The Dallas Morning News has run an excellent series about Texas, a State of Neglect. This series has chronicled the state’s failure to regulate various businesses, and the potential relationship between Lack of regulation and big political contributions from those businesses. The last of the series deals with homeowners insurance. Texans are paying more money for less coverage. Please read the entire article. Here are a few excerpts:
Six years since a crisis in homeowners insurance compelled legislators to make sweeping reforms, many Texans have less coverage but still pay some of the highest premiums in the country.
More than a million Texas homeowners have bare-bones policies that don’t completely cover damage. Coverage that once was routine no longer exists in many policies. Policies that cover fewer risks or pay less have supplanted many that offered full coverage.
And state oversight occurs in a political environment in which industry lobbyists and campaign contributions are prevalent.
While coverage diminished, Texas routinely ranked among the leaders in average premiums. Statistics from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners show the average annual Texas premium – the nation’s highest – is $1,372. That’s 80 percent more than the national average.
“The industry is really making money on both ends,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Texas Watch. “They’re reducing coverage so they have less exposure and less risk, and they’re charging at least as much as they were before the reduction in coverage.”