Hurricane insurance tips offered to Texas homeowners

Hurricane insurance Isaac 2012

The season for these massive tropical storm reaches its official start on June 1, so preparations should be underway. As the official summer storm season gets going on June 1, hurricane insurance tips are now being issued to homeowners in Texas in order to help them to ensure that they have the coverage that they need and that they will be properly prepared to protect themselves and their families. The Insurance Department has issued a checklist to make sure that appropriate coverage is in place. On the checklist, some of…

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91% of Texans to be insured by 2014, thanks to the Affordable Care Act

The Texas Medicaid Director, Billy Millwee, spoke to the House Public Health and Insurance committees this week regarding the Affordable Care Act. The director has been tracking the trends and effects that the federal health care law has birthed in the state and has come to a promising conclusion. Currently, 74% of the state’s residents have some form of health insurance coverage. Millwee claims that when the Affordable Care Act is fully enacted in 2014, this will jump to 91%. By that time, only 2.3 million Texans will have no…

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Texas consumers eligible for health insurance rebates may see a lower amount than originally thought

In Texas, some 690,000 consumers may receive approximately $160 million in insurance rebates in August. The money comes as part of the medical loss ratio provision of the Affordable Care Act, which dictates that insurers must pay at least 80% of the money they collect from premiums on medical care and if they cannot meet this standard they must return the money to policyholders. This may be good news for consumers, but state regulators are looking to cut the amount of rebates by three quarters. The state’s Insurance Department is…

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Farmers Insurance and State Farm look to raise rates on home insurance in Texas

Farmers Insurance Group, one of the largest insurers in the U.S., has unveiled plans to raise rates on homeowner’s insurance policies in Texas. The new rates, if approved by state regulators, will take effect next year. The company cites the growing number of high cost claims that has been streaming in since 2008 as reason for higher premiums. The proposal for higher rates from Farmers Insurance comes on the heels of a similar proposal from State Farm that would have the same effect on homeowner’s policies. The insurer is seeking…

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Texas windstorm insurance legislation inches closer to becoming law

Texas lawmakers have been toiling over changes to the state’s insurance program, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. The program provides affordable coverage to coastal residences and is one of the few organizations through which homeowners can obtain protections from wind damage. Legislators have been debating over the necessity of the program and whether or not the state should continue to support it. A definitive decision had not been made before the end of the legislative session, but Senators were unwilling to let the issue slide into obscurity. After calling for…

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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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Pro business Texas insurance bill passes

The Senate of Texas has passed a new insurance bill that has been the subject of a great amount of controversy. The bill will extend the life of the Texas Department of Insurance and will impose stricter guidelines on the agency itself. Previous to the bill’s passage, a number of amendments were proposed to make the legislation more consumer friendly. Each amendment was rejected, however, as they were deemed unfruitful to the state’s insurance industry. The state’s Democrats were behind the amendments to the bill. They argue that their propositions…

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