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Buying Tornado Insurance in Texas

You can get tornado insurance for your residential and commercial building in Texas by contacting the state-licensed Texas property insurance agent who helped you purchase your renters, homeowners, or commercial property insurance, or any other state-licensed property agent in Texas.

What are my Tornado Insurance Options in Texas?

To purchase tornado insurance in Texas, you can purchase insurance from either of the following:

  • Private insurance companies: Several private insurance companies exist in the Texas insurance market. These companies offer different coverage types as well as incentives to loyal customers. You can access private insurance companies through a state-licensed agent in Texas.

  • The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA): The TWIA was established by the Texas legislature and aims to provide windstorm insurance mostly to people that reside along the Texas coastal lines. The TWIA only provides coverage to persons who have been rejected by at least one private insurance provider. Applications are made through regular insurance agents licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance.

How to Compare Tornado Insurance Quotes?

The best way to compare insurance quotes is by contacting a licensed Texas property insurance agent to help determine your tornado insurance needs and then look for all the most cost-effective coverage options. The agent can shop for multiple appropriate solutions and get quotes from different insurance companies in order to be able to compare them and pick the best.

If you are comparing the coverages without the agent, make sure that you are comparing similar quotes and same types of coverage. Always read the exceptions before agreeing to the policy.

How to Apply for Tornado Insurance?

Some insurance companies in Texas permit online applications, while others only permit applications over the phone or in person. You can apply for tornado insurance through different means, but they all require the services of a licensed insurance agent. The agent will help you determine the amount of coverage you need and also review all legal disclaimers and policy requirements. Here are a few ways you can apply for Tornado insurance in Texas:

  • Contact your current Texas-licensed property insurance agent to discuss your insurance needs. Your insurance agent should be always aware of your changing needs, so the coverage gets adjusted to match - as needed. An experienced agent is familiar with the insurance market and will be able to advise you on plans that will suit your particular circumstances and needs. Agents can also provide you with quotes and assist you with applying.

  • Contact your current Texas property insurer to verify whether you can add tornado insurance coverage to your current policy insurance. If tornado insurance is one of the policy add-ons available to you, you can request assistance from their staff agent to review the available options. Note that the staff agents are captive agents, which means they can only sell and advise on insurance provided by their employer. To get more options, you will need to contact an independent agent.

  • Find an knowledgeable independent Texas-licensed property insurance agent of your choice who can quote multiple insurers, and will get paid by whichever company you end up using.

  • Search for ads and quotes online, or apply online using the insurers' portals when filling online quote requests in Texas, you indirectly accept to receive callbacks from agents or representatives of the insurance agency. After the request has been made, a captive agent from the insurer will typically call you back to discuss coverage options.

When you contact an experienced and knowledgeable property insurance agent, they will:

  • Evaluate your tornado insurance needs

  • Research the insurers in Texas that provide tornado insurance to match your coverage needs.

  • Look for ways to save on tornado insurance by including your tornado insurance with other coverage types. You can get discounts from insurers by having multiple policies; the more policies you have with your insurer, the higher your chance of getting a discount.

  • Review your current property insurance policies (if applicable) to ensure that your coverage aligns with your needs. The agent will offer better deals where applicable or if you have the best deal for your needs, you will be told so.

  • Provide you with an array of options for tornado insurance and make sure you understand the different implications of the coverage types.

  • Help you with the application process and management of the policy during its duration. Agents will assist you with your application and will ensure that the insurer gets all the necessary information from you. After purchase, the agent remains the link between you and the insurer. Any disputes, issues, and questions can typically be addressed through the agent.

When applying, you will need to include the following types of information:

  • Applicant and Co-applicants (if applicable) personal information - Name, Email, Phone number

  • Address of the property to be insured - This should include physical and mailing addresses

  • Policy information, including:

    • Year of construction

    • Roof type

    • Construction type

    • Reported pre-existing tornado and any other wind damage

    • Number of chimneys, fireplaces, etc.

    • Foundation type

    • Square footage of the property

    • Number of stories

  • Companion Policy Insurance Coverages - Tornado insurance coverage is applied in addition to an already existing (companion) property policy, like:

  • Homeowners

  • Renters

  • Commercial property insurance

Requested companion policy coverage includes:

  • Dwelling coverage limits and deductible

  • Personal property coverage limits and deductible

  • Loss of use limits and deductible

  • Optional endorsements for masonry and breakables (if applicable)

After assessing various quotes and choosing a policy, the applicant will need to provide all necessary information regarding the party responsible for paying the bill during the duration of the policy. These could include any of the following:

  • The insured person or business

  • A mortgage bank - Some banks collect insurance premiums as a part of the mortgage payment and make payments to the insurer from what is called an escrow account. In this case, the insured is not involved in the payments to the insurer and only pays directly to their mortgagee

  • A second mortgage bank or another financially involved party

  • A premium financing company is frequently involved in commercial property coverage.

It is important that you obtain multiple options and quotes before purchasing tornado coverage. To get a wider variety of options, you should use both independent and captive agents.

