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Attorney: Hail Claims ‘Cottage Industry’ Bad News for Texas


Texas has the most severe weather in the country - but severity is only part of the story. Texas disasters come from a wide variety of events that are all too frequent (in fact Texas has exposure to nine different types of natural disasters – the most among any state in the country).

In terms of profit and loss, homeowners insurance in Texas has been a very difficult business, with insurers incurring loss (not making profit) both in the preceding year and over time. Because of the large loss risk in Texas, it is critical to provide a regulatory structure that encourages companies to do business here.

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Risk Mitigation

Neither insurers nor policymakers can reduce the severity of Texas weather and its devastating impact on Texans’ property. However, in the face of acute risk related to natural hazards, Texas must continue to attract private insurance capital and foster competition.

Policymakers should examine those areas where risk in Texas can be incrementally reduced in the public interest. Whether through standards for structures and service providers, or by allowing and enhancing risk mitigation incentives, some measure of loss mitigation is certainly possible, which will translate over time to a more stable marketplace with better rates.

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Claims Reform

In recent years, unscrupulous third parties have recruited roofers, public adjusters, contractors and others – some with questionable or no qualifications – and are inserting themselves into the claims process. They are pushing homeowners to make claims beyond their actual losses, to file additional meritless claims or to engage in disputes that generate large legal fees pocketed by the lawyers

A certain amount of dispute in the insurance claims system is inevitable. Nevertheless, policymakers should continue to examine this issue and make public policy improvements where possible.

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