When Hurricane Celia struck the Texas coast on August 3, 1970, many insurance companies ceased to write business in this region. To protect consumers, the state stepped in and in 1971 created the Texas Catastrophe Property Insurance Association (now called the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association).
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is a 'pool' of all property and casualty (P&C) insurance companies authorized to write coverage in Texas. TWIA provides basic wind and hail insurance coverage for Gulf Coast property owners who might otherwise be left uninsured. Because TWIA is the provider of last resort, we do not try to expand our customer base or actively compete against private insurance providers. Chapter 2210 of the Texas Insurance Code defines the structure of TWIA.
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is the state's insurer of last resort for wind and hail coverage in the fourteen (14) coastal counties and parts of Harris County (east of Highway 146). TWIA provides wind and hall coverage when insurance companies exclude it from their homeowners and other property policies sold to coastal residents. TWIA employees are committed to promote hurricane safety and education, together with the development and enforcement of coastal building codes, in an effort to save lives and property. We strive to achieve the highest standards of personal and business ethics and, in a positive working environment, are dedicated to providing efficient, friendly and effective customer service.
TWIA is similar to other insurance carriers in that we have a written contract that specifies the extent and restrictions of the insurance coverage we provide. We collect premiums and pay valid claims. Our policies are distributed to policyholders owning property in 14 first-tier counties (and parts of Harris County) along the Texas Gulf Coast through insurance agents, brokers and direct writers.
Traditional, for-profit insurance companies must assess risk differently than we do. Generally, when estimated risk is low, traditional markets provide windstorm coverage for high-risk areas. They may withdraw from this territory after catastrophic losses occur. When risk is higher and traditional markets withdraw, TWIA absorb policies no longer written by other carriers. Because we are a provider of last resort, it is very likely that we will not have the most extensive coverage or the lowest prices.
TWIA employees are committed to promoting hurricane safety and education and the development and enforcement of coastal building codes in an effort to save lives and property. We strive to achieve the highest standards of personal and business ethics in a positive working environment and are dedicated to providing efficient, friendly and effective customer service.
One way that TWIA differs from other carriers is that we do not have agents contracted to sell policies for us. By state statute, agents properly licensed through the Texas Department of Insurance(TDI) represent the insured (and not TWIA) in the insurance-buying transaction for coverage placed with TWIA. This also means agents have no binding authority on behalf of TWIA, and only TWIA employees can bind coverage on behalf of the TWIA.
Board of Directors
TWIA is governed by a nine-member board of directors comprised of five insurance company representatives, two agent representatives and two consumer representatives. The board meets on a quarterly basis.