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TWIA Committee To Reccomend 5 Percent Rate Increase Even Though The Public And Some Legislators Asked Them Not To Do It

Matt Briscoe

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) Actuary and Underwriting Committee held a conference call and meeting on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of recommending a rate increase to TWIA Board members at their next scheduled being which is to be held in December in Corpus Christi. The meeting comes on the heels of a decision earlier in the year where Board Members agreed to file a zero dollar rate increase, for the time being but the idea was never actually taken off of the table.

10 people registered to speak at today's meeting, all of which represented coastal residents. The concluding public speakers were State Representatives Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) and Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) both of who reminded the committee that there was even dissention among the committees rank as they referred to an objection by Stephen Alexander, who sits on the Committee.

In his objection, Alexander noted that “TWIA’s rate adequacy analysis is not in full compliance with applicable Texas law and actuarial standards of practice,'' a fact that Hunter and Middleton both reminded the committee of.

In the end the committee voted to recommend a 5% increase to the Board of Directors when they meet in Corpus Christi in December. That recommendation is still less than the 10 percent or more that they could have recommended but for Coastal residents, and legislators alike, any rate hike recommendation is just too much.

“[The] Decision was insurance dominated without care to Coastal residents,” said Representative Hunter. “We now get to organize to fight the TWIA board in December in Corpus Christi.”

Rep. Hunter also said that the coastal residents who attended today's meeting did their part by helping keep rate recommendations low.

“This committee recommended 5 percent not 10 percent or more. So the attending Coastal folks made an impact on keeping rate request low. We still will fight to keep the rate 0,” said Rep. Hunter.

But the blatant disregard for the legislature and the law remained evident today by at least some of the committee members. In fact, those who voted in favor of rate increase in essence snubbed their noses at a bipartisan letter that urged the committee to not recommend any rate increase at all and let the Legislative Oversight Board continue their work and take the matter before the entire legislative body for review. That letter was signed by seventeen members of the legislature.

While it is not clear if the TWIA Board of Directors will accept the reccomendation in December, one thing is clear--the coast will be ready for a fight.

In fact, Rep. Hunter is preparing for it. “We now get to organize to fight the TWIA board in December in Corpus Christi,” said Hunter. And fighting TWIA is something the coast is getting pretty good at.


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