October 20, 2003
How 'bout those insurance rates?

Hey, remember when Governor Perry took credit for a reduction in homeowner's insurance rates? Yeah, right.

Gov. Rick Perry last week listed among his accomplishments saving taxpayers more than half a billion dollars in lower home insurance costs.

But rate relief is coming slowly, if at all, to most Texas homeowners.

Acting under authority given him in a new law, Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor in August ordered insurers operating in the state to drop their rates by a collective $510 million.

However, two large insurers that jointly write 42 percent of policies, State Farm and Farmers, are challenging their rate cuts in court. And most other insurers reached a settlement with the department that cut their rate rollbacks in half, with a promise that the balance of the rate cuts will be given to policyholders next year if the weather holds and there isn't an unexpected surge in claims.

In addition, consumer groups and lawmakers are criticizing Montemayor for two proposed rules affecting how insurers use credit history and neighborhood location to calculate rates.

"The reforms were modest, and now they've been watered down even more," said Dan Lambe, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Texas Watch.

Typical. Remember, kids, when Rick Perry claims credit for something, check your wallet ASAP.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 20, 2003 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack