A-1 ENGINEERING, LLC                      

Structural + Civil Engineering Consultants                    Serving San Antonio and Austin

TDI Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions by residents along the Texas coastline. Any questions please contact our Structural Engineers in San Antonio or Structural Engineers in Austin: (updated June 2011)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Is the Texas Department of Insurance policy already in my typical home owners policy?

No. Most insurance policies for homes within the counties listed above do not cover hail damage or damage due to high winds. This is why the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association offers a policy to cover area where commercial insurance companies will not insure.

2. Is the Texas Department of Insurance policy free?

No. The policy does have a premium and you must pay to get your house inspected by a structural engineer that is appointed by the state.

3. I just bought my house, how can I find out if this house has a policy through the Texas Department of Insurance?

Search for your property on this site:

Designate counties that qualify for windstorm insurance: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/wind/index.html

TDI suggested questions for your realtor: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/wind/faqrealtor.html

4. I just bought my house and the seller gave me the insurance certificate from the State, do I still need an inspection?

Technically no. However, we highly recommend an inspection by a structural engineer to check if the connections, roof, framing, walls and foundation are not damaged to a point that would give the State reason to deny a claim for future damage. Keep in mind that the state does send out insurance adjusters to investigate each claim and if they determine that the construction did not meet the minimum design and construction standard (even if you have a certificate of insurance) they can deny your claim.

5. I want to buy a house on the coast, should I have it inspected by a structural engineer before I buy it?

We think so. To have a house inspected by a structural engineer to ensure it still meets the Texas Department of Insurance specifications is invaluable. Consider that if the building has connections (die-down straps, roof tie-down downs) or elements that are damaged the State may deny a claim and ultimately leaving you with bill for repairs. Any repairs to the property to bring the house up to the State specification may help you in negotiating the price of the house.

6. How does A-1 Engineering help me through the process of getting a certificate of insurance or maintaining my certificate?

We are not insurance agents or adjusters.

7. Where do I apply for a homeowners windstorm policy?

The policies are managed and underwritten through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

You can apply for a policy through the following link: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/submissions/form_submissions/twiaapp05052010.html

8. Where can I find the design and construction standard for the Texas Department of Insurance?

Follow this link: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/wind/index.html

Keep in mind that there are two methods of inspection. The first method allows the structural engineer to inspect your house using the prescriptive construction outlined in the linked code. We highly recommend that your builder or person performing the repairs follow the prescriptive details for construction that are shown in the code. Simply putting together a building using construction “habits” may leave you building un-insurable if it does not meet the code requirements. For this reason, we recommend that you contact A-1 Engineering to help guide your contractor in the design stage.

The second method for inspection is if the building was designed by a licensed structural engineer. The important point to stress is to ensure your engineer is a structural engineer and that they understand the requirements needed for insurability of the building. The engineers at A-1 Engineering have extensive experience in designing with steel, concrete, masonry, wood and composite material. Our engineers have designed multi-story structures throughout Texas along with residential homes along the coast line.