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Matt Briscoe

On December 10 in Corpus Christi, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association Board of Directors will be asked to consider a 5 percent rate increase that was recently recommended by the Association’s Actuarial and Underwriting Committee. Many Coastal residents are worried that they will not be able to get a fair shake from the Board that is currently made up of people who seem fairly cozy with the insurance industry--people like Board Member Michael Gerick.

Gerik is the Executive Vice President of Texas Farm Bureau. For the calendar year ending on December 31, 2018 TWIA documents show that Texas Farm Bureau was handed a hefty $4,587,438.64 payout from TWIA in 2018.

Another detail that was discovered in the public document is that TWIA boss John Polak, who serves as the General Manager for TWIA banked a healthy $359,926.58 in compensation for the year.

Experts believe that those numbers may have very well increased through 2019 and in order to maintain the association’s integrity, greater oversight is needed from higher levels other than the insurance industry itself.

“This is an obviously flawed system,” said insurance industry analyst William Lavell. “What Texans are dealing with here is a group that has been severely compromised by industry leaders and that should be cause for alarm.”

Lavelle goes onto say that the obvious next step is for lawmakers to call for an independent review of the association and to force tighter restrictions upon the overall governance of the organization.

“What Texans are seeing here is the result of a powerful lobby at its worst,” Lavelle said. “Every Texan should be just as appalled their elected leadership is.”  

This story will be continually updated throughout.


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