insurance

Texas
4:43 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Texas Homeowners Insurance Rates Down, Still Above National Average

Texas homeowners didn't pay the highest insurance rates in 2013, but rates still exceeded the national average.
flickr.com/59195512@N00

Texas homeowners may be paying among the highest insurance rates in the country– but at least they’re no longer the highest. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' latest report says while premiums for Texas homeowners have dropped to third in the nation, they’re still above the national average. 

Rates in other states are higher, in part, because the figures now include the cost of windstorm insurance. Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas says the states with the top rates have something else in common.

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Texas
10:07 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Refusal To Pay Claims Casts Doubt On Texas Windstorm Insurer

Galveston Island in 2008 after Hurricane Ike. Lawsuits over damages are the latest challenge for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., U.S. Air Force via flickr.com/chucksimmins

A refusal to pay losses caused by Hurricane Ike has again thrust the bedraggled Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) into the courthouse, while raising doubts over the agency’s process for resolving claims.

The city of Galveston sued TWIA Friday. It claims the agency is refusing to pay almost $14 million for damage caused by the storm, even after agency and city appraisers agreed on the cost.

League City is also suing TWIA over $3.4 million in unpaid damages it says the agency agreed it would pay.

TWIA declined to comment on the lawsuits. State Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, is representing the city of Galveston. Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn, who has secured millions for TWIA policyholders, is representing League City.

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Austin
6:40 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

March 25th: A History of Hail in Austin

Hail in the Jollyville area of Austin, March 25, 2009
Flickr/Chelsea Gomez http://www.flickr.com/photos/pyxopotamus/3385869861/in/photostream/

This Monday, March 25, has a date with a dark recent history here in the Austin area. The last three major hail storms we’ve had all have been on March 25, in 1993, 2005 and 2009.

“It is kind of unusual that three of the costliest storms have occurred on that individual date,” says Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas

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The Lead
8:54 am
Wed February 27, 2013

The Lead: Earth, Wind (Damage) and Fire (Bans)

Austin's in for a mild day, but areas to the south are under a Red Flag warning.
National Weather Service

Good morning! Austin’s in for a sunny, dry and breezy day with a high in the mid 60s, according to the National Weather Service. No Red Flag warning for Austin today (signaling fire danger from high winds), but San Antonio and counties to the south are under a warning all day. Read more below about area burn bans.

Lead Story: Many Central Texans are still picking up after Monday's high winds. Gusts topping 50 miles an hour toppled fences and tore shingles from roofs.

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Health
4:34 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Texas Slow To Review Health Insurance Rate Hikes

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has opposed the expansion of Medicaid under the Accountable Care Act, and his administration has yet to review big health insurance rate hikes under the law.
L.M. Otero AP

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 5:56 pm

Few governors have been as vocal and as unequivocal in their opposition to the federal health care law as Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry, a Republican, has vowed not to expand Medicaid and not to create an insurance exchange. Consumer advocates in Texas say the Perry administration has also been dragging its feet when it comes to insurance rate review.

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Health
4:20 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Group Says Review of Health Insurance Hikes is Just What the Doctor Ordered

A petition is calling for the Texas Department of Insurance to be more proactive in reviewing health insurance rate hikes.
Photo by Wells Dunbar for KUT News

President Obama’s signature healthcare reforms calls for an automatic review of any increase in health insurance costs ten percent or higher.

But an organization promoting better health care access across Texas says the agency in charge of monitoring and reviewing these hikes isn’t doing its job.

The Texas Department of Insurance is responsible for determining whether or not price increases for insurance premiums are justified. This is supposed to help protect consumers from overpaying for insurance.

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Health
3:11 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Health & Human Services Tells Texas Insurers to Pay Up

A provision in the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to spend 80% of patient premiums on care. Texas had sought to delay its implementation.
flickr.com/trp0

Under a federal determination released today, insurers in Texas will have to abide by spending rules set forth in President Obama’s signature health care reform package. 

One of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act stipulates that insurers must spend 80% of customers’ premium dollars on medical care, and not overhead costs. Any overhead spending over 20%, and insurance companies would be required to issue rebates to their customers.

That said, states can apply for an adjustment of to increase the amount they spend on overhead. The Texas Department of Insurance applied to do just that, requesting to ramp up medical care spending more slowly: 71% for (current) reporting year 2011, 74% for 2012, and 77% for 2013.

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Politics
1:10 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

Farmers' Home Insurance Rates Going Up

Farmers Insurance Wants to Raise its Home Rates
Image by KUT News

Farmers Insurance wants to raise it's home insurance rate by nearly 4% next year.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Farmers' filled a 3.9% rate increase with the Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday.  The rate would will affect about half of the company's Texas customers.