Windstorm Certification Requirements

Highlights

  • The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) administers the Windstorm Inspection Program and issues Certificates of Compliance (WPI-8s) for ongoing improvements
  • Legislation passed in 2015 authorized TWIA to issue Certificates of Compliance (WPI-8-C) for completed improvements on and after January 1, 2017
  • All new structures, alterations, or repairs to existing structures must have Certificates of Compliance, with limited exceptions
  • Homeowners should notify TDI to begin the WPI-8 process before beginning construction or repairs
  • Certain repairs may require an engineer inspection; visit the TDI website for a list of TDI appointed qualified inspectors.
  • See TDI’s website for more resources: TDI Windstorm System
  • Visit the Windstorm Certification tab in the navigation bar to learn more about Certificates of Compliance

Background

In order to be eligible for coverage through TWIA, Texas Insurance Code Chapter 2210 states that any building constructed, altered, remodeled, enlarged, repaired, or added to on or after January 1, 1988, must meet the applicable building code standards for its area. Compliance with these requirements is demonstrated by obtaining a Certificate of Compliance (WPI-8 or WPI-8-C). Without a Certificate of Compliance, TWIA lacks evidence the structure conforms to the applicable building code, and the structure may be considered uninsurable and ineligible for coverage with TWIA, with limited exceptions.

TDI administers the Windstorm Inspection Program and issues Certificates of Compliance (WPI-8) for ongoing improvements. Legislation passed in 2015 authorized TWIA to issue Certificates of Compliance (WPI-8-C) for completed improvements on and after January 1, 2017.

Obtaining a Certificate of Compliance (WPI-8 or WPI-8-C)

Ongoing Improvements

To obtain a WPI-8 for an ongoing improvement, a property owner should notify TDI prior to beginning repairs or construction. Inspections of ongoing improvements may be performed by a TDI appointed qualified inspector. Some types of repairs may be minor or involve only a small portion of the structure and do not require a WPI-8. TDI’s website provides a list of repairs that do not require an inspection.

Completed Improvements

A person lacking a WPI-8 for a completed improvement may apply to TWIA for a WPI-8-C. A Texas-licensed engineer may certify compliance with the applicable windstorm building code. The engineer will need to submit certain information to TWIA about the completed improvement in order for TWIA to issue the certificate of compliance (WPI-8-C).

Exceptions to the Windstorm Certification Requirement

Texas law identifies several exceptions for structures lacking WPI-8s. Properties with construction from 1988 to June 19, 2009 that are not certified may still be eligible. Policies insuring such structures are subject to a 15% surcharge.

Applicants who are non-renewed or cancelled by their private market insurer on or after June 19, 2009, and whose structure is missing a required WPI-8 for construction, alteration, remodeling, enlargement, repair or an addition after that date, may be eligible with a premium based on 110% of the voluntary market rate.