Texas is known for cowboy boots, country music, and a vibrant arts scene. It’s the second-largest state in the U.S. but ranks third in storm surge risk thanks to its location along the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are common natural disasters in Texas. Coastal towns along the shorelines suffer the most damage. However, flooding and high winds can also make their way inland. No matter where you are in the Lone Star State, you could get hit with hurricane damage.
Do you have proper hurricane insurance coverage? This guide for Texas homeowners covers how to get the coverage you need, its costs, and how it works.
And don’t forget the most critical part of being a homeowner is securing homeowners insurance.
Hurricane Insurance in Texas: The Basics
Texas hurricane insurance protects one of your most valuable investments: your home. Most standard homeowners policies include some coverage for hurricane damage.
There are a few exceptions, especially for homeowners in Texas. The trouble is there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to hurricane insurance coverage.
Because hurricane insurance isn’t a specific policy type, it usually consists of a package of insurance products. You may need windstorm insurance and flood insurance to have the right protection. Together, the policies can protect your home from damage caused by a hurricane.
Texas Insurance Requirements in Hawaii
Texas law doesn’t require you to have hurricane insurance. But remember that hurricane insurance doesn’t exist as a policy by itself. The policies that provide hurricane coverage—homeowners, flood, and windstorm insurance—can be required by lenders as part of the home loan process.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, home insurance isn’t required by law. Your lender will require you to have it if you borrow money to purchase your home, and your policy needs to be in place until you pay off the balance.
Having homeowners insurance is a smart move. It can protect against home and property damage caused by fires, lightning strikes, and other covered perils.
Homeowners coverage may not be enough. Hurricanes create high winds, heavy downpours, and storm surge. Standard homeowners policies don’t cover flood damage and may require an additional endorsement for windstorm coverage.
If you live in coastal Texas, storm surge is a significant risk. Flooding can be common further inland from a hurricane’s heavy rainfall. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, but flood insurance is specifically designed to cover flood losses.
Some private insurers sell Texas flood coverage. Policies are also available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), only six percent of houses have flood coverage despite the high risk of hurricanes in Texas.
If you live in Galveston, Houston, or another area along the Gulf Coast, where hurricane winds are the strongest, your homeowners policy may not cover wind or hail damage. Windstorm and hail coverage may be available as a policy endorsement on your existing policy.
You could also buy a stand-alone windstorm policy from a private insurance company or the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).
What Texas Hurricane Insurance Covers
Your hurricane coverage depends on the policy you purchase. Most Texas homeowners insurance includes some protection from hurricane damage:
- Heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, and other home systems
- The home and attached structures, such as a garage or carport
- Furniture, window treatments, clothing, and other personal property
- Detached structures, like a gazebo or shed
- Loss of use for living expenses if the damage is so severe that you can’t live in the home
Flood and windstorm insurance can increase the amount of protection you have.
Significant flooding often accompanies hurricanes, and wind speeds can top 157 miles per hour, leading to substantial damage. Adding flood insurance and windstorm insurance can increase your coverage to ensure you have the right insurance policies in place.
How Texas Hurricane Insurance Works
Texas hurricane insurance only works as well as the coverage you have. If you have homeowners insurance and nothing else, you may not have enough coverage to repair or replace your home and belongings.
The average residential claim from Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in 2017, was $7,600. But the average flood insurance claim was much higher, at around $80,000.
Without flood insurance, you may have to pay that $80,000 out of your own pocket. The same is true for windstorm and hail damage if it isn’t a covered peril in your homeowners policy.
Homeowners, flood, and windstorm insurance work together to protect you and your family from financial devastation following a hurricane.
All three policy types have deductibles you must meet before the insurance kicks in. Texas is one of 19 states that have a separate hurricane deductible. The amount can vary from one policy to the next, but policyholders may have a different deductible for:
- Windstorms: This applies to hurricane wind and hail damage and damage from tornadoes or other strong winds.
- Named storms: Specific to hurricanes, if the National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center gives the storm a name, this deductible could apply.
- Hurricanes: This can go into effect when a storm’s wind speed meets hurricane criteria rather than simply being a tropical storm or depression.
Your homeowners insurance deductible is typically a flat rate of around $500 or $1,000. If you have a fire, you’re responsible for the deductible amount, and the insurance company picks up the rest.
For hurricanes and windstorm damage, higher deductibles are often a percentage of your home’s insured value.
