From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
June 16, 2011
Contact: Janice McCoy
(512) 463-0124

Fraser Files Legislation to Abolish
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

Austin — Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) filed legislation today that would abolish the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Senate Bill 44 would require the Commissioner of Insurance to implement a transition plan for the cessation of all operations of the association. Nineteen of his fellow Senators signed on as co-authors.

"The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is broken," said Fraser. "TWIA was designed to be the insurer of last resort on the Texas coast. Now, because of an unfair competitive advantage, it is the primary insurer writing coverage."

"The state currently allows TWIA to operate differently that every other private insurer because we do not require TWIA to be actuarially sound," said Fraser. "By doing so, the state and non-coastal property owners are subsidizing low insurance rates for property owners along the coast. I don't think that process is fair."

The bill would require that private insurers currently authorized to engage in business in Texas offer windstorm and hail insurance policies to property owners in the seacoast territory of the state in proportion to the insurers' statewide market share, exclusive of current coastal coverage. Rates would be determined under Chapter 2251, Insurance Code.

"The Texas Legislature has spent the previous three sessions working on legislation to correct the association and its inherent funding problems," Fraser stated. "I think after three sessions, we should recognize that TWIA is a problem that cannot be solved and the association should be abolished."

TWIA is the state's insurer of last resort for wind and hail coverage in the fourteen coastal counties and parts of Harris County. TWIA provides wind and hail coverage when insurance companies exclude it from their homeowners and other property policies sold to coastal residents.

Senator Fraser represents a 21-county region in the geographic center of the state. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. He also sits on the following standing Senate Committees: Economic Development, Nominations, State Affairs, and International Relations and Trade.