In Texas, the WPI-8 certificate, often referred to as the “Windstorm Certificate” or “Windstorm Inspection Certificate,” is a document that shows a particular building or structure has been inspected and certified to meet the windstorm building code requirements set by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). These requirements are designed to ensure that structures are built or modified to withstand the forces of windstorms, especially in certain coastal areas that are more susceptible to hurricanes and strong winds.
How Can I Tell if I’m Already Certified?
The TDI provides a tool that allows Texans to search for the certification status of a certain address. You can also try this tool: WPI Certificate Look Up. However, this tool only searches for WPI-8 and WPI-8-E certificates. If you need proof of a WPI-8-C, the Texas Department of Insurance encourages you to call the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association at 1-800-231-5360.Here’s some more context about the WPI-8 certificate:
Source: The Texas Department of Insurance
Here’s some more context about the WPI-8 certificate:
- Where it’s Required: The WPI-8 certificate is primarily required for properties located in designated catastrophe areas along the Texas Gulf Coast. If you’re building, adding to, renovating, or repairing a structure in these areas, you might need to have the construction inspected and certified to meet the TDI’s windstorm building code.
- Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA): For property owners in the designated catastrophe areas, obtaining a WPI-8 certificate is often necessary to qualify for windstorm insurance through the TWIA, which is an insurer of last resort for wind and hail coverage in certain high-risk coastal areas.
- Inspection Process: An appointed TDI windstorm inspector or a qualified engineer can inspect the construction work to ensure it meets the necessary windstorm building code requirements. Once the construction passes inspection, the WPI-8 certificate is issued.
- WPI-8 vs. WPI-8-C: There are two types of windstorm certificates in Texas:
- WPI-8: Issued when the TDI inspects and certifies the construction.
- WPI-8-C: Issued when a qualified engineer inspects and certifies the construction. The process for the WPI-8-C was introduced to streamline and expedite windstorm certifications by allowing private sector involvement.
- Importance for Property Sale/Purchase: If you’re buying or selling property in one of the designated catastrophe areas in Texas, the presence (or absence) of a WPI-8 or WPI-8-C certificate can be an important factor in the transaction. A property without the certificate might not be eligible for TWIA coverage, which can be a significant concern for potential buyers.
If you’re undertaking construction in one of Texas’s designated catastrophe areas, it’s crucial to be aware of the windstorm certification requirements to ensure you’re in compliance and to maintain eligibility for windstorm insurance coverage.