The fate of the Texas state run wind pool still undecided

Texas lawmakers will be convening in a special session of Senate after they were unable to determine the fate of the state’s Windstorm Insurance Association. The state-run insurance program provides coverage to homeowners in coastal areas that are prone to hurricanes. A bill to reform the program was before the state Senate last months, but legislators were unable to reach a compromise regarding the provisions of the bill. Now, the Legislature will be in session until a verdict can be reached. One of the provisions of the bill to reform…

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Current slab claim process under review in Texas

Texas lawmakers approved revisions to the state’s windstorm fund this week. The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, a pseudo-government agency in charge of providing insurance coverage to coastal properties prone to hurricane damage, has been the subject of debate amongst legislators for some time now. Senate approved reform will address several issues, including new methods to determine whether damage is caused by wind or water. The reform bill, House Bill 272, was passed unanimously by the Senate. One of the issues to be addressed by the system reform is how the…

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Texas Department of Insurance receives long awaited extension

Lawmakers in Texas voted to extend the longevity of the state’s Department of Insurance. The department will also enjoy more authority over the insurance industry and will be able to impose stricter penalties when companies challenge the agency’s rate assertions and lose. The relevance of the Department had been debated for some time before a decision was reached Monday. Many legislators say that the ruling was long overdue. According to Texas law, state agencies must be evaluated for effectiveness every 12 years. Legislators determine whether these agencies provide a necessary…

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Texas drought costing billions in losses

While much of the South in inundated with water, Texas is suffering from one of the worst droughts in recent history. Last week, the level of drought rose a staggering 22%, putting the level at 48%. There have been more than 9,000 wildfires throughout the state, causing damage to some 400 homes and burning 2.2 million acres of land. Texas officials are seeking aid from the federal government to help mitigate the expected $3 billion in losses because of the severe drought. Farmers across the state are reporting damage to…

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Texas insurance bill promises transparency

Texas is making a move to ensure the transparency of the state’s insurance industry. Legislators are toiling over a bill, dubbed the Texas Insurance Awareness and Affordability Act, which will require insurers to provide exhaustive information regarding any changes in policies. There have been growing concerns about how insurers determine their rate hikes recently, driving demand for more transparency. The bill is seeking to garner explanations on proposed premium increases in a language that everyone can understand. State insurers would be requires, upon changes in policy, to provide a side-by-side…

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Highest property insurance rates in the United States found in Texas

On average, a Texas homeowner is paying $1460 a year for their property insurance, while the rest of the country is paying $791. With paying nearly double the cost of insurance and getting half the coverage as an average homeowner’s policy package – it’s no wonder, many are outraged.  “This is what Texas homeowners can expect as long as we have a system that allows insurance companies to dictate the terms of the market,” stated Alex Winslow of Texas Watch, an Austin-based consumer group. “Until and unless we enact comprehensive…

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