BREAKING NEWS: Texas Windstorm Withdraws Rate Increase
After watching Representative Todd Hunter’s explosive speech on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives last week — and clocking two lopsided House votes against them — members of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association voted Friday, May 24, to withdraw a proposed 10 percent insurance rate hike.
“They listened to my speech on the floor of the House and withdrew their rate request,” Hunter told Corpus Christi Business News on Friday afternoon. “They did the right thing. I think the action of the House insured that they did the right thing.”
Last year, the TWIA board approved a 10 percent rate hike that was to have gone into effect January 1, 2019. An uproar from elected representatives and their constituents along the Gulf Coast led Governor Greg Abbott to put a moratorium on the hike until June 1. He announced that he wanted to give the legislature time to act on the proposal before it could go into effect. The legislature went into session in early January and is due to adjourn on Memorial Day until the next session, which begins January 2021.
The House voted twice on House Bill 4534, which would have extended that moratorium by 18 months to give legislators time to fully study the issue. Legislators voted 132-10 two separate times to extend the moratorium, sending a clear and strong message to the TWIA board.
“We were successful,” said Hunter, who co-authored the bill with Representative Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville). “We got that vote twice. That sent a message of legislative intent from the House, and when the board met today, they withdrew their rate increase.”
The battle is not over, however. Hunter said he and his fellow Coastal Bend representatives will be following action on several other bills addressing the issue, watching what the governor does, and preparing for TWIA’s August board meeting.
“I’ll never let my guard down,” Hunter said. “They make sure I have a perpetual guard up.”
When asked if he thought TWIA would propose another rate increase at the August meeting, he said he was not sure.
“It’s probably too soon to take their temperature, especially since they just withdrew it today,” he said. “Right now, we’ve done very well on the coastline. It’s been going good. We’ll just have to see where everybody is going next.”
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