MAY 21, 2009 CWIC COMMENTARY ON SB 14, HOUSE INSURANCE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

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Review by section of House Committee Substitute SB 14 052109

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A beautiful sight:
Representatives from the Sabine River to the Rio Grande, including County Judges, Mayors, Council Members, Chamber of Commerce officials, and many dedicated citizens gathered on the South steps of the magnificent Texas Capitol Tuesday, May 5, 2009 to demonstrate that the Texas Coast IS Texas, just as much as any other region of this great state.

Senators and Representatives addressed the crowd, applauding them for taking their day and exerting the effort to come to Austin in person, to leave no doubt about their convictions and the importance of windstorm insurance.  The Legislators assured their constituents that they would spare no effort to assure Fair, Affordable, Available Windstorm Insurance to the people, in the face of the continuing and substantial abandonment of its customers by Texas licensed Insurance Companies.

Deadlines affecting bills not reported out of Committee are narrowing the field of bills which can still become law this session.  The two main bills which remain viable are:

SB 1007, Sen. Hegar, Katy [HB 2233, Isett, Lubbock, companion bill] has passed the Senate, and is ‘pending’ in the House Insurance Committee.  This bill is the Texas Department of Insurnace ‘Sunset’ bill, so it is relatively certain to pass.  Several TWIA provisions were swept into the TDi bill, including:

a.) changes to qualify TWIA for federal ‘tax exempt’ status [the only ‘good’ part]; b.) requirement of 2 insurer  ‘declinations’ annually to obtain a TWIA policy; c.) ‘Firing’ TDI and giving TWIA the job of ‘toughening’ and conducting building code inspection and certification; d.) [slipped in apparently unnoticed] a providion which would recharacterize reinsurance as ‘operating expense’, setting the scene to ‘double charge’ for part of its cost in TWIA rates–unless it can be amended before passing the House..

SB 14 Sen. Fraser, Horseshoe Bay; has been negotiated in the Senate to remove most of its punitive ‘surcharges’, [having no actuarial basis, would have added up to 100% for some properties].  It retains, however, its original provisions which would change the nature of TWIA from its real purpose: a state provided market for property owners abandoned by their Texas licensed Insurance Company.  TWIA would become an adversary contesting Texans access to and affordability of the  last remaining source of windstorm insurance–without which the Coastal Economy will stagnate, to the detriment of the State of Texas. Encourage your Senator and Representative to change this bill completely before it passes the House.

Visit your CWIC website: www.cwictx.org to find a list of key House and Senate members, and the Senate passed version of SB 14.

For CWIC Lee Otis “Otie” Zapp, Jr. 5/14/09

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KEY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and SENATE MEMBERS  Contact Information:

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A View from the Coast May 14, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009
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As full time residents of Port Aransas (Port A), we have followed the proposed changes to windstorm coverage with shock and horror! We are full time residents of Port A and are approaching retirement age. We have watched as our retirement savings have been decimated by this recession. Real estate sales are at a standstill as a result of the recession, so we can only guess how far home values have already fallen. Now your proposals would likely further decimate our home value, our only remaining source of retirement savings. Your timing is horrible!……

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CWIC BULLETIN #5 To Austin Tuesday MAY 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009
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There are only a few days left to make a difference

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A Handout available for use by those traveling to Austin to make a point.  Hopefully, there will be enough opportunity to communicate to Legislators that Insurers NOT Insureds have CAUSED TWIA problems.  The real solution, fair to Insurers AND Insureds, is to restore the voluntary market, even if it takes a little discipline to make it happen.
SEE YOU IN AUSTIN TUESDAY.
For CWIC, Otie Zapp

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Comments Off on DON’T LET A BAD BILL “KILL THE COAST” Whole Coast Comes to Austin 5/5/09 to SHOW THE LEGISLATURE That Available and Affordable WINDSTORM INSURANCE IS VITAL TO TEXAS’ ECONOMY TWIA FUNDING NEEDS FIXIN’; DON’T MESS WITH THE REST! IT AIN’T BROKE!

CSSB 14 has taken center stage in the windstorm insurance arena.

 After 4 substitutes for SB 14 had been presented, Lt. Governor Dewhurst is pressing for divergent views to be reconciled in time to pass a bill out of the Senate by May 6, 2009.  Coastal Senators have demonstrated to other Senators that many punitive provisions would harm the Texas economy.  The result is that bill revisions are possible which could make CSSB 14 acceptable to TWIA actual and potential future policy holders.

The House Insurance Committee has several windstorm bills left pending, including some of great concern, but it seems to be awaiting Senate action. 

 The Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce has initiated, and ALL CWIC interested parties are encouraged to participate, in a noon May 5, 2009 “Don’t Kill the Coast” blitz at the Texas Capitol steps.  This action, attended by hundreds from all parts of the Texas Coast is designed to communicate in unmistakable terms that this is a life or death issue for the Coastal economy.

A Galveston County bus reservation form is attached below.  Others come by plane, train, bus or drive, but COME join your fellow Texans to show in the strongest communication possible–your bodily presence– that this is vitally important to you.  This is the best way to show YOUR Senator and Representative that YOU APPRECIATE THEIR STRONG PROTECTION!  

DON’T LET A “BAD” WINDSTORM INSURANCE BILL

  KILL THE TEXAS COAST!!

 

Join the Galveston Chamber of Commerce on a

 

 TRIP TO AUSTIN

 

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

 

Bus will leave Target Parking lot at 7:00 a.m.

 

42 SEATS AVAILABLE

 

Chamber members will join the Mayor of Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and their members

(14 buses) along with the CWIC – Coastal Windstorm Insurance Coalition

In support of Legislation beneficial to the Texas Coast. 

 

Supporters will meet at 12:00 noon on the Capitol Steps

 

Please RSVP Gina Spagnola at gspagnola@galvestonchamber.com

 

Reservations will be handled on a first come first served basis.

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CWIC Good and Bad points on “5 – 2” Temporary Funding Amendment
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