Eye on Texas Blog

State Farm: Insurance Bandit

Posted September 12, 2012
Issues:

You may have seen the headlines over the weekend. Insurance giant State Farm filed a 20% rate hike with the Texas Department of Insurance. This is the largest single rate increase in recent history.

Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has a very small window – just 30 days – to block State Farm from implementing this enormous rate increase. So, write her today and tell her to reject this rate hike!

State Farm announced this rate increase the same day that Texas prosecutors revealed they were conducting a criminal investigation into allegations that State Farm pocketed $1,000,000,000 that should have gone to pay claims after Hurricane Ike. The arrogance is astonishing.

The Texas insurance market has become the Wild West. Insurance industry bandits like State Farm are picking the pockets of innocent families while the sheriff (aka the insurance commissioner) looks the other way. State Farm and the other big insurance companies continue to raise rates and slash coverage because they know they can get away with it.

As the biggest insurance company in Texas, State Farm throws its weight around to get what it wants:

    • This latest rate hike is on top of another increase earlier this year. The cumulative increase will be 31.5% – more than $400 more out of pocket – for the average State Farm customer.
    • Prosecutors are investigating State Farm for possible criminal violations in how it paid roof damage claims following Hurricane Ike.
    • State Farm has drastically increased deductibles on its customers. So, while the company is jacking up its rates, it is slashing coverage.
    • State Farm has refused to comply with a 2003 state order to lower its rates and refund overcharges. A panel of judges in Austin are currently reviewing the decade-long legal dispute.

Even if you don’t have your insurance through State Farm, speak up! State Farm is the largest home insurance carrier in Texas. You can bet that if they get away with this, then the other companies will surely follow

Until and unless Commissioner Kitzman and lawmakers crack down on these out of control insurance companies, Texas homeowners will keep getting squeezed by skyrocketing rates on stripped-down policies. Tell her to stop them in their tracks!

Research & Reports
Research & Reports

The Texas Watch Foundation, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization, conducts research and public education activities on consumer law, consumer protection and civil justice issues. Read More »

Court Watch
Court Watch

Court Watch, a program of the Foundation, documents the role and impact of the Texas civil court system on Texas families and Texas public policy. Read More »