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TWIA annual rate hike vote August 4

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Agency board of directors will vote August 4 on a zero percent rate hike recommendation from its actuarial committee. Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) plans to be part of the meeting to speak out against any change in that recommendation.

No windstorm insurance rate hike for 2021 — maybe. At least, that’s what the actuarial committee for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Associaton recommended at its meeting July 21, after more than a year of both the TWIA board and then the committee studying a report indicating the need for a hike.

State Rep. Todd Hunter calls the zero percent rate hike recommendation a big win for the Coastal Bend. He emphasized, however, that those concerned need to keep up the pressure on TWIA, which will review the recommendation and make a final decision on 2021 windstorm insurance rates at its August 4 board meeting.

“I am asking everybody to email and send the message of ‘No rate hike,’” Hunter said. “That’s all you have to do.”

Hunter plans to do more. He will attend the virtual TWIA meeting to speak against further considerations of a rate hike during public comment. He said he is also organizing groups for further action between now and August so the board knows his coastal residents do not support a rate hike.

“I believe the committee made the right decision of no rate increase,” Hunter said. “It appears that they listened to the coastal legislators and the coastal communities. It was a victory for the Coastal Bend.”

Hunter has been on the forefront of the battle against a TWIA rate hike, taking the fight to the 2019 Legislature.Hunter and several members of the local legislative delegation now serve on windstorm insurance oversight committees. Several bills were passed to provide oversight of the insurance board, changing its makeup, which is dominated by representatives of the insurance industry, and its structure.

The ultimate goal is to replace TWIA with a catastrophic insurance agency that would cover all disasters across the state rather than just windstorms along the Texas Gulf Coast.

“The public has stood up and is starting to see that this system of rating needs to be changed,” Hunter said. “Our work is not over. We’ve got to put the pedal to the metal and make sure no rate hike is approved.”

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