Texas insurance regulators looking to restructure state’s Windstorm Insurance Association

The Texas Department of Insurance is looking to restructure the state’s Windstorm Insurance Association. The state-run insurance group provides protection from wind damage, something that many of the state’s private insurance companies do not offer. Like similar organizations in other states, the Windstorm Insurance Association has fallen prey to mounting debt. Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman is now looking for approval from legislators to hire a private consultant to aid in the program’s restructuring. The program was originally meant to be a last resort for state residents who could not find…

Read More

Disaster declaration renewed in Texas as devastating drought persists

Texas Governor Rick Perry has renewed a declaration of disaster regarding the state’s ongoing and costly drought. Last year, the declaration was renewed several times, as the drought showed no signs of relenting. According to the National Weather Service, 2011 was the driest year Texas has ever known and the second hottest. The conditions ignited several wildfires throughout the state that caused damage to hundreds of homes and ruining thousands of acres of land. Insurers have been battling the disaster as fervently as state officials, but there seems to be…

Read More

State Farm petitions Texas insurance regulators to deem the state’s wildfires an official catastrophe

Texas has been battling an outbreak of wildfires since the beginning of September. The fires have wrought carnage throughout the state, burning more than 1 million acres and more than 1,000 homes. The catastrophe has put enormous pressure on the state’s insurers who have been struggling to mitigate the damage caused by the fires. The disaster is so serious that State Farm Insurance has petitioned the Texas Department of Insurance to designate the wildfires as an official catastrophe. The petition was submitted to the Department on September 12, but regulators…

Read More

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…

Read More

Homeowners in the Lone Star State may want to reconsider flood insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is saying that Texas residents are not prepared for flooding in the state. According to federal officials, only 8% of Texans have flood insurance and, given the frequency of recent catastrophic events, that is not good enough. Most insurance policies do not cover flooding and homeowners will have to go through a third party to obtain appropriate coverage. “The most alarming thing we have found is the lack of people who have flood insurance,” says Philip Beasly, FEMA’s director of external affairs. FEMA is…

Read More

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…

Read More