If a business investor is considering moving to the Coastal Bend, proposed windstorm insurance rate increases could scare them away.
It's just one of many concerns that were voiced during Friday's "Don't Kill the Texas Coast" rally.
Political leaders and residents packed City Council Chambers to stand united against those proposed windstorm rates.
"We have one goal, and that goal is for us to have the same insurance system that the rest of the state does," said Foster Edwards of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce.
Under the most recent proposal, Corpus Christi would be among Texas' coastal cities that could see windstorm insurance rates increase by as much as 200-percent, and according to opponents of the proposal, that could have a devastating economic impact on every property owner.
In the cross hairs at Friday's rally was Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman.
"When I look at Commissioner Kitzman, you know, I thought we were one state under one star, and she's trying to break us up," Ingleside Mayor Peter Perkins said. "She's trying to break us up even further when she starts talking about partitioning the counties and getting the people at the back of the county fighting with the people on the sea coast."
"If we can push them beyond the end of hurricane season, they will have no excuse to add these unconscionable surcharges," State Rep. J.R. Lozano said. "And the surcharges, my friends, the legislation only allows them to raise our rates 5-percent per year, which they have been doing on time every year without fail. So then, because they can only increase by 5-percent, they add all these surcharges on top. When you combine them it's ridiculous. 100-200 percent."
The rally was in response to the cancellation of a Texas Department of Insurance decision to postpone meetings that had been set this week in Austin and Corpus Christi. Organizers of Friday's rally said they plan to keep the pressure up until the insurance commission gets the message that every county should pay into the windstorm insurance pool, not just those on the coast.
In response to Friday's rally, Mark Hanna of the Texas Department of Insurance said that, after Hurricane Ike, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Fund was almost depleted, and the annual increases are needed in order to build them back up. He also said because coastal counties are the most vulnerable to devastating hurricanes, they should pay more for coverage.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.