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Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA)
WHAT IS TWIA? The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) was created by state mandate in 1971 (known then as the Texas Catastrophe Property Insurance Association) to provide basic wind and hail insurance to property owners otherwise unable to obtain coverage in the traditional, retail insurance market. All licensed property insurers in Texas are required to be TWIA members as a condition of doing business in the State. The agency acts as a “pool” in which excess revenue is deposited into a state fund and excess losses are assessed back to the members. The existence of TWIA ensures the ongoing availability and affordability of insurance along the Texas Coast and is especially important now as independent insurance companies are eliminating windstorm coverage for many coastal areas.Galveston is one of 14 “first tier” Texas coastal counties that TWIA provides insurance coverage for. TWIA is governed by a 9 member board composed of: 5 insurance company representatives, 2 public members and 2 recording agents.The day-to-day operations are directed by the Association’s General Manager. TWIA operates somewhat like an insurance company, issuing policies directly.The maximum limits of liability on policies are set by statute and adjusted on an annual basis.Normal claims and operating expenses are paid from premiums collected. TWIA issues policies for a structure based on either the Inspection Process or the Approval Process.Structures that comply with building specifications are approved and a Certificate of Compliance (WPI-8) is issued by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).Structures failing to meet building specifications are not certified by TDI and are not eligible for coverage through TWIA through the inspection process. If a certain set of conditions are met, property otherwise required to have a WPI-8 shall be subject to the approval process in lieu of the inspection process for determination of insurability with the TWIA and such property shall be insurable without a WPI-8. The Certificate of Compliance is submitted to TWIA by an insurance agent and a policy for windstorm and hail coverage can be issued. Structures meeting recognized building codes or previously insured by a licensed insurance company prior to January 1, 1988 were grandfathered for eligibility.