Texas House Insurance Committee to Hold Interim Hearing on TWIA
State Rep. Eddie Lucio III, Chairman of the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Insurance, has announced a hearing for the committee to discuss its interim charge related to the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) and implementation of House Bill 1900. The hearing will be held January 15, 2020, in Rockport, Texas.
The Texas legislature passed HB 1900 at the end of the 86th legislative session in May 2019. It is meant to modify TWIA operations and funding practices to prevent perpetual rate increases for coastal residents and businesses.
The TWIA Actuarial and Underwriting Committee recommended a 5 percent rate increase for commercial and residential risks in November, but the association’s Board of Directors voted against the rate hike at a meeting on December 10, 2019. About 40 people, including elected officials, county judges, and city politicians, spoke against the increase during the meeting’s public comment period.
In November, several state legislators issued a letter to the TWIA board in opposition of the Actuarial and Underwriting Committee’s recommendation, stating that many in Hurricane Harvey-affected areas are still recovering from the catastrophe.
“We encourage you to look at other ways to achieve the goal of generating revenues to pay claims that will not put recovering communities at a disadvantage,” said the legislators in the letter.
The TWIA board voted during its meeting to assess member insurance companies $90 million based on losses from Hurricane Harvey, which must be approved by Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan. The board will defer further consideration of TWIA rates until its next statutorily required rate filing in August 2020. TWIA’s next quarterly board meeting will be held in Austin in February 2020.