How Do I Get a Windstorm Certificate in Texas?
If you own property in coastal areas of Texas, you may be required to obtain a Windstorm Certificate to protect against potential damages caused by high winds. This certification is issued by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) and is necessary for homeowners to qualify for windstorm insurance coverage. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a Windstorm Certificate in Texas:
1. Determine if you are located in a windstorm area: The TDI has designated certain areas along the Texas coast as windstorm areas. To find out if your property falls within these areas, you can use the interactive map available on the TDI website.
2. Hire a licensed engineer: To obtain a Windstorm Certificate, you will need to hire a licensed professional engineer who is authorized by the TDI to perform windstorm inspections. The engineer will assess your property’s compliance with the Texas Windstorm Building Code.
3. Schedule an inspection: Contact a licensed engineer and schedule an inspection of your property. The engineer will evaluate various aspects of your property, including the roof, windows, doors, and any other potential windstorm vulnerabilities.
4. Prepare for the inspection: Before the engineer arrives, make sure your property is accessible and all relevant documents, such as construction plans and permits, are readily available.
5. Address any necessary repairs: If the engineer identifies any deficiencies during the inspection, you will need to address them before applying for a Windstorm Certificate. This may involve making repairs or modifications to ensure your property meets the required standards.
6. Submit application: Once your property is deemed compliant with the Texas Windstorm Building Code, you can submit an application for a Windstorm Certificate to the TDI. The application can be completed online through the TDI website.
7. Pay the required fee: Along with your application, you will need to pay the applicable fee. The fee varies depending on the size and type of your property. You can find the fee schedule on the TDI website.
8. Await the TDI’s review: After submitting your application, the TDI will review it to ensure all necessary information and requirements are met. This process may take several weeks, so it’s important to be patient.
9. Receive your Windstorm Certificate: If your application is approved, the TDI will issue a Windstorm Certificate for your property. This certificate demonstrates compliance with the Texas Windstorm Building Code and allows you to qualify for windstorm insurance coverage.
10. Obtain windstorm insurance: With your Windstorm Certificate in hand, you can now contact insurance providers that offer windstorm coverage in Texas. It’s crucial to secure appropriate insurance to protect your property from potential damages caused by windstorms.
11. Renew your certificate: Windstorm Certificates are typically valid for a period of one year. To maintain coverage, you will need to renew your certificate annually. The renewal process involves submitting updated information and paying the required fee.
12. Stay informed: It’s essential to stay informed about any changes or updates to the Texas Windstorm Building Code. The TDI periodically revises the code to enhance windstorm protection standards. By staying informed, you can ensure your property remains compliant and adequately protected.
Common Questions about Windstorm Certificates in Texas:
1. Is a Windstorm Certificate mandatory for all properties in Texas?
No, Windstorm Certificates are only required for properties located in designated windstorm areas along the Texas coast.
2. How much does a Windstorm Certificate cost?
The cost of a Windstorm Certificate varies depending on the size and type of the property. You can find the fee schedule on the TDI website.
3. Can I perform the windstorm inspection myself?
No, windstorm inspections must be conducted by a licensed professional engineer who is authorized by the TDI.
4. How long does it take to obtain a Windstorm Certificate?
The process of obtaining a Windstorm Certificate can take several weeks, as it involves inspections, application review, and approval by the TDI.
5. Can I apply for windstorm insurance without a Windstorm Certificate?
No, a Windstorm Certificate is necessary to qualify for windstorm insurance coverage.
6. What happens if my property fails the windstorm inspection?
If your property fails the windstorm inspection, you will need to address the identified deficiencies before applying for a Windstorm Certificate.
7. Can I appeal a decision made by the TDI regarding my Windstorm Certificate application?
Yes, you can appeal a decision made by the TDI regarding your Windstorm Certificate application. The appeal process is outlined on the TDI website.
8. Are Windstorm Certificates transferable to new property owners?
Yes, Windstorm Certificates can be transferred to new property owners. The transfer process involves notifying the TDI and providing the necessary documentation.
9. Do I need to renew my Windstorm Certificate annually?
Yes, Windstorm Certificates need to be renewed on an annual basis to maintain coverage.
10. Can I obtain windstorm insurance without a Windstorm Certificate?
No, windstorm insurance providers require a valid Windstorm Certificate to provide coverage.
11. Are there any exemptions from the Windstorm Certificate requirement?
Certain types of properties, such as agricultural structures and temporary buildings, may be exempt from the Windstorm Certificate requirement. Consult the TDI for specific exemptions.
12. Can I obtain a Windstorm Certificate if my property is not in a designated windstorm area?
No, Windstorm Certificates are only issued for properties located in designated windstorm areas along the Texas coast.