TWIA Urges Policyholders to Prepare as 2020 Hurricane Season Begins

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) urges coastal Texans to check their property insurance now to avoid surprises after a storm.

Tropical Storm Cristobal reminds us this year’s hurricane season could be busy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts up to six major hurricanes. Already, we are on our third named storm. And this year’s hurricane season could be further complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What Coastal Texans Can Do to Prepare
Take the following steps:

  1. Make certain your property is fully insured. Make sure you have both windstorm (wind and hail) and flood insurance (which TWIA cannot provide) well in advance of any storm.
  2. Take pictures of your home and personal property. If you need to file a claim, having an inventory will help ensure an accurate claim payment for your covered belongings.
  3. Prepare your property. A little preparation now can go a long way. Install storm shutters, trim trees, install hurricane straps, reinforce garage doors, and clear rain gutters and downspouts.
  4. Write down your emergency plan and build an emergency kit. Consider any additional precautions you may need to take this year to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  5. Register to use TWIA Claims Center. TWIA policyholders can use Claims Center to file a claim any time, view their claim information, and communicate directly with TWIA. Claims may also be reported by calling (800) 788-8247 or contacting your insurance agent.

 

TWIA Is Prepared for Hurricane Season
“We are hoping for a quiet season,” said TWIA General Manager John Polak. “But should a hurricane strike the Texas coast, TWIA has the experience, funding, and planning to be there for our policyholders when they need us most.”

 

Funded to $4.2 billion. TWIA has secured access to $4.2 billion in total funding for this year’s hurricane season. This includes $177 million in its Catastrophe Reserve Trust Fund, which can be quickly used to pay claims after a hurricane.

 

Considerations for COVID-19. TWIA has already introduced social distancing and safety provisions to its claim handling process. These include:

  • Requiring claims adjusters to follow national, state, and local health safety guidelines while performing on-site inspections.
  • Offering policyholders reporting claims the option to virtually document internal damage to their property without the need for an adjuster to enter the home.

TWIA’s 2020 Catastrophe Incident Response Plan (CAT Plan) outlines how it will respond to a hurricane during COVID-19. It is tested and updated each year.


About Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) was established in 1971 by the Texas Legislature to provide wind and hail insurance coverage along the Texas Gulf Coast to those unable to obtain it from other insurance carriers. TWIA’s mission is to provide essential property insurance for eligible Texas properties when no one else will, with nearly 190,000 policies in our coastal communities.

 

Links
TWIA: www.twia.org
TWIA Claims Center: www.twia.org/claimscenter
TWIA Catastrophe Incident Response Plan: www.twia.org/wp-content/uploads/2020-TWIA-TFPA-Catastrophe-Incident-Response-Plan.pdf
TWIA Hurricane Preparedness webpage: www.twia.org/hurricane-preparedness