INSURANCE ZONE NEWS: Getting accurate information about
Texas insurance from news reports is a challenging
ordeal. Are Texas homeowners insurance rates rising
or falling? What about Texas auto insurance?
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The reforms of Senate Bill 14, passed
by the 78th Legislature in 2003, are working. Texas Insurance
Commissioner Jose Montemayor ordered $510 million in rate
reductions in August 2003 and those reductions are showing
up as lower premiums as homeowners renew their homeowners
How Texas Homeowners Rates
Compare to the rest of the United States
Texans have historically
paid higher premiums for homeowners insurance than is
paid in other states. Turbulent Texas weather, including
hail storms around the state and severe windstorms along
the coastline, is a driving factor in determining rates
for Texas homeowners insurance.
Increased Auto Rate Regulation
Enforced by Texas Department of Insurance
As a result of recent
legislation (Senate Bill 14 in the 78th Texas Legislature,
2003), the regulatory environment for auto insurance will
change. As of December 1, 2004, all auto insurers will
be subject to uniform rate standards enforced by TDI.
Rates must be reasonable, adequate, not excessive and
not unfairly discriminatory.
Insurance Credit Scoring
in Texas-What is credit scoring?
Insurance credit scoring
is the practice used by many Texas auto and Texas homeowners
insurance companies to utilize a consumer's credit history
in deciding whether to write a policy and/or how much
to charge for the policy. Currently, Texas law allows
insurance credit scoring under certain circumstances and
Looking Forward: The Future
of Texas Insurance
In 2004, homeowners' insurance
rates have stabilized and competition has returned to
the market. Greater competition by insurers will translate
into better deals for consumers. We will soon approach
the one-year mark since companies were ordered to lower
their rates for homeowners insurance. This is the logical
point at which TDI would look back and measure the impact,
as well as assess the competitive levels of the market
going forward. If the market does not show signs of stronger
competition, Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor will
take whatever additional action is necessary.