Across the country, many Americans have had to deal with premium increases on just about every kind of insurance they carry, and that can lead to a lot of consternation among policyholders. That may certainly be the case in Texas, where state residents will see their home insurance policy prices go up between 7 percent and 8 percent on average, but some residents may see increases of far greater than that. As a consequence, it may be critical for insurance agents operating in the Lone Star State to make sure they’re doing all in their power to explain why rates go up, and what that will typically mean going forward.
New filings made with the Texas state insurance regulator shows that rates are rising that sharply despite the fact that home insurers operating there have pulled in sizable profits in recent years while dealing with losses that don’t even reach the national average, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News. However, it should be noted that the proposed rate hikes are actually smaller than they were last year, but still exceed the rate of inflation significantly.
What’s the problem?
As a result of these filings, consumers groups are already calling the insurers’ proposed changes unjustified, but also acknowledge there might not be much that the state can do to rein them in because of the way the regulator is extended power by the state government.
“Year after year, Texas families and businesses get the squeeze from Big Insurance,” Alex Winslow of Texas Watch, a consumer group that closely follows insurance issues, told the newspaper. “Texans are crying ‘uncle’ over their insurance costs. Homeowners and businesses need relief. Is it too much to expect that insurance companies in Texas provide meaningful coverage, fair claims payments and reasonable prices?”
The other side of the argument
However, for insurers’ part, they argue that the state is still dealing with major weather issues such as hail that can lead to major costs for them, the report said. This is often particularly true when it comes to people trying to sue their insurers over hail damage that may or may not be covered by their home policies, as these cases often lead to significant litigation costs that insurers say only continue to rise. And as hail storms become more common in the state, this issue gains even greater momentum for insurers to combat.
The more insurance agents can do to help their clients understand the risk that goes into home insurance as a whole, and how that ends up affecting costs, the better off both they and these policyholders are likely to be. That’s because people have proven to be more satisfied with their coverage, often irrespective of what they pay for it, when they have a better understanding of it and a good working relationship with their insurer or agent. Therefore, any inroads that can be made here will likely go a long way toward boosting customer satisfaction ratings, and even client retention rates, in the future.