(4) comments Back to story

Gary Scoggin

“The bill requires insurance companies to pay for any reinsurance the association purchases above a 1-in-100-year storm. Currently, ratepayers are paying that cost.“

Just wondering, if not ratepayers, who does pay that cost?

Reggie Barnett

I always thought TWIA was intended to cover coastal counties for a tropical named storm. When did hail damage become tropical when hail damage is far more damaging in North Texas and the Panhandle? I also wondered why main line insurance companies were allowed to exclude windstorm and how hail was a windstorm? Why not just raise the deductible to 15-20% across the whole state and let TWIA be gap insurance. TWIA would only cover the first 12-18% of the insured value and not restricted to only coastal counties? Isn't that what supplemental insurance does when you are on Medicare?

Wayne Holt

Reggie, you've hit on an interesting tidbit of information. TWIA is both wind and hailstorm insurance. The Dallas Morning News did a feature a few years ago showing how much money was lost in Texas due to hail damage...and it was almost entirely in central and north Texas.

We did a little study for our HOA on this topic and found out total hail damage in Galveston Co. going back to the 1950s was only a couple million dollars, as I recall. Statistically insignificant compared to flood damage; even wind was not nearly as critical as flooding in assessing total risk. And yet flood insurance, by comparison, seems priced to risk more favorably.

Our condo building was assessed outsized TWIA premiums for several years as having non-wind resistant roofing. When we finally had an engineering firm certify it (Zero/Six Consulting did a fantastic job for us), we were actually OVER engineered; we got an $18,000 return of premium and lower rates for TWIA coverage.

Reform of the TWIA debacle is long since overdue. There are many ways this indemnification could be handled in a more efficient, equitable and rational way. Why it hasn't been is something that coastal residents should demand an answer to.

Wayne Holt

I should also add, especially if you are in a condo but in any situation, your insurance agency better understand the ins and outs of the very complex rules, arcane processes and mystifying dead-ends of the TWIA machine. It will stymie your sincere attempts to make sure you have adequate coverage that will deliver if you need it, nothing more or less, and at the best price possible. We relied on GIA agency here on the island, and we never would have made it through the morass without them guiding it.

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