policies do not cover hurricane damage. Many people who live in areas affected by hurricanes need to purchase windstorm and flood insurance for protection against damages caused by hurricanes. Hurricanes are characterized by powerful winds and storm surges that can cause flooding and rip currents in inland areas. For instance, when there is a hurricane, the current of rivers in the inland area of Texas surges which can easily cause flooding to homes around the river. Having flood and windstorm insurance coverage will protect you from paying for the aftermath of hurricane damages.

The damages caused by hurricanes are usually devastating, and they generally incur expensive repairs. For instance, in 2018, the state awarded over $2.7 billion in Hurricane Harvey recovery grants. Having hurricane insurance can help you recover financially after hurricane damage. It can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that the incurred damages will be paid for within a reasonable time if a hurricane occurs. Consult with a Texas-licensed Property and Casualty Insurance agent to provide you with the necessary information to get the most out of your hurricane insurance.

What Does a Typical Hurricane Insurance Include?

Windstorms and flood insurance typically cover hurricane disasters. These two insurance policies would typically include all the details of its coverage and premium. For instance, flood insurance contains coverage details, including building, content, or both. It should also include the policy's deductible and limit. Note that in Texas, a hurricane deductible is a separate part of your insurance policy that can vary depending on the policy. You may have a windstorm deductible, a named storm deductible, and a hurricane deductible. A wind, hurricane, and named storm deductibles are typically around 1% to 5% of the insured value. The policies will include the details of the actual deductible percentage.

Meanwhile, the details on the coverage limits will include the maximum amount of money that the insurer will pay for a claim. This helps determine the premium you pay depending on the coverage limit and the deductible. Understanding the terms of your windstorm and flood insurance policies will help you avoid disputes when filing a claim. You should speak to a proficient insurance agent in Texas for personalized information on what your policy covers.

Who is Covered by Hurricane Insurance?

Hurricane insurance covers the policyholder, who may be an:

  • Individual

  • Corporation

  • Business owner

  • Employer, employee

  • Homeowner

  • Tenant (Residential or Commercial) who rents the insured property

What Types of Items Does Hurricane Insurance Cover?

When you purchase flood and windstorm coverage under your hurricane insurance policy, some of the following items will be covered, including:

  • Structural damages caused by a hurricane to your building, such as damage to:

    • Windows

    • Electrical and plumbing systems

    • Furnaces and water heaters

    • Permanently installed paneling, cabinets, and bookcases

    • Permanently installed carpeting

    • Fuel tanks, well tanks, and pumps

    • Solar equipment surface

    • Foundation walls, staircases, and anchorage systems

    • Appliances

  • Damages caused by a hurricane to personal properties in your home or commercial buildings, such as:

    • Furniture

    • Curtains

    • Portable and window air conditioners

    • Currency, precious metals, and valuable items

Make sure to review your hurricane insurance policy document with a state-licensed P&C insurance agent in Texas to know the covered items under your policy.

Does Hurricane Insurance Cover - TX FAQ

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricanes?

No. Although most homeowners insurance policies may cover some damages caused by hurricanes, they don’t cover flood and windstorm damages caused by hurricanes:

  • Wind - Most homeowners insurance policies will cover wind damage, such as the destruction caused by a falling tree or shingle. However, homeowners insurance policies may exclude wind coverage in regions prone to hurricanes.

  • Flood - Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage.

A separate flood insurance policy is required to cover flood damage. If you live in a flood-prone area, you may be required to purchase flood insurance as part of your mortgage. You can purchase a flood insurance policy from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will provide home insurance repairs to your building and its contents. Likewise, you can purchase windstorm insurance coverage if you reside in a high-risk county from a Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). These coverages are also available in private insurance companies.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Hurricane?

No. Like homeowners insurance, renters policies won't cover hurricane-related flood damage and wind storm damage to your condo or rented home. Suppose you live in a house or apartment near the coast that is susceptible to being hit by a hurricane. In that case, it's essential to consider getting flood and windstorm insurance as separate policies. These types of insurance can help cover damages caused by a hurricane. Most renters' insurance policies will pay for wind damage, but the coverage is usually excluded in high-risk areas. To ensure that you're covered, check with your insurance company to purchase these additional coverages to your existing renter's insurance policy. Speak with a Texas licensed insurance agent for more information regarding your options and how to get the best value for your insurance needs.

Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Hurricanes?

No, commercial property insurance does not cover hurricanes. Many commercial insurance policies exclude coverage for hurricane-related damage. If your business is located near the coast, talk to your commercial insurance agent about adding hurricane insurance by purchasing a flood and windstorm insurance rider to your commercial property insurance policy. Having a hurricane or flood insurance rider can help cover the damages caused by the hurricane to the building structure and the business property. You can also consider adding an interruption insurance rider to help pay expenses when a hurricane prevents you from operating. You can usually get this coverage through a commercial building insurance policy if you're a business owner. This package combines various insurance products into one affordable rate.

