The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association estimates it will pay about $1.13 billion in claims related to Hurricane Harvey.

The association has received about 73,000 claims as of Nov. 20 and estimates it would cost about $1.13 billion to cover those losses, said Alana Curtis, spokeswoman for the association.

Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Rockport on Aug. 25 with sustained winds of about 130 mph, but a substantial amount of damage was caused by catastrophic flooding as the storm moved slowly through Texas from Aug. 26-30.

Rockport is about 200 miles south of Galveston County. In the 72 or so hours that followed the landfall, Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain in some parts of the county, swelling creeks and bayous and flooding 19,000 homes.

Much of Harvey’s wind damage occurred south of Galveston County, near Rockport.

“TWIA’s policies only cover losses arising from wind and hail, and exclude losses due to flooding,” association spokeswoman Jennifer Armstrong said.

The state commissioner of insurance designates the association’s coverage area of the 14 first-tier coastal counties along the Gulf Coast and a small portion of Harris County. It does not provide coverage for Houston, where a large number of homes and businesses sustained damage, Armstrong said.

The association had struggled to recover after Hurricane Ike eroded funds to the dangerously low level of about $1.5 billion, officials said.

This year’s funding is the highest since 2009, Armstrong said in July.

The windstorm association was established by the Texas Legislature in 1971 in response to regional market conditions following Hurricane Celia in August 1970. Its purpose is to provide coverage for hail damage and windstorm insurance on the Texas seacoast.

The windstorm association is a residual insurer of last resort and not a direct competitor in the voluntary insurance market. It provides coverage to residential and commercial properties in certain designated parts of the Texas coast.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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(3) comments

Doyle Beard

With these astronomical costs windstorm will evently be too costly for the average homeowner to afford.

Jean Casanave

With flood, windstorm, homeowners insurance and the school taxes, I can see where home ownership will be a challenge for many families; and people could end up "house poor" in eternal debt.

Ken Hufstetler

After hurricane Ike TWIA funds dropped to $1.5 billion. The article doesn't disclose the current fund balance?

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