Matt Pierce Briscoe Published 12/16/20 14:28pm CST Maria Valencia, 33, never once imagined that she and her husband […]

Matt Pierce Briscoe

The board of directors of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association voted on Tuesday to file a rate increase of 5% for residential and commercial policies with the Texas Department of Insurance.

At the Association’s quarterly meeting, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association’s board directed staff to make the rate filing with the expectation that the change would go into effect no earlier than April 1, 2021.

TWIA continued to cite a so-called “independent study” conducted on behalf of the association by Willis Towers Watson. In that study, they this year found TWIA’s rates to be inadequate by 26% for residential coverage and 44% for commercial coverage. But on Tuesday, the board of directors erred for what they feel is a minimal increase. That move in itself has proven to once again call the association into question. 

 As required by law, it appears that the association may have violated open government laws once again by making a decision on a rate increase without giving proper public notice and for failing to allow adequate time for public comment on the issue. Early on a reference was made to consider an action item on the agenda regarding the Willis Towers Watson presentation. On the formally published agenda there was no action item—that indicated that there might have been two separate agendas floating around and that would have violated open government laws in the state of Texas. 

The decision had hardly been made before lawmakers began to take notice of the action and began measures to see to it that coastal residents remain protected from the powerful insurance lobby in Texas.