Will Mandatory Rate Cuts Really Bring Homeowners Relief? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/10/03 - Lufkin

Will Mandatory Rate Cuts Really Bring Homeowners Relief?

Story by Wade Cameron

'Help is on the way!' That's the word from the Texas Department of Insurance to homeowners. While the state may be out to save Texas homeowners more than half a billion dollars, insurance companies are concerned the rate cuts could put them out of business in the state.

"So what we're faced here is that we could have a lot of the insurance companies leaving Texas which is going to make it a whole lot worse than it already is," said Terry Morgan of Morgan Insurance Agency.

Morgan says insurance companies haven't had enough time for their rates to settle after black mold forced them to skyrocket in 2001.

"My opinion is, if the state will just leave insurance companies alone for another 3 to 6 months then you'll start seeing rates drop on their own," said Morgan. "And soon the companies will become more competitive to get that market share and bring the kind of competition we need here in Texas."

Many companies plan to appeal the mandatory rate reductions, but even if they should hold up, Morgan says the size of the reduction may not remain the same.

"I think you'll see insurance companies go in and negotiate with the state and rates will begin to come down but you won't see the 15 and 20 percent rate cuts like what the state is mandating."

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