Now that the primaries are over, candidates in Texas should discuss issues other than God, guns, gays and how much they despise the president and Obama-Care. There are serious issues facing Texas families across the state, one being the skyrocketing cost of homeowners insurance.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature deregulated the insurance industry in exchange for promises of lower premiums, better protection and lower deductibles. After 10 full years, Texans across the state continue to pay the highest premiums in the nation. Policy increases of 15 percent or higher have become common.
Homeowners along the Texas Coast have realized windstorm insurance is hard, if not impossible, to find with insurance companies fleeing the area for safer parts of the state.
Before 2003, the Texas Windstorm Association, the “insurer of last resort,” covered only 6 percent of homes on the coast. Today it covers nearly 76 percent. TWIA is slowly becoming the only choice available to those who live in the coastal areas.
The insurance reforms of 2003 have been an incredible failure affecting the pocketbook of homeowners across the state. It is time to face it, debate it, and fix it. Instead of God, guns, and gays, let’s talk about homeowners insurance instead.
John R. Cobarruvias lives in Houston.