An article in the Dallas Morning News points out what informed Texans have known for years — our homeowners insurance rates are ridiculously high, thanks to price-gouging and lack of governmental regulation. Here are excerpts from the article:
Texans pay nearly twice the national average for homeowner insurance, although premium increases slowed after lawmakers enacted a massive insurance overhaul in 2003, according to a new national study.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a group of state officials, said in a report issued last week that the average premium for the most common policy sold in Texas was $1,328 in 2003, the most recent year for which national data is available. That was by far the highest average of any state. The national average was $668.
The Texas figure was up 7.3 percent from the previous year, one of the lowest percentage increases among the 50 states in the group’s annual Homeowners Insurance Report. But it came on the heels of whopping increases that averaged more than 39 percent from 2001 through 2003.
Consumer groups said the new data call into question state leaders’ claims that home insurance rates decreased after passage of the 2003 reform law. State regulators and industry officials insisted that premiums have stabilized and that future studies will show rates coming down for many Texans. So far, though, little evidence suggests that premiums have changed significantly since the fall of 2003. Rate comparisons compiled by the Texas Department of Insurance last year showed that average prices of policies were very similar to what was charged by large and midsize companies in December 2003.