Gov. Rick Perry Lies to Texans About Home Insurance Premium Costs

Perry is a lying sack of manure
by Peter Stern
We need to ask ourselves, “Why?” […do Texans continue to pay the highest home insurance premiums in the nation.]
Five years ago with Gov. Rick Perry, then Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Commissioner Jose Montemayor, and legislators “looking the other way,” lax insurance legislation permitted the industry to double overnight the premiums paid by Texas homeowners. Bear in mind that Gov. Perry will have a tough battle for reelection in 2010 from fellow Republican, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Texans now have some “clout” to demand the governor do something before the election.
In 2004 and during the previous several years, the insurance industry had been experiencing a hard market and was losing revenue; we were told it was caused by excessive claims due to storms, winds, flooding, hail, and mold. The industry collectively had called upon the state informally to help with correcting the market, but few listened to its pleas.
As in many previous years of hard markets, the insurance industry elected to act independently on the problem without waiting any longer for government interaction on its behalf. Virtually overnight, it then over-corrected the market by doubling home insurance premiums. Texas homeowners are still paying those doubled premiums.
In some instances, the industry decreased the coverage and still increased the premiums significantly.
Initially, the reaction of homeowners was disbelief and then anger. Many contacted the offices of the governor, TDI, and various legislators. They were told publicly by Gov. Perry and his appointee Comm. Montemayor that by the next year, the insurance industry would refund up to 14 percent of the increased premiums. To date, that has never occurred. Homeowners must have forgotten the promises made by Perry, Montemayor and now TDI Commissioner Mike Geeslin.
So, now it’s been 5 years of insurance over-compensation and profiteering, while premiums still are doubled! Texans still are being lied to, while the governor and state officials continue to permit the insurance industry in Texas to maintain the highest home insurance premiums anywhere else in the nation.
Currently, we are in the middle of the 3rd fiscal business quarter of year 2009 and are in a softer market. The industry has been reaping substantial profits for the past several years and is still content to keep premiums at this highest-ever level.
Despite high revenues, there is no sign of legislators providing more oversight and/or regulations on the insurance market, nor is the industry on its own considering lowering the premiums of home insurance to a more reasonable amount.
Periodically, when public opinion and discontent require it, Perry gives the issue some lip service and feigns to leave it up to the Legislature to consider, but no one seriously acts on behalf of overburdened Texas homeowners. With ever-increasing property values via appraisal creep generating escalating taxes annually (whether or not appropriate), home insurance may be a close second as the cause of the record number of foreclosure throughout the state.
Apparently, unless Texans pound on the gubernatorial and legislative doors, communicating via phone and letters that home insurance relief is needed now, no one will do anything about it and Texas homeowners will continue to pay the highest premium costs anywhere in the nation. We can NOT depend on the governor, legislators, current TDI Commissioner Mike Geeslin, or the insurance industry to offer homeowners relief. To them, the sweet smell of profits overrides the stench of decay from the American Dream of owning your own home becoming a nightmare for most of us.
We either can remain the docile sheep officials want us to be, or we can move on correcting this unacceptable series of insurance events.
Naturally, an easier option for fed-up Texans is to vote-out Gov. Rick Perry in the 2010 GOP Gubernatorial Primary, by voting-in fellow Republican opponent Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Texas taxpayers finally have a viable option in lowering their home insurance premiums by removing a lying and deceitful special interest governor from office.

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