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High Texas Homeowners Rates Show Need for Standard Regulation

According to numbers crunched by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Texans are paying the highest insurance premiums in the country at an average annual rate of $1,460 with residents of Florida skidding into second place at $1,390. The national average is $791.

So. What gives? Well, in 2003 there was a law passed in Texas that allows insurers to file a rate change with the state Insurance Department and then just start charging that price. The argument is that the practice allows the industry to stay competitive.

Uh huh.

It’s not surprising that critics want to see the state move to a system where the insurance commissioner actually reviews and approves or disapproves rate changes before they actually go into place.

Big shock coming.

The industry doesn’t want that to happen. In fact, the industry squawked loudly over the NAIC’s numbers, saying only about a third of Texas residents have a homeowners policy that can compare to that used to calculate the national average.

We have hurricanes! We have tornadoes! We have bad weather! We have lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh my!

This is simply another example of uneven regulation of the insurance industry from state to state with the burden falling on the policy holder to find ways to keep their homeowners insurance rates low.

Of course the industry doesn’t want standardized practices on a national level. They’re in it to make money. We’re in it to save money! Can you say, conflict of interest?

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