South Texans continue to voice their concern over increased rates on their auto and homeowner insurance policies, however the Insurance Council of Texas points out that surcharges have already been approved. Following Hurricane Ike, legislation calling for fee increases when and if and hurricane hit was drafted and passed in 2009. Mark Hanna from the Insurance Council of Texas says it is only now that the law is being put into effect. He also says surcharges would only be added to Coastal Bend residents policies if a hurricane passed $1 billion dollars in damage.
"It's going to take a major hurricane for this payment of this to take effect," said Hanna. "It's going into this second layer of bonds and that's where the surcharges are called for."
Hanna says the surcharges would not increase by up to 20% as previously believed. Instead, he says motorists would pay up to $30 more for a 6-month auto policy and homeowners could pay up to $50 more per year. Hanna adds the legislature could amend or change the law when it meets next January. It is important to note that these are approximate figures. In an e-mail sent to 3 News by Hanna just last week, he reported that car insurance rates would go up by only $25 and homeowners rates would increase by $40, not the current figures of $30 and $50.