I’ve been complaining about Texas homeowners insurance, and especially about Farmers, for years. Now there finally may be a slap on the wrist coming.
The Dallas Morning News detailed a possible settlement between the state and Farmers. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Hundreds of thousands of Texas homeowners may be poised to share a $117.5 million settlement between the state and Farmers Insurance, more than a decade after the company first clashed with regulators in court over its rates.
Under the agreement, the company would issue refunds or premium reductions to current and former customers. It would also get credit for past premium cuts. The total would be one of the largest insurance settlements in state history.
Farmers admits no wrongdoing in the proposed settlement, which a judge is set to review in January. The Insurance Department had accused the company of illegally reducing coverage in its homeowner policies and charging customers too much.
Refunds and credits would be issued 30 days after the court approves the agreement. It would cover Texans who had homeowner policies with Farmers between 2000 and 2003.
The deal would end a long-running fight over whether customers paid too much as mold claims exploded across Texas, prompting huge rate increases and an overhaul of the Texas insurance market. A deal has been twice delayed, including by a California suit along similar lines.