Texas Wind Insurance Assoc. Asks for 5% Increase

August 23, 2010

Some homeowners insurance in Texas is about to get a little bit more expensive, as the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) has filed for five percent increases in both commercial and residential rates, to go into effect on the first of next year.

TWIA is the state’s “last resort” insurance company, providing wind and hail coverage in 14 of the Lone Star State’s coastal counties, as well as part of Harris county. The TWIA wind and hail coverage is for property owners whose primary insurance excludes such coverage.

As required by Texas Insurance Code, TWIA is obligated to make their annual rate filing with the state Department of Insurance by August 15th of each year. While actuarial data recommended increases of 27 percent and 36 percent for residential and commercial properties, respectively, the group’s board opted to file only for a five percent increase instead.

Jerry Hagins, speaking on behalf of the Department of Insurance, said that it’s too early to say whether or not the insurance commissioner will approve or disapprove the rate increase request, but the commissioner’s approval is not actually required, since only increases that are greater than five percent need commissioner approval within 60 days. Filings of five percent or less, like this one, don’t have to be approved, though the commissioner does have 30 days to disapprove of it.

If the commissioner does not disapprove, the rate increase will take effect automatically.