Yesterday, in anticipation of today's board meeting for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, 7 state lawmakers called on the TWIA to reject "any and all rate increases or hikes" and also requested that they finalize any outstanding insurance company assessments.
Unfortunately, the calls went ignored. Today, the TWIA voted to raise commercial and residential property insurance rates by 10 percent.
In a statement, the Executive Director of Texas Watch Ware Wendell said, "Coastal property owners have been hit with a triple whammy. First, Harvey's devastation. Then low, slow, and no pay insurance abuse tactics. And now a rate hike. The coast is an economic engine for our state. Our fellow Texans who live and work there are being forced to take it on the chin again and again while the insurance industry is shielded."
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association Under Fire
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is an insurer created to provide windstorm insurance for property owners on Texas' Gulf Coast—a region where many people are unable to find or afford policies from anyone else. However, the insurer has been under fire for months for deferring, delaying, and denying claims from homeowners devastated by Hurricane Harvey. These new criticisms have been added to the list of accusations and funding issues the TWIA has faced in the past.
Lawmakers have been calling for an investigation into the TWIA's practices and performance—this recent board meeting may magnify concerns that the insurer-of-last-resort is mishandling its funding.
For homeowners, the TWIA's rate hike will be a bitter pill to swallow. Homeowners and business owners alike have been calling on the TWIA to pay out valid claims more quickly. One homeowner was brought to tears as her adjuster walked around pointing out everything they wouldn't cover. She waited months before her insurer paid her $22,000 to fix her a roof—more than 10 times what they originally offered.
"Residents of the Coastal Bend suffered devastating losses in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, TWIA refuses to honor its promises when victims of Harvey need it most, instead delaying, denying and underpaying valid claims," Attorney Kurt Arnold said in response to the decision. "For many families and business owners, these tactics have severely hindered efforts to recover and rebuild. With hurricane season upon us, residents are now faced with an additional, unthinkable burden—TWIA is raising premiums and reducing coverage. We aim to hold TWIA accountable for putting profits ahead of the welfare of our communities and taking advantage of Texans."
If you still haven't received what you need from the TWIA, call Arnold & Itkin to review your options with a lawyer. The call is free, and we may be able to help you get the money you need to rebuild—all it takes is one free consultation. Our South Texas insurance claims lawyers devote our careers to fighting practices like the TWIA's. For property owners in Rockport, Port Aransas, or Corpus Christi, the TWIA rate hike will only make recovery harder and slower. They've already paid for their claims. Give them what they need.
Call (888) 400-2101 or use our online form to schedule a time with our windstorm claim attorneys.