Reform of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association not Weathering
With the Texas Legislator in session and the aftermath of Hurricane Ike first and foremost on our minds, of course we expected to see reform legislation introduced.
Outcries from inland Texans who feel subsidizing insurance for coastal properties aren't the job or responsibility of residence of, say, Amarillo sparked the debate over house bill 911.
Coastal Texas supports our petrochemical industry, tourism and second homes in local communities and not least the international trade through our harbors.
The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is intended to be the insurance of last resort. As companies no longer choose to write windstorm coverage in Corpus Christi, Galveston, Rockport and other coastal communities, it has become the insurance of only resort.
One unfounded objection is that all Texans are liable for vacation and rental homes. HB911 would make second homes and resort rental property such as beach houses rented by the day ineligible for windstorm coverage through TWIA.
Another concern is that everyone in Texas is liable for multi million dollar homes. The proposed bill would cap windstorm coverage for dwellings at $250,000 lowering the current limit from 1.7 Million.
Let's hope our lawmakers realize the value of supporting all Texans including coastal residence. Tornado's, windstorms and hail happen in the entire state. These natural catastrophes are not inherent to Galveston Island.
Paula Smith, Agent www.PaulaSmithInsurance.com