House Insurance Committee meeting, Rockport, Texas, January 15, 2020
The House Insurance Committee met in Rockport on January 15, 2020 to take testimony on the interim charge of monitoring the implementation of HB 1900. The Committee had a panel of invited witnesses from TWIA and then took public testimony.
Highlights from the TWIA panel include:
TWIA collected over $6.1 billion in premiums and paid $5.6 billion in claims and loss adjustment expenses.
Regarding Hurricane Harvey- there were over 10,000 claims and TWIA paid over $800 million in claims in a short period after the storm.
99% of Harvey claims are closed (over 95% of claims were undisputed)
Highlights from the public testimony include:
Local elected officials described recovery and rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Harvey, with some voicing grievances about TWIA claims handling.
Engineers discussed the inspection program, changes, and problems with TWIA inspections.
Several policyholders and public adjusters discussed problems with claims handling and delays in being able to resolve claims. Delays in the appraisal process required by TWIA statutes were discussed in this context.
Other speakers spoke of TWIA reinsurance concerns, claims and claim payment issues, and opposition to any future rate increases.
Committee members discussed TWIA’s handling of claim payments on replacement costs reimbursements. Members had concerns about policyholders having to front payments in order to receive the hold back until repairs are completed, and discussed a mechanism to provide for more upfront payments. This is an issue that we will follow as it can reach beyond TWIA.
This Rockport hearing provided some insight into the local political forces that drive TWIA issues, as well as possible legislative issues that may arise in the 2021 Texas legislative session. These issues include TWIA funding, rates and rate procedures, handling of payments for replacement costs, and how the PML for TWIA should be determined.