Does Car Insurance Cover Hurricanes?

Yes, if you have comprehensive car insurance. Comprehensive car insurance can help protect you from financial burdens arising from hurricane damages. Your comprehensive insurance will usually cover these damages as long as the hurricane was the primary cause of the damage. It is important to carry this comprehensive insurance before a hurricane disaster. If you don’t have it before the hurricane warning, you might not be able to add it to your policy. This is because most insurance companies will typically restrict their operations in an area as a storm approaches and make changes to existing policies. Speak to a professional insurance agent in Texas, vast in auto insurance, to know about your options and for more information regarding hurricanes for your car.

What is not Covered by Hurricane Insurance?

Hurricane insurance does not cover damages that were not occasioned by hurricanes, like earth movement, fire, damaged vehicle, missing personal property, and financial interruption occasioned by interruption to business.

What Does Hurricane Insurance Typically Exclude?

Hurricane insurance typically excludes the following occurrence from its protection:

  • Mudslides: Your hurricane insurance coverage won't cover your house if it is affected by a mudslide caused by a hurricane, even if the mudslides resulted from a flood caused by a hurricane.

  • Power failure: When you claim power failure, the insurance company will assess the claim to determine whether your windstorm or flood insurance policies cover it. For instance, if you lose all of your food due to a power outage, but no other person was affected, your policy might still cover that. However, if you live in a town that lost power due to a hurricane, your insurance policy might not cover it.

  • Personal belongings outside the insured building: Items that belong to the insured but are not inside the insured building will be excluded. Also, personal belongings that were not listed under the content coverage of the policyholder’s flood and windstorm insurance policies and are destroyed due to a flood or storm caused by a hurricane will be excluded.

  • Earthquakes: Hurricane insurance coverage will not protect you against earthquakes even if the earthquake happened because of a hurricane. To be insured against earthquakes, you must purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy.

Is There a Waiting Period for Hurricane Insurance in Texas?

A waiting period is the fixed time an insured is obligated to wait before their desired policy takes effect. The waiting period prevents people from buying emergency protection when the hurricane season is close. Hurricane insurance comprises flood and windstorm insurance used to protect against the major effects of hurricanes. The following are the waiting periods of the two policies that make up hurricane insurance.

  • Flood insurance has a waiting period of 30 days before it takes effect. If a hurricane hits during the 30-day waiting period, your flood insurance policy will not cover the damage. However, the NFIP may waive the waiting period for residents of areas newly included in the flood map update.

  • Windstorm insurance has a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective. Many homeowners insurance policies include wind coverage, but if you live in a coastal state, you will need to purchase additional windstorm insurance to protect against hurricanes.

Insurers will not sell hurricane insurance policies in Texas if the hurricane season is close and may occur before the waiting period is over. Consult with a Texas-licensed insurance P&C agent regarding your insurance needs to help you review your options and advise you on the best time to purchase your hurricane insurance policy.

Who Can Get Hurricane Insurance in Texas?

Anyone, including homeowners, renters, and commercial property owners, can get hurricane insurance in Texas, particularly if their property is in hurricane zones like Galveston and Port Lavaca cites.

Consult with a licensed Texas Property and Casualty Insurance agent to help you determine how much windstorm and flood coverage you need to protect you against the aftermath of a hurricane disaster.

Who Qualifies for Hurricane Insurance?

Your home must be within the NFIP's 23,000 participating communities and the TWIA designated catastrophe areas to qualify for flood insurance by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Businesses and homes in high-risk hurricane areas and relying on government-backed loans must have hurricane insurance. Notwithstanding, hurricanes are also available to people in low-risk areas who want protection against the aftermath of the disaster if it were to affect their homes. If you do not qualify under the TWIA or NFIP, you can purchase from a private insurance company offering windstorm and flood insurance policies.

Who Needs Hurricane Insurance?

Everyone who lives in or owns commercial property in high-risk areas in Texas needs to insure their properties against the two effects of hurricane insurance: flood insurance and windstorm insurance. This is because hurricanes are characterized by high and spring winds and serious storm surges, which can cause flooding. High-risk areas in Texas include coastal communities like South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, and the Port of Brownsville. In addition, persons who have received low-interest disaster loans from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) are also required to get Hurricane insurance to be considered for any future federal disaster aid.

Who Should Get Hurricane Insurance?

Homeowners, commercial property owners, and individuals renting a place in areas prone to hurricane disasters in Texas should get hurricane insurance. Having hurricane insurance can help minimize the financial impact of a hurricane disaster. Consult a Texas-licensed P&C insurance agent if you require help determining whether your property is in a high-risk hurricane zone.

What Happens if you Don’t Have Hurricane Insurance?

If you do not have hurricane insurance that provides coverage when a hurricane disaster occurs, you will pay out-of-pocket for the repairs and replacement of your damaged properties.