Windstorm insurance rates could be going up

Thousands of homeowners and businesses could be paying more for windstorm insurance in the new year.

There are about 100,000 home and business owners who get insurance through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, and it is asking for a rate hike.

If you have insurance through Texas Windstorm, it means you cannot get insured through a private company.

It is the insurer of last resort, and shopping around is not an option for you if you're a policy holder.

Most of the local homes in the program are in Galveston and Brazoria County, but there are some in Harris County too.

The rates have not gone up since 2018, but a hike of 5% is being requested for next year.

To give you some idea of how much that will cost, the average homeowner spends about $1,600 a year on windstorm insurance. The rate hike will add another $80 to that bill.

Officials with Texas Windstorm say the rate hike is not due to an increase in natural disasters this year.

"An independent study showed rates are inadequate by 26%, and that would indicate that, over time, the association is not taking in enough money to pay for the expenses and the claims that it expects to incur over time," said Jennifer Armstrong with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

The Texas Insurance Commission can still deny the request, but if approved, you'll see the increase by April 2021.

Starting in January, policy holders have the option to pay online in installments of two payments and also by credit card.

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