Home & Auto Insurance

Eye on Texas Blog, Latest Headlines

News of the Week: Hurricane Season, Insurance Surcharges, Abuse of the Elderly & Disabled

This week’s installment of News of Week features stories to help Texans prepare for Hurricane season (or anything that could lead to a major insurance claim), insurance companies avoiding their obligations while coastal property owners face higher insurance costs, and evidence of abuse at state and private assisted living centers. (more…)

Eye on Texas Blog

5 Things You Need to Do to Get Ready for Hurricane Season (or Wildfires or Hail Storms or Tornadoes)

Hurricane season begins June 1st. Texans along the coast need to prepare for the possibility of having to file a major insurance claim. Same goes for the rest of the state too.

Whether you live on the coast, the Panhandle, or anywhere in between, you need to be prepared for a catastrophic event that results in a claim on your property insurance.

Here are 5 things every Texan needs to do to protect themselves and their property. (more…)

Eye on Texas Blog, Press Releases

Cart Before the Horse

UPDATE (5/23/14):
TDI adopted a rule today that imposes a surcharge on home and auto insurance policies  in the 14 coastal counties. Thus far, insurers have not been forced to fulfill their legal obligations to cover the final level of financing of Hurricane Ike claims. We reiterate our strong support for requiring private insurance companies to meet their obligations under the law before any additional costs are borne by policyholders.

ORIGINAL POST (3/10/14):
In order to raise funds for the beleaguered Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, regulators at TDI are considering rules to impose a surcharge on property insurance policies sold along the Texas coast. This means higher insurance costs for homeowners and drivers in an area of the state hit hard by sky-high insurance costs (not to mention the severe restrictions on policyholder legal rights if/when the next storm hits).

Instead of putting more of the burden on policyholders, TDI should force private insurance companies to hold up their end of the bargain. Back when Hurricane Ike hit, the law said that insurance companies should bear the burden of the storm’s insured losses. Instead, they’ve been let off the hook while policyholders have been picking up the tab.

The folks at TDI are getting the cart before the horse. In our comments to the agency, we say that before even considering another hike in the cost of insurance, private insurance companies should be forced to fulfill their obligations. (more…)

Latest Headlines

VIDEO: Texas Home Insurance Premiums Among Highest in U.S.

When you renew your home owners insurance this year, expect a bigger price tag. Those hails storms, tornadoes, grass fires and hurricanes across Texas are to blame.

[...]

“The cost of the bad weather in Texas has already been priced into the cost of our home insurance. It has been priced into the cost of our home insurance for a long time. So for insurance companies and their lobbyists to suggest that we need to dramatically increase the cost of insurance this year, next year and the year after that because of weather, just doesn’t make sense. We’re already paying for that,” Alex Winslow with Texas Watch said. (more…)

Latest Headlines

Senator Urges Insurance Commissioner to Reject Rate Hikes by “Big Three” Home Insurers

A state senator called on Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber Friday to reject premium increases from the state’s three largest home insurers. Those increases, filed by Allstate, Farmers and State Farm, are currently under review by Rathgeber and the Texas Department of Insurance. The increases, ranging from 6.5 percent to nearly 15 percent, will impact more than two million homeowners, according to Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston. Allstate and Farmers are already implementing the higher rates with policy renewals this year, while State Farm customers will see higher premiums beginning in February. (more…)

Latest Headlines

EDITORIAL: State Officials Must Not Roll Over on Insurance Rate Hikes

The state’s three largest home insurers are seeking major increases in premiums, and the Texas Department of Insurance and new Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber need to stand up for consumers. The agency can reject any proposed rate hikes it regards as excessive, and that looks likely with this latest round of increases. (more…)

Latest Headlines

State Farm, Farmers, Allstate Raising Home Insurance Rates

The big three home insurers in Texas are ringing in the new year with hefty premium hikes for their policyholders.

Allstate, Farmers and State Farm have notified the Texas Department of Insurance that they are increasing rates for most current and new customers by an average 6.5 percent to 15 percent to offset projected losses. More than 2 million homeowners will be affected.

The Insurance Department will review the rate hikes. It can reject any increases deemed excessive. (more…)

Latest Headlines

EDITORIAL: Insurance Rates Still Call for State Action

The good news, if you can call it that, is that Texas no longer has the highest homeowners insurance rates in the nation. Unfortunately, we’ve only slipped to No. 3.

The average annual cost of the most commonly sold policy in Texas is now $1,578 as compared to $1,933 in Florida and $1,672 in Louisiana. The national average is $978.

The slight decline is welcome in Texas, but misleading. For most consumers the bottom line is that annual premiums are still going up as the coverage for those policies declines. (more…)

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 »