I am happy to report the Coastal Windstorm Insurance Coalition has more wins to notch into our belt, and I want to praise the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association for recent decisions showing they are listening to coastal Texans’ rate concerns.

We continue to advocate for coastal windstorm insurance ratepayers, with continued success.

More transparency is coming. The association’s actuarial committee met June 30 to choose an independent actuarial firm from among four finalists. The independent rate review was required by legislation the coalition helped pass last session to ensure transparency and accountability in the association’s ratemaking process.

The firm’s job is to review modeling and data the association uses to make decisions about rate increases. The coalition realized only one of the four finalists had the capabilities to truly review the data independently, recommended that firm, and the association chose it.

The firm has begun its review and will report in the next couple of months. Once that report is final, the coalition will review it and report back to you. This is a great step forward to more accountability and transparency.

The association’s actuarial committee met July 21 to make a rate filing recommendation. By statute, the association must submit a rate recommendation every year. The coalition argued this is no time to raise rates on coastal Texans — while still recovering from Harvey, we were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Texans have lost jobs and others are struggling to pay their bills. Federal, state and local authorities are trying to help through stimulus packages, tax and eviction deferrals, and relaxing or removing regulations, but a rate increase now would be devastating. We also argued the independent firm has not had time to conduct a thorough review, so a rate increase now is not justified.

The committee heard our comments and voted 6-1 in our favor, against recommending increased rates to the association’s board.

These are great developments for the coast, but there is more work ahead. The association board will meet on Aug. 4 to decide whether to agree with the committee’s recommendation of a zero rate increase. Due to the pandemic, the board meeting will be held virtually, not in Galveston as planned. Although not ideal, those with access to the internet can still comment and attend the hearing.

Coalition members will submit letters urging the board to accept the actuarial committee’s recommendation and thanking them for their decisions benefiting Texas ratepayers.

To submit a letter thanking them for their good work and urging them to vote “no” on a rate increase, please email it to PublicComment@TWIA.org. The deadline is noon Friday, July 31.

The Coastal Windstorm Insurance Coalition is proud to represent you and is excited to report that Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is listening and making decisions benefitting ratepayers.

Thank you for your support as we continue to work on solutions that help coastal Texans.

Henry Freudenburg is chairman of the Coastal Windstorm Insurance Coalition.

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(3) comments

Robert Braeking

Windstorm rates are too high for me to afford. The engineering reports that I need to compile make it prohibitive as well. My house has withstood every windstorm since Carla relatively unscathed. I doubt that any but the most severe storm will damage it either. People are either stretched too tightly financially or they are building in a far too vulnerable location.

Until fishing shacks on the beach became 'Taj Mahals' windstorm damage was not a problem.

Blanca Bell

Henry, thank you for all of your hard work!

Wayne D Holt

After years of being at the mercy of apex predator lawyers and their enablers in the state legislature, it is heartening to see progress being made on rationalizing the way TWIA rates are determined across Texas, and especially so in regards to coastal communities.

I join in thanking all those who are carrying the banner, such as Mr. Freudenburg, Rep. Middleton and others. It's long overdue and very welcome [thumbup]

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