The Texas Legislature’s Texas Joint Committee on Wind-storm Coverage and Budgetary Impact held a public hearing in Corpus Christi in late August, and two of the state’s agent associations–the Independent Insur-ance Agents of Texas (IIAT) and Texas Insurance Professionals (PIA Texas)–urged lawmakers to make the windstorm issue a priority. The committee is exploring solutions for restructuring the state’s windstorm pool to ensure adequate funding to meet catastrophic storm losses and to preserve the state’s general revenue funds.
Noting that during the past year little or nothing has been done by the legislature or the Texas Department of Insurance to respond to the underfunded Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), PIA Texas called upon lawmakers to address the needs of those who live and work on the coast for adequate coverage , and for the rest of Texas policyholders to have equitable rates. PIA asked that action be taken now, in advance of the next legislative session, which begins in January 2007.
The IIAT proposed a set of guiding principles before the Joint Committee during the public hearing. In testimony on behalf of IIAT, Bob Shepard, IIAT director, chairman of the IIAT Windstorm Task Force and chairman of the board of Shepard Walton King Insurance Group in Harlingen, shared the following principles with the joint committee: