Local News

Oct 28, 2013 6:29 PM

Deadline to Voice Opinion on Windstorm Surcharges

Today's the day to let the Texas Department of Insurance know whether you support a set of rules that could led to surcharges on your home, windstorm or auto insurance policy.

As we first reported last week, Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber is considering implement rules outside the legislative process that would allow a surcharge on coastal insurance policies, beginning with the 2014 hurricane season.

Local leaders, including the Coastal Windstorm Taskforce, are asking business owners, residents and even chambers of commerce to email the department.

Click here for the email address - bryan.ryder@tdi.texas.gov

Windstorm Taskforce Chairman Charlie Zahn said the idea of surcharging coastal insurance policies is allowed by state law but is not mandated.

He told KRIS-6 last week that the rules would unfairly burden coastal residents should a catastrophe strike, next year.

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is the insurer-of-last resort for wind and hailstorm coverage for more than 220,000 properties in the 14 counties of the Texas Coast, including more than 57,000 in Nueces County.

Department officials have said the surcharges are allowed under the law and are meant to bolster the cash-strapped Texas Windstorm Insurance Association's ability to purchase post-storm bonds that are used to pay policyholder claims.

The association at the start of storm season had less than $180 million in the Catastrophe Reserve Trust Fund that is the first line of cash used to pay claims after a hurricane and yet, the association is on the hook for more than $80 billion in potential losses.

The Port Industries of Corpus Christi on Monday afternoon fired off a letter to Commissioner Rathgeber, outlining their many objections to the surcharges.

Read the Port Industries letter - PDF

Read Mayor Nelda Martinez's letter - PDF

Don't forget to follow our entire KRIS 6 investigative team on Twitter @KRIS6News or Facebook by searching "KRIS6News".

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