Rate Hikes, Fees Approved for Texas Fair Plan

October 1, 2018

Texas Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan approved a request by the Texas Fair Plan Association (TFPA) to raise rates and revise/implement various fees. The commissioner denied, however, the plan’s request to end premium discounts for electronic burglar alarms and automatic sprinkler systems.

The plan provides homeowners insurance to areas in Texas designated as underserved. It offers limited coverage for one- and two-family residential dwellings, townhouses, manufactured homes, and condominiums that meet the TFPA’s underwriting standards.

In June, it proposed an overall statewide rate increase of 6.9 percent. Specific changes vary by zone and policy form. The plan requested also authority to:

  • Introduce an insufficient funds fee of $15
  • Raise the installment billing service fee from $3 to $5 for quarterly and semi-annual payment plans
  • Introduce a $5 late fee
  • Introduce a $10 pay-by-phone e-payment fee

The commissioner denied the request, also made in June, to drop the above-mentioned premium discounts because the proposed changes were “not supported by sufficient information,” according to the commissioner’s order issued on Sept. 10.

The rate and fee changes take effect Oct. 1 for new business and Nov. 1 for renewal business.

TFPA announced in late August that it would be making changes to its policy, claims and billing systems in the fourth quarter of 2018. The plan said it anticipates streamlined processes and new features will provide an improved user experience and consistency.