About policy moratoriums

When does TWIA stop issuing policies?

We encourage all coastal citizens to secure windstorm coverage well in advance of a storm. TWIA cannot issue a new windstorm insurance policy or increase coverage on an existing/renewal windstorm insurance policy when there is a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. This is called a policy moratorium.

A TWIA policy moratorium applies to the entire TWIA coverage area: the 14 Texas coastal counties and parts of Harris County east of Highway 146.

The Best Way to Get New or Increased TWIA Coverage When a Policy Moratorium Is Expected

If there is storm activity in or near the Gulf of Mexico, it is possible a policy moratorium will go into effect shortly. When this is the case, we recommend submitting payments electronically. Not only are electronic submissions timely, but they create a timestamp TWIA can use to determine the coverage effective date. Only agents are able to submit applications to TWIA and they must always do so electronically through Policy Center.

TWIA must receive both the application and the payment before we can issue new policies or increase coverage on existing/renewal policies.

Recommended Submission Options for Agents and Policyholders:

  • Agents: Submit applications through Policy Center and payments through eCheck or EFT.
  • Policyholders: Your agent must submit the application. We also recommend having them handle the payment when a moratorium is expected.
    • If you wish to pay TWIA directly, submit payment online through eCheck (free) or credit card (vendor processing fees apply). There may be a lag of several hours between when the agent submits the application and when the transaction becomes available for payment online. For this reason, we recommend having your agent handle the payment when a moratorium is expected.

Visit www.twia.org/payments to learn more about payment options for both agents and policyholders.

When does a TWIA policy moratorium go into effect?

The short answer is: when there’s a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

The technical answer, as outlined in our Plan of Operation, is:

  1. When a storm is designated as a hurricane by the NOAA National Weather Service or NOAA National Hurricane Center, and
  1. The designated hurricane is within the Gulf of Mexico or the boundaries of 80 degrees west longitude and 20 degrees north latitude.

How and When TWIA Policy Moratoriums Are Lifted

For TWIA to lift a policy moratorium, the TWIA General Manager must determine the storm no longer threatens property anywhere within the TWIA coverage area. Once this occurs, TWIA will lift the moratorium at 12:01 a.m. the next day. At that time, TWIA will begin processing applications and payments received during the moratorium. The earliest date policies can go into effect is at 12:01 a.m. the day the moratorium is lifted.

Application and Payment Delivery Methods

TWIA must receive both the application and the payment before we can issue new policies or increase coverage on existing/renewal policies.

Applications

To ensure coverage, the application must be submitted before the moratorium goes into effect.

Applications Submission MethodAvailable For
Electronically through Policy CenterAgents onlyBefore the time the moratorium goes into effect. This can include the day of.

Payments

While we recommend submitting payments electronically to ensure coverage before a moratorium goes into effect, there are several ways to deliver a payment to TWIA.

Payment Submission MethodAvailable For
EFTAgents onlyBefore the time the moratorium goes into effect. This can include the day of.

This is a recommended way to submit a payment when a moratorium is expected.
eCheckAgents and policyholdersBefore the time the moratorium goes into effect. This can include the day of.

This is a recommended way to submit a payment when a moratorium is expected.

For policyholders paying by eCheck, if they have requested their agent to submit an application for new or increased coverage, there may be a lag of several hours between when the agent submits the application and when the transaction becomes available for payment online. This means the policyholder may not be able to make the payment - and TWIA won’t be able to issue the policy - before the moratorium goes into effect.
Credit CardPolicyholders onlyBefore the time the moratorium goes into effect. This can include the day of.

This is a recommended way to submit a payment when a moratorium is expected.

For policyholders paying by credit card, if they have requested their agent to submit an application for new or increased coverage, there may be a lag of several hours between when the agent submits the application and when the transaction becomes available for payment online. This means the policyholder may not be able to make the payment - and TWIA won’t be able to issue the policy - before the moratorium goes into effect.
Check/money order mailed via:
  • Registered or certified mail
  • USPS Express Mail
  • Regular mail that is hand-cancelled by USPS, or
  • Other mailing procedures as approved by the Board of Directors including other services that provide acceptable, traceable proof of mail date
Agents and policyholdersBefore the day the moratorium goes into effect. TWIA uses the timestamp mail date to determine coverage effective date.
Delivered in person to TWIA’s Austin office during its normal business hoursAgents and policyholdersBefore the time the moratorium goes into effect. This can include the day of.
Check/money order mailed via regular mailAgents and policyholdersVaries. Payment must be received before the day the moratorium goes into effect. Otherwise, TWIA will use the first day after the moratorium is lifted to determine the coverage effective date.

This is the least reliable payment submission method.

For More Information

If you are an insurance agent and would like more information about TWIA policy moratoriums, please contact our Agent Services team at agentservices@twia.org or (800) 788-8247.

If you are a prospective or current TWIA policyholder with any questions or concerns about how you might be impacted by a TWIA policy moratorium, please contact your insurance agent. They can help you get a TWIA policy (eligibility requirements apply) or make changes to an existing/renewal policy on your behalf.