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Texas Homeowners Insurance Rate Reductions Ordered

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 policies.

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 consumer protections.

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.


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