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Abbott’s action delays proposed 10 percent windstorm insurance rate hike

Posted at 3:21 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 16:21:12-04

The deadline for the Texas Department of Insurance’s decision on a proposed 10 percent rate increase by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association was pushed back Thursday by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott suspended a section of the Texas Insurance Code to provide the break. His aim is to provide more time for legislators to answer questions that the rate hike could potentially affect recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast.

“The actuarial soundness of TWIA is an important issue, but such a rate increase at this time would negatively impact the people of the Gulf Coast,” Abbott wrote in a letter Thursday to Texas Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan.

Locally, business and residents are attempting to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey last year. It’s led to wide concerns about the proposed TWIA increase.

Under the Texas Insurance Code, state legislators have until Oct. 15 to decide on the rate increase. If they don’t settle it before then, the rate would be considered approved, a press release from the governor’s office said.

Compliance with that deadline fails to provide the state legislature with enough time to address the rate increase during the upcoming session. A lengthy delay, Abbott said, could force a quick decision that would hinder recovery efforts from Harvey.

Abbott suspended Section 2210.352 of the Texas Insurance Code to provide the legislature with enough time to discuss the increase. Extending past the Oct. 15 deadline would keep them from making a rushed decision.

The suspension will remain in effect until June 16, 2019.