Policies generally set the amount at one to five percent. Hurricane deductibles can be higher in some coastal areas with an increased risk for hurricanes. For example, a $220,000 home could have a hurricane insurance deductible ranging from $2,200 to $11,000 or more.
Keep in mind that you must file a separate claim for each policy type you have. For example:
- If the hurricane causes a fire, file a claim with your homeowners company.
- A claim for flood damage should be filed with your flood insurance provider.
- If you have a different insurer for windstorm and hail coverage, file a claim for damage with that company.
It can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re facing significant loss from a storm. Reach out to your insurance agent for help. They’ll usually assign an adjuster or claims specialist to walk you through the process.
How Much Is Hurricane Insurance Texas?
Hurricane insurance is usually a combination of homeowners, windstorm, and flood insurance. The cost will vary depending on your hurricane risk, home’s value, deductible amount, and other factors. Here’s what you might expect to pay:
- Homeowners insurance: $3,645 per year
- Flood insurance: $700 per year
- Windstorm insurance: $1,700 per year
It can seem like a high price to pay. However, it’s a reasonable cost compared to the average Texas hurricane insurance claim of nearly $90,000.
If you’re renting, hurricane insurance can cost significantly less. The average cost of renters insurance is $232 per year, while an NFIP flood insurance policy for renters is around $99 per year.
How to Get Texas Hurricane Insurance
Getting hurricane insurance can be complicated, depending on where you live. The best place to start is usually with your existing homeowners insurance company.
Keep in mind that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. The Texas Department of Insurance recommends you visit FloodSmart.gov or call 1 (800) 427-4661 to get more information and find a flood insurance provider in your area.
Your homeowners insurance may exclude wind and hail coverage if you live in a designated catastrophe area. As of 2021, catastrophe areas exist in 14 coastal counties and parts of Harris County in Texas.
If you can’t get wind and hail coverage from your homeowners insurer or a private insurance company, the TWIA can help. The TWIA has thousands of agents that can set you up with a policy. Find an agent on the TWIA website.
Texas Hurricane Insurance Companies
The best insurance company for hurricane coverage is different for every homeowner. According to the III, the top five Texas homeowners policy writers are State Farm, Allstate, USAA, Farmers, and Liberty Mutual.
For flood insurance, Texans can find local agents by visiting FloodSmart.gov or calling 1 (800) 427-4661.
Windstorm insurance is a little tricky because your homeowners insurance may or may not offer coverage. Some private companies offer wind policies. You might compare options from Safepoint Insurance, Wellington Insurance Group, or Maison Insurance. But some private insurers don’t provide windstorm policies in high-risk areas. In that case, contact the TWIA to buy a policy.
Frequently Asked Questions – Texas Hurricane Insurance
Does my Texas homeowners insurance cover hurricane damage?
Standard homeowners insurance policies cover some damage from hurricanes. They do not cover flood losses and might have exclusions about covering wind or hail damage. Contact your homeowners insurance agent to find out what’s covered and to ask about additional endorsements or policies you can put in place to protect your home if disaster strikes.
How much will I pay for Texas hurricane insurance?
Insurance costs depend on many factors, including your hurricane risk, home’s value, and policy deductible. How much you pay also depends on the type of coverage you purchase. Homeowners insurance costs an average of $3,645 per year in Texas. If you add flood insurance and a windstorm policy, you’ll pay more. Hurricane insurance for renters is much cheaper, and renters can contact their insurance provider or the NFIP to ask about cost and coverage options.
Will I pay a higher deductible for hurricane damage?
Texas is one of 19 states that have a separate deductible for hurricane damage. While you typically pay a flat rate of around $500 or $1,000 for a homeowners insurance claim, hurricane deductibles are based on a percentage of your home’s value. Your policy might have a deductible of up to five percent or more.
Texas Hurricane Insurance: The Bottom Line
Hurricanes in Texas can cause significant damage. To make sure you’re covered, consider how to protect your home and property from hurricane damage.
Remember that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding and may not include wind damage. You may need to purchase flood and windstorm coverage in addition to homeowners insurance. If you aren’t sure how much protection you need, contact your insurance agent to get enough to cover rebuilding your home and replacing your possessions.
Finally, don’t procrastinate. The most common month for hurricanes to make landfall in September, but hurricane season starts in June and runs through November. Review your policies to prepare for a hurricane and get Texas hurricane insurance before disaster strikes.