Report: Texas' insurance non-renewal ban hurts homeowners with high prices

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AUSTIN -- Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released a report examining the added costs caused by Texas’ ban on home insurance non-renewal.

“Texas state law curtails the ability of insurers to self-correct their risk exposure, driving up the price of homeowners’ insurance and reducing consumer choice,” said Kathleen Hunker, policy analyst at the Foundation’s Center for Economic Freedom. “With few exceptions, the Texas Insurance Code prohibits an insurer from non-renewing a high-claims policy regardless of how much the policyholder overused the claims process or whether the damages came about because of fraudulent or negligent behavior.

“Because insurance companies have a legal obligation to stay solvent, insurers often must pass along the increased costs to their other customers by raising rates or cutting services. Texas has some of the costliest home insurance rates in the country. Although part of the blame is rooted in Texas’ vulnerability to catastrophic weather, the elevated rates are also due to government policies like Texas’ ban on non-renewals that put the preferences of special interests ahead of the actuarial assessments made by insurers.

“Over-priced insurance can act as a barrier to homeownership for lower-and-middle income Texans. By allowing insurers to non-renew an insurance policy based on the customer’s claims history, lawmakers can make significant headway in reducing prices and ensuring that all Texans have access to the benefits of owning a home.”

To read the full report, visit: http://txpo.li/non-renewal-insurance-market

For more information or to schedule an interview with Ms. Hunker, please contact Caroline Espinosa at cespinosa@texaspolicy.com.

Kathleen Hunker is a policy analyst in the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

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