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Government/Politics

Will Windstorm Insurance Agency Reform Make It Into The Special Session?

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National Weather Service
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Texas House members are urging Gov. Rick Perry to call for reforming various governmental programs during the special session.

Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-League City, is hoping the governor will call for lawmakers to change the funding structure for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, a quasi-governmental group that provides reduced-rate insurance coverage against a hurricane.

"The great concern that we have now is the fiscal soundness of TWIA and would these policies be backed by adequate resources should a major storm with significant loses come through the community," Bonnen said.

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is state-funded insurance that those living along the coast can use to cover homes against hurricane winds.  It was meant to be a supplemental or secondary coverage option, but many people living on the coast now rely solely on TWIA coverage.

Bonnen said one funding solution is using multiple tiers of policyholders from the coastal regions to help cover the rebuilding costs following a hurricane.

"Policyholders and property and casualty holders on the coast would be the first to contribute if there is a substantial loss, but if we suffer a great natural tragedy then the rest of the state, as we always do, will step in and look out for each other," Bonnen said.

He said that could happen in the form of a bond that all Texas taxpayers pay into. 

Bonnen tried to get bill passed during the regular session with no luck, but hopes it will make it onto the list of items debated during the special session.

At this point he has not heard back from Perry regarding the issue.