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The United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, state Rep. Todd Hunter and other Coastal Bend officials are urging the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association not to increase rates at its upcoming board meeting.
On Tuesday, nine Texas Windstorm Insurance Association board members will meet in Galveston to decide whether to increase insurance rates.
“If you own a home, you have to buy three policies here,” said Hunter, a Republican from Corpus Christi. “You have to buy a flood policy, a property policy and a windstorm policy … 40%, 50%, 11%, you can’t afford it.”
Each year, the TWIA generates a “rate adequacy analysis” to determine if the rates people are charged will cover the operating expenses and losses of the association.
The 2022 rate adequacy analysis released on July 1 states that the TWIA’s current residential rate should be increased 15% and the commercial rate should be increased 11%.
Despite the TWIA Actuarial Committee’s recommendation to its board of directors not to increase rates, the board could reject the recommendation.
Local leaders gathered on Thursday to express their concerns about the possible rate increase and how it could be detrimental to Corpus Christi’s economic development. The United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce said employers seeking to establish themselves in the Coastal Bend will find it too expensive for their employees to afford a permanent home in the area.
Some against the hike suggested it would put pressure on many households already unable to afford insurance. Hunter added that some property owners are already receiving windstorm insurance bills higher than their property tax bills.
“There’s got to be some legislation,” Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney said. “There’s got to be some equity. The rest of the state has to share in this. There are windstorms and wind events in other parts of this state, and those people should share in this pool and we should be united as one state on this.”
The chamber of commerce is encouraging TWIA policyholders to submit public comment against a rate increase to publiccomment@TWIA.org. All public comments must be submitted by noon on Friday.
“We don’t have as many legislators as the rest of the state, but we have the people,” Hunter said. “We have the spirit. We have the South Texas ‘mi familia’ philosophy. We have the Coastal Bend strength.”