TWIA Hiking Up Premium Rates By 10% After Hurricane Harvey Claims
TWIA’s board of directors, in a 5-4 vote, proposed a 10% hike in all residential and commercial policies for 2019 coverage. This proposed hike would affect 213,278 policyholders to date and, if approved by the Texas Commissioner of Insurance, the average premiums per policy would increase from $1,589 per year to $1,745.
Residents of cities such as Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Refugio, Rockport, and Portland could all see their insurance premiums go up due in large part to the $1.38 billion in claims that were paid out due to Hurricane Harvey just one year ago. However, Corpus Christi’s KRIS’ Rick Spruill reported that actuary experts believe that TWIA rates are inadequate by as much as 35% and that the vote for the 10% hike was simply a move to close the gap in their current “rate inadequacy.”
This was confirmed by TWIA spokesperson Jennifer Armstrong who stated, “We … have to make sure that we have funds necessary to pay claims in future situations like ‘Harvey,’ which is the purpose of moving towards rate adequacy.”
Rallies opposing the rate hike have already formed and garnered support from city officials most devastated by Harvey such as Corpus Christi and the Rockport-Fulton area.
The deadline to approve the premium rate hike will be made by mid-October.
What Is TWIA?
For those who don’t know what TWIA is, TWIA stands for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Although TWIA does provide insurance coverage, it works as a “ backstop for folks who are either declined by a regular company or they can’t get the coverage they want through a regular company,” according to Jerry Hagins of the Texas Department of Insurance. Although TWIA is not a state agency, it is state-regulated similar in the way that flood insurance provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is regulated by the federal government. TWIA provides much-needed coverage for homes living in coastal counties such as Cameron, Willacy, Nueces, and Aransas.
What To Do If Your Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage Claim Is Still Pending
- Make sure you are mitigating your storm damages – Patching up windows, tarping up your roof are forms of “mitigating your damage” to ensure that further damage does not occur to the property. If you have not done this, you must do this immediately or run the risk of having your property suffer damage that WILL NOT be covered.
- Follow up with your adjuster – Write a letter to your insurance adjuster or call to follow up with your insurance claim. Document all attempts to reach out to your adjuster.
- Call a storm damage insurance claim lawyer immediately – Hiring an experienced storm damage insurance claim lawyer can help ensure that your claim is treated fairly and within a reasonable amount of time. There is only so long that your adjuster may take on your claim depending on your specific circumstances, so it is a best practice to speak to a storm damage insurance attorney to discuss your rights as a policyholder.
What To Do If Your Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage Claim Has Been Rejected
- Make a copy of the claim rejection letter – Make sure you have a copy of this letter for your records and so a storm damage insurance claim legal expert may be able to review and determine the precise reasons for your storm damage insurance claim denial.
- Hire a storm damage insurance claim lawyer immediately – This goes without saying that typically, your best route in getting your claim paid out is to NOT go up against your insurance company by yourself. By partnering with an experienced storm damage insurance lawyer, you are partnering with skilled negotiators working on your behalf to ensure that your claim was treated fairly.
What To Do If Your Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage Claim Has Not Paid You Enough
- DO NOT cash the settlement check – Although doing so may not particularly be the end of your storm damage claim, it is always a best practice to wait until you receive a second opinion from a storm damage insurance claim legal expert to review your claim and help determine if you should have been paid more.
- Make copies of all correspondence with your insurance carrier – Any letters you have received, voicemails, emails need to be kept together in a safe place. Treat these documents like evidence in a court case because that may potentially be exactly that.
- Hire a storm damage insurance claim lawyer immediately – The objective clearly is to obtain enough money to ensure that your home or business may be properly fixed and restored to a pre-loss condition. Hiring an experienced storm damage insurance claim lawyer who understands insurance claim laws may be your best opportunity to reach that objective. As we’ve seen on thousands of occasions, insurance companies are not willing to part with their money so easily; so unwilling that they may rely on illegal tactics to keep from doing so by adjusting your legitimate claim in what is called “bad faith.” Hiring a bad faith insurance lawyer may be the difference between winning your claim and walking away with virtually nothing.
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Hire An Experienced Storm Damage Insurance Claim Lawyer To Fight Your Hurricane Harvey Storm Damage Claim
Don’t wait another minute to try and get your home or business fixed to a pre-loss condition. Talk to an experienced storm damage insurance claim lawyer to help with your storm damage claim now!
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The storm damage insurance claim lawyers at Moore Law Firm are experts in storm damage claims and litigation. Call now for a FREE second opinion on your storm damage claim! Guaranteed ZERO out-of-pocket costs for your case. Contact Moore Law Firm today!
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