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Insurance Department Rejects TWIA Rate Hike

State Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) announced on his Twitter feed Friday, Jan. 8, that the Texas Department of Insurance rejected the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association’s bid for a 5 percent rate hike on its coastal customers. Screen-captured image

The Texas Department of Insurance rejected a 5 percent windstorm insurance rate hike recently sent to it for approval by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. In a jubilant Twitter post, state Rep. Todd Hunter announced the decision, which was made Friday, Jan. 8.

“We have won again,” he said in the Twitter video. “Congratulations to the coast and congratulations to everybody who helped us stop that wrong rate hike.”

Hunter was one of several local legislators who sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 10, 2020, asking him to abate the hike as he has done in the past. The TWIA board approved the hike in a surprise move at its Dec. 8 quarterly meeting.

None of the agenda items specifically stated that a rate hike would be under consideration or that a vote was possible. In fact, the vote came when the board was discussing a recommendation from its actuarial committee to study the issue further. The headlines the day after that meeting read: TWIA Committee Recommends No Rate Hike.

“In my opinion, they did it without proper public notice and input,” Hunter continued. “But the rate hike has been rejected,”

The 20 legislators who signed the Dec. 10 letter to the governor wrote: “Under paragraph 8, the TWIA Actuarial and Underwriting Committee presented a report and reported that the committee did not vote to raise rates. This appears to be a lack of transparency to the public and legislators.”

Hunter and other Gulf Coast legislators, including the presumed new speaker of the house, Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), have said they will seek legislation to restructure TWIA during the upcoming legislative session.

“They showed no respect for the legislature,” Hunter told Corpus Christi Business News after the Dec. 8 rate hike vote. “The legislature will go into session Jan. 12 and last through May, and we plan to address this.”

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