Where Can I Buy Affordable Tornado Insurance in Texas?

To buy affordable tornado insurance policies in Texas, contact a Texas-licensed property insurance agent. Experienced insurance agents are familiar with the insurance market, and they know where they can get the best tornado insurance policies that are affordable and suit your insurance needs. Prices from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) could also be considered affordable because the prices are statutorily regulated. This means that prices can only be increased if the government supports the increase. However, it is important to note that insurance from the TWIA is only available if you have been rejected by at least one other insurance company and satisfy the following laid down conditions:

  • You must reside in one of the areas designated by the Commissioner of Insurance

  • You must have been rejected by at least one authorized insurer

  • Your property must have been certified by the TWIA or the Texas Department of Insurance as being built according to applicable building codes.

  • Your property must be located in flood zone V, VE, or V1-30

  • Your property must meet all other of the association's underwriting requirements.

Who Can Help with Application for Tornado Insurance?

If you need help with an application for tornado insurance, only a licensed Texas property insurance professional is legally allowed to help and to make suggestions based on your needs.

Can you Purchase Tornado Insurance through an Agent?

Yes. The best way to purchase your tornado insurance is through a Texas-licensed property insurance agent. A Homeowners policy or a renters insurance policy will include coverage for windstorms as well so you can also get your tornado insurance through your homeowners or renters insurance agent.

Why Do I Need an Agent for Tornado Insurance?

Getting an insurance agent to assist you with your tornado insurance purchase is essential because they will ensure that you have the best coverage to suit your particular circumstances and will also search for the best prices and discounts. Getting a state-licensed insurance agent to assist you with your application is helpful for various reasons, including:

  • An insurance agent analyzes your needs and researches locally available plans that will suit you and satisfy your needs.

  • An insurance agent can help you differentiate between the different plans available while showing you what each coverage does.

  • An insurance agent will assist you with applying for the chosen insurance type without affecting the cost of your insurance.

  • An agent can help you source for discounts and advise you on how to lower the costs of your tornado insurance.

How to Choose an Agent for Tornado Insurance?

To choose an insurance agent, decide what type of agent you require. The type of property you want to insure will determine what type of insurance agent you require. You will need to reach out to either a commercial property insurance agent or a private property insurance agent:

  • Private property insurance agent - is specialized in private properties and insurance. You will need to speak to a private property insurance agent to purchase tornado insurance coverage. These agents can assist you with purchasing insurance on your private rental units, homes, as well as other non-business-owned items such as cars and motorcycles.

  • Commercial property insurance agent - is specialized in business insurance. These types of agents can assist you with insuring business real estate and business-owned property on such real estate. Commercial insurance agents in Texas can help bundle different coverages such as property insurance, business interruption, workers compensation, etc.

Furthermore, there are two classifications for insurance agents; independent agents and captive agents.

  • Captive agents cannot sell insurance for any company aside from what their employer provides. Note that captive agents can also be independent contractors but are still obliged only to sell their employer’s insurance.

  • Independent agents sell insurance from different insurance companies. As a result, these agents can offer you insurance quotes from various insurance providers while still eligible for commission, whichever company is chosen.

An independent agent can offer you a wider variety of options with different coverages, and so if you are looking to choose from a series of options, this might be the best option. If you want to purchase your insurance from a particular provider, a captive agent might be the better option. You should weigh all your options before deciding on which agent to choose.

You can find properly licensed insurance agents using the lists of Texas insurance agents, adjusters, and agencies provided by the Texas Department of Insurance.

How Can I Find an Agent Who is Proficient in Tornado Insurance?

You can find a good tornado insurance agent using the licensed agent lookup tool provided by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Alternatively, you can check reputable insurance comparison websites to find suitable insurance agents and brokers to assist you with your insurance purchase.

Can I Buy Tornado Insurance Online?

Yes, most insurance providers provide online platforms which you can use to compare insurance prices, shop for the best packages and coverages and also select and pay for chosen insurance deals. You might also find opportunities to chat with insurance agents online. These agents will typically assist with the process of deciding what insurance package (out of their available selection) you want, what coverages and deductibles you want, as well as the number of policies you can get. Some insurance providers provide online portals where you can make payments for your insurance online. While other insurance companies might not permit online payments, some third-party sites provide online portals for you to view quotes and compare prices for your insurance online. To purchase a tornado insurance policy, contact a licensed insurance agent.

How to Renew Tornado Insurance in Texas?

You should check your policy documents to determine when your insurance coverage expires and contact your insurance company or insurance agent to assist you with its renewal. Note that before your renewal, your insurance company will review your policy to determine whether the cost of your policy should be increased, reduced, or kept the same. This renewal will be effected after you make the first payment for the next policy term.

How Often Should I Renew Tornado Insurance?

The frequency of the renewal of your tornado insurance will depend on the policy you purchased. Most tornado insurance policies expire annually and would need to be renewed each year to ensure that you remain protected.