Heartland Institute Scholar: “Wait and See on TWIA”

Published March 3, 2011

AUSTIN, TX — A scholar at The Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank with offices in Austin, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Tallahassee, Florida, says Texans should take a wait-and-see attitude toward the state Department of Insurance’s decision to place the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association under administrative oversight.

Commissioner Mike Geeslin’s order, signed by Senior Associate Commissioner Danny Saenz, cites problems with TWIA’s claims adjustment, fraud reporting, and failure to address issues related to financial management. TWIA, a state-mandated entity with nominally private management, serves as a “insurer of last resort” for Texans residing in hurricane-prone areas.

“The concerns raised by the TDI are the types of things that, on their surface, would warrant placing any insurer—publicly mandated or not—under administrative oversight,” said Eli Lehrer, vice president of The Heartland Institute. “That said, there’s still a lot for the public to learn here. If these allegations are true, they do seem like serious problems.

“But in any case, these allegations don’t get to the heart of the problem with TWIA: its lack of adequate rates,” Lehrer said.

Eli Lehrer can be contacted at 202/615-0586 or [email protected].