The Coastal Windstorm Insurance Coalition actuary Steve Alexander and state Rep. Mayes Middleton led our delegation last week in Austin and were very successful in beating back motions for raising Texas Windstorm Insurance Association rates of 20 percent to 10 percent again. Every few months, TWIA tries to do something to raise rates, but we are vigilant.

The coalition has been there at every turn making sure coastal voices are heard. This attempt by TWIA came on the heels of — not only a very successful legislative session for coastal policyholders, but also after a recent TWIA board meeting in Galveston where the board voted once again to not raise rates.

TWIA, again not voting for a rate increase, is a great victory and there were many helping the coalition make it happen. Our professional team being led by Sen. Larry Taylor and his great chief of staff, Cari Christman, Middleton, and state Rep. Greg Bonnen, as well as many working with us behind the scenes, such as the Galveston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur chambers of commerces. Of course, none of the coalition’s efforts could have been successful without the financial support of the city of Galveston and Galveston County.

The coalition was successful in having our own actuary appointed to the TWIA subcommittee, and he raised a lot of questions, pointing out significant deficiencies in their methodologies and holes in their logic. Ultimately, the subcommittee recognized they weren’t compliant with the law and agreed to get more information before trying to raise rates again.

However, we’re not out of the woods yet. While the TWIA actuarial subcommittee didn’t vote to raise rates last week, they did say they were going to meet again in the next few weeks. Indications are that they’re going to try to meet ahead of the scheduled TWIA board meeting on Dec. 10, so that they can recommend rate increases to the board in time for them to vote in December.

The cycle of TWIA continuing to attempt to raise rates on us appears likely to continue for the foreseeable future, even with the legislature telling them they want to review the financial structure of TWIA.

The TWIA procedures for recommending rate increases can be cumbersome, but we’re committed to leading the fight for coastal Texans. We will make sure to let you know when and how you can help the fight. Thank you for all of your support.

Henry Freudenburg is chairman of the Coastal Windstorm Insurance Coalition and lives in Galveston.

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