Lawmakers Address Texans' Homeowners Insurance Rates - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers Address Texans' Homeowners Insurance Rates

Texas Senator Kel Seliger Texas Senator Kel Seliger
Texas State Representative John Smithee Texas State Representative John Smithee

We in Texas are paying the highest homeowners insurance rates in the country.

Just yesterday some legislators met to try to resolve the issue. But first, the reason why we pay so much insurance on our homes may surprise you.

First things first: Texas Senator Kel Seliger says, "what made the rates go up? We have to know that before we decide how to bring them down."

We here in the Panhandle pay higher homeowners insurance rates than other Texas cities because of the potential for hail. But what you may not know is we also foot part of the cost of hurricane exposure on the Gulf Coast, hundreds of miles away.

Texas State Representative John Smithee says, "when a company comes to Amarillo to write an insurance policy, they are also required to take a piece of the risk on the Gulf Coast. So as a result insurance companies are reluctant to do so."

Smithee says that keeps insurance rates artificially high. He says, "we want to get the coastal issue resolved and that could mean much lower rates and greater availability."

But until it is resolved, homeowners can try to keep their own rates down. One insurance agent says "keep roof up to date, take care of the home, get it inspected."

The legislature will meet again next year. Reforms will be introduced to legislators in the next session to make the insurance market here in Texas more competitive and in turn could lower rates.

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