Even with the best forecasts, it can be hard to know exactly what to expect from hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. Your recovery from a storm, however, can be planned in advance. TWIA urges coastal communities and policyholders to protect themselves and their families by being proactive and preparing for storms before they hit.
Hurricane Season Q&A
Do you have both windstorm and flood insurance?
Coastal Texans may need both a windstorm (wind and hail) and a separate flood insurance policy, in addition to their homeowner’s insurance policy. Windstorm and flood policies must be secured well in advance of any storm. Most insurance companies, including TWIA, cannot offer a windstorm policy once a storm appears in the Gulf of Mexico (learn more). Flood coverage (which TWIA does not provide) is usually offered through the National Flood Insurance Program and has a 30-day waiting period after you purchase it before the coverage becomes effective.
Do you know your deductible and policy limits?
A deductible is the amount of money the policyholder agrees to pay before any claim payment is due from the insurance company. The policyholder chooses the deductible amount when they buy a policy, usually 1-2% of the policy limit(s). The deductible is subtracted from your claim payment. If the cost to repair or replace damaged property is less than the deductible amount, no claim payment is issued.
The coverage amount (a.k.a. the “policy limits” or “limit of liability”) is the maximum amount of money the insurance company will pay on a claim.
You can look up both amounts on your policy declarations page. View an example here. Before the next storm threatens, meet with your insurance agent to discuss your policy, its coverages, and to make necessary updates to it.
Do you know how to report a claim?
Should you need to report a claim to TWIA, for fastest service, use the online Policyholder Portal. If you are unable to file online, call (800) 788-8247, option 1, or contact your insurance agent. Learn more about the claims process.
Have you prepared your property?
Preparing now can go a long way in reducing property damage during a storm. Install storm shutters (alternatively, pre-cut plywood so it’s ready to install over windows in the build-up to a storm), trim trees, install roof straps, reinforce garage doors, and clear rain gutters and downspouts.
Have you documented your belongings?
Document your home and belongings with photos or video to create a home inventory. If you need to report a claim, having this inventory will help expedite that process and help ensure an accurate claim payment for your covered belongings. Email a copy of it and other important documents to yourself, upload it to an online cloud storage account, or mail physical copies to someone who lives outside the hurricane zone. Download and fill out an inventory form.
TWIA Is Prepared, Too
Our Emergency Plan: The TWIA Catastrophe Plan
At the heart of our storm preparedness program is the TWIA Catastrophe Incident Response Plan, which outlines how we mitigate the effects of, prepare for, respond to, and recover from catastrophic weather disasters. Each year it is reviewed, tested, and continuously updated.
2023 Hurricane Season Funding
For 2023, TWIA has secured access to $4.5 billion in funding through a combination of $265 million in the Catastrophe Reserve Trust Fund, $2 billion in authority to issue public securities and assess member insurance companies, and $2.24 billion in reinsurance. Learn more about TWIA funding on our Funding 101 webpage.
More Preparedness Tips
Engage with your local Office of Emergency Management (EOM). They are the entity responsible for coordinating the response to catastrophes like hurricanes hitting the gulf coast. Follow their directions when storms threaten.
Sign up to receive mobile notifications for weather alerts and emergency instructions.
Include a copy of your insurance policy documents in your emergency supplies “go bag.” For what else to include, visit ready.gov.