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Before You Sign a Real Estate Sales Contract in Galveston Find Out if Windstorm & Flood Insurance is Available for a Specific Property Before You Buy!

You just closed on a coastal home of your dreams and find out that you cannot get wind insurance for the property and your mortgage company is wanting to sell the property ASAP! It is critical that your new property is certified by the Texas Dept. of Insurance Windstorm Division and the property has a complete windstorm insurance certificate (WPI-8)

A windstorm insurance certificate (WPI-8) for the home means the property was designed, inspected during construction and certified by the windstorm engineer hired by the builder (or owner) to meet the required current windstorm construction codes with all the necessary straps, anchors, bolts, hold-downs and nailing. This includes the foundation, roof shingles, exterior and interior walls and roof structure for the wind loads to be imposed.

Some newer properties do not have windstorm certificates due to builder neglect which makes insurance far more expensive and, in some cases, doubtful. This may appear to have a substantial market value impact on the property. If a high wind loss occurs, you will not be covered by your basic homeowner’s insurance.

Older properties currently enrolled into the windstorm program without current (WPI-8) certificates due to older build standards may continue to obtain insurance but at much a higher yearly cost.

All properties (regardless of age) in the Gulf Coast should be checked for windstorm insurance certificates or windstorm availability as they also apply to renovations, repairs, re-roofing, siding, door and window replacements, patio covers and additions to name a few. If it was not approved, then it may be considered substandard construction.

In one case it took the insurance carrier 5 years to figure out there was no windstorm certificate. To put it simply, if you do not have all the insurance necessary to protect the property and the loan from windstorm, the lender can step in and mandate action. Some state insurance laws allow insurers up to 60 days after issuing a policy to thoroughly review all the underwriting information, including CLUE reports, and cancel a policy if new information comes to light that makes the risk unacceptable to the insurer. A homeowner’s policy must be in place at closing and since many homebuyers leave purchasing a homeowner’s policy at the last minute, the insurer may not have checked all the underwriting material by the time closing takes place. This may leave issues that could arise after the home is closed and the buyer has moved in.

The windstorm construction program started in the mid-1980’s in Texas through the Texas Dept. of Insurance. The windstorm certification process starts before the foundation is poured and onward through construction.

Contact the Texas Dept. of Insurance Windstorm Division for more information at 1-800-248-6032 and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association at (512) 899-4900.

  • No WPI-8? This should have been found out before you bought and closed in the transaction process. There should have been an inspection during a new build construction, remodel or repair and then certified by a windstorm engineer that the builder, roofer or remodeler followed the requirements before he can certify it. Sometimes addresses get lost or entered as a typo so call TDI and ask. If your immediate neighbors have one so should you. Call the builders engineer and ask.

All Sapphire Sea Homes are engineered to the current industry and government standards required to obtain the lowest wind and flood insurance rates.  Call us to learn more about how to minimize your coastal home insurance cost.  You can reach us at 214-451-7579.