Hurricane Harvey has been devastating to many communities. The damage to residential structures is widespread and recovery will take time. As policyholders rebuild, we thought this would be a good time to remind everyone about the eligibility and insurability guidelines that apply to New Business submissions to the Texas FAIR Plan Association.
In order to be eligible for a TFPA policy, applicants and properties must meet certain criteria defined by the Texas Legislature.
- Applicants must have been denied coverage by at least two insurance companies licensed to write and actually writing residential property insurance in Texas.
- An applicant is not eligible for coverage if the applicant has a current homeowners or other residential property policy, has a renewal offer, or has received a valid offer of comparable residential property insurance from an insurance company licensed in Texas.
- A policyholder must reapply for coverage in the voluntary market every two years.
Although the FAIR Plan is considered a market of last resort, applications submitted for coverage are subject to underwriting guidelines for characteristics of ownership, condition, occupancy, maintenance, and liability exposure.
An applicant may be denied coverage for any of the following reasons:
- Property condemned due to condition of the property
- Property in disrepair or with existing damage
- Vacant property
- Property with excessive or unusual liability exposure (e.g. dangerous animal, pool or trampoline not within a fenced yard)
- Applicant who has a conviction for arson, fraud, or other insurance related offenses
- Applicant with more than eight paid claims (excluding glass claims) within the past three years
- Mobile home, unless the wheels are removed and the mobile home is tied down
- Farm or ranch used for business
- Any dwelling occupied for business use
This means that structures must be insurable and must meet reasonable underwriting standards, including confirmation that any damages from Hurricane Harvey or other storms have been repaired. On an exception basis, structures damaged by Hurricane Harvey may be submitted if the repairs are expected to be completed within the first 120 days of coverage.
In respect to TFPA renewal policies that have incurred a loss during Hurricane Harvey, Underwriting will work with the agent and policyholder and make reasonable accommodations to provide continuous coverage while the structure is undergoing repairs.