Health & Safety Code Section 193.010
Certificate of Death by Catastrophe
(a)In this section, “catastrophe” means the occurrence of a substantial force that causes widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property and from which it is not reasonable to assume that a person could survive, including:
(1)flood, earthquake, tornado, or other natural disaster;
(2)explosion, fire, or destruction of a building;
(3)the crash of a motor vehicle, train, or airplane involving more than one person; or
(4)the overtaking of more than one person by fire, water, earth, or other substance.
(b)A local registrar shall issue and file a certificate of death by catastrophe for a person if:
(1)an affidavit is submitted to the registrar stating that:
(A)the person was last reasonably believed to be at the scene of a catastrophe;
(B)at least 10 days have passed since the day of the catastrophe;
(C)a diligent search has been made by a governmental authority and the authority has concluded the search for the person;
(D)the catastrophe was not intentionally caused by the person; and
(i)does not know whether the person is alive or dead;
(ii)has not received any information about the person’s status since the catastrophe and, barring the person’s death, would have received information about the person’s status;
(iii)is not aware of any custody or guardianship issues involving the person, if the person is a minor or a person for whom a guardian has been appointed; and
(iv)is not aware of any reasonable motive for the person to disappear or for another person to abduct the person; and
(2)a written statement signed by an agent of the governmental authority that conducts a search under Subdivision (1)(C) is submitted to the registrar stating that the governmental authority conducted and concluded a search for the person.
(c)The department may issue a certificate of death by catastrophe for a minor or a person for whom a guardian has been appointed who is the subject of a custody or guardianship dispute only if all parties to the dispute submit an affidavit under Subsection (b).
(d)An insurer shall accept as proof of death of an insured a certificate of death by catastrophe issued under this section.
Section 193.010 — Certificate of Death by Catastrophe,
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.193.htm#193.010 (accessed Dec. 2, 2023).