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What you need to know about windstorm inspections

If you live along the Texas coast, your property must meet certain building standards to get a windstorm insurance policy through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Here are some things to keep in mind for new construction, repairs, or renovations.

1  Who's affected

Properties in 14 coastal counties and in parts of Harris County east of Highway 146 are in a designated catastrophe area. Homeowners in these areas may not be able to get private insurance that covers windstorm and hail damage. Homeowners who aren’t able to get private coverage can buy a policy through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).

2  Building to code

To buy a TWIA policy, most homes and properties must have a certificate of compliance verifying that the structure meets applicable building codes and can withstand high winds and hail. There are two types of certificates of compliance:

  • A WPI-8 is issued by the Texas Department of Insurance for ongoing construction. These inspections can be done by an appointed Texas licensed professional engineer or TDI windstorm inspector while the work is underway.
  • A WPI-8-C is issued by TWIA for completed construction. These inspections can be done by a Texas licensed professional engineer.

3  Inspection requirements

Most new construction, roof replacements, major repairs, and other alterations require an inspection and certificate of compliance. Examples of projects that do not require an inspection include:

  • Roof repairs of less than 100 square feet that don’t involve decking.
  • Painting, carpeting, cabinets, and other non-structural items.
  • Repairs or replacement of fences, gutters, decorative shutters, steps, and screen doors.
  • Plumbing and electrical repairs.
  • Replacement of glass in windows or doors.

4  Finding an inspector

Make sure to ask your contractor how they will meet the requirements for an inspection and get a certificate of compliance. There are two ways to have your project inspected:

  • During construction, the inspection can be done by an engineer appointed by TDI or a TDI inspector. Check the windstorm website for a list of appointed engineers or call TDI at 800-248-6032.
  • If the construction has already been completed, the inspection can be done by a Texas licensed engineer who will send it to TWIA for a certificate of compliance. Because it’s more difficult to inspect a completed structure for building code compliance, it may cost more.

5  Search for a certificate

You can check for a property’s certificate of compliance (WPI-8) on the TDI Windstorm website. To check for a certificate issued by TWIA (WPI-8-C), call them at 1-800-231-5360. TWIA-issued certificates will not appear on the TDI website.

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Last updated: 6/12/2018