TWIA rates determine the amount of premium charged to each TWIA policyholder. Adequate rates help ensure TWIA can meet its financial obligations. Rates are set by the TWIA Board of Directors and subject to review by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).
Premiums are calculated based on standard rating factors, including amount of insurance, type of construction, deductible amount, and any optional additional coverages. TWIA does not use credit scoring or territorial rating. Premium credits are available for items certified as being built to recent windstorm building codes.
The TWIA Board of Directors voted for a 10% rate increase, effective January 1, 2019, at the July 31, 2018 TWIA Board meeting. TWIA will file the proposed rate increase with TDI by August 15, 2018, as required by statute. The Commissioner of Insurance must approve the rate filing before it can go into effect.
Premiums may change based on changes in coverage, such as the amount of insurance provided by the policy. The average premium on a TWIA residential policy is approximately $1,600. A 10% increase in 2019 represented an actual dollar increase of around $160 per year for this policy.
Texas Insurance Code Chapter 2210 requires that TWIA rates be reasonable, adequate, and not unfairly discriminatory. Rates include factors for actual and modeled windstorm losses, operational expenses, repayment of any outstanding bonds, and a reasonable provision for contribution to the Catastrophe Reserve Trust Fund. The statute requires rates to be filed annually with TDI.
Based on a 2018 actuarial analysis, TWIA rates would need to increase by 32.2% for residential policies and 37.3% for commercial policies in order to be actuarially adequate. Current TWIA rates are uniform throughout the 14 first tier coastal counties. Because rates do not vary based on any geographical factors, such as distance from the coast, rates may be actuarially adequate in some areas.
Recent Rate Changes
TWIA rates increased 5% each year from 2011 through 2016, remained unchanged in 2017, and increased 5% in 2018; a cumulative increase of 40.7% over the eight-year period. TWIA’s rate changes are consistent with the Board’s desire to achieve rate adequacy through a series of smaller rate increases, minimizing the amount of increase affecting policyholders in any one year.