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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.

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“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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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Despite Crises from Salmonella Outbreak to West Blast, Rick Perry’s Pushed Freer Rein for Business

Some people saw it as a critical health and safety issue: Up to 20,000 farm workers per year were getting poisoned by agricultural pesticides, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and new regulations were needed to protect them.

But there was another side to the argument, and Rick Perry took it.

“American business in general, and American agriculture specifically, have had enough of bureaucracy at both the federal and state levels, but especially bureaucracy out of Washington,” Perry said at a congressional hearing. “The men and women who feed and clothe this nation are suffocating under the weight of mounting federal regulations.” (more…)

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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…)

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Texas Home Insurance Rates Are No Longer No. 1

Texas homeowners are no longer paying the highest insurance rates in the nation. But their premiums rank third among the states and are still well above the national average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The latest figures from the NAIC, released Monday, indicate that two other coastal states — Florida and Louisiana — now rank first and second in premiums paid by homeowners. Those states were just below Texas a year ago, but both saw larger annual rate increases than Texas in recent years.

The average annual cost of the most commonly sold policy in Texas was listed at $1,578, well above the national average of $978. That figure represented an increase of about 1 percent from last year. (more…)

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WEST EXPLOSION: It could happen again

In the ritual of modern disaster politics, catastrophes are closely followed by elected officials on the scene to praise local grit and promise swift relief.

Serious remedies and sweeping reforms, in many instances, arrive next.

The aftermath of the April 17 explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. proved in part to be no exception. Within days of the blast, President Barack Obama came to McLennan County. So did Gov. Rick Perry and both U.S. senators from Texas.

Relief has come in the form of government checks. The town is rebuilding.

Major reforms, however, have yet to be designed, much less implemented. (more…)

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The Life and Fines of Nathan Hecht

Nathan Hecht, the recently sworn-in Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, is a disgrace: a judge who ignores the spirit of the law. For five years now, he has appealed a $29,000 fine assessed by the Texas Ethics Commission. The commission says that Hecht received a discount for his legal bills with the firm Jackson Walker, which, according to the commission, amounted to a campaign contribution. It is now the longest-running appeal of a state ethics fine. (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 »