Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Signs Legislation to Reform TWIA

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009  •  Corpus Christi, Texas  •  Speech

It is very important to the people of this area and across the state.

It is a beautiful day here in Corpus Christi, as the sun shines and families enjoy coastal Texas at the beginning of summer vacation.

It's not only summer time, but it's also hurricane season, and we're never far from memories of last year's storms.

The Gulf of Mexico certainly helps us as a vacation destination, and plays a key role in our state's position as the nation's leading exporter, however, it also exposes our citizens to big storms that boil up every year.

They may not blow ashore with the same power every time, and Texans enter every season hoping this is the year we catch a break, but we continue to plan for the worst and pray for the best.

Part of that planning involves improving the way our state handles storm insurance through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, which is why I declared this an emergency issue at the beginning of the recently-concluded legislative session.
I am grateful to Sen. Mike Jackson who sponsored House Bill 4409 which was written by Representatives Taylor, Eiland and Guillen.

Representative Hunter has also been a real champion of this effort.

In this bill, your legislators managed to address a number of key issues that have been making it tough for insurance companies to stay in the windstorm business, and for coastal Texans to get the windstorm coverