I have written many, many times, here and elsewhere, about the ridiculous homeowners insurance system we have in Texas. For years Texas has had the highest homeowners premiums in the nation, surpassed for a brief time only by hurricane-prone Florida recently. In Texas, insurance companies can charge whatever they want, without asking permission from the state to raise rates. So naturally, rate increases are frequent and large. Farmers raised its rates last month.
The latest to announce an increase is Allstate, which is raising premiums across the state by anywhere from 5.4% to 9.7%, effective January 20, 2011. Allstate covers about 625,000 homeowners in Texas. As always, Allstate used the frequency of destructive weather in Texas to justify the rate increases. Allstate also increased its rates in 2009, citing the Texas weather. You’d think maybe after all these years, Allstate would have a little better understanding of Texas weather, and allow for it in their rates. Instead, every year the company is surprised to learn that Texas has wind, rain, and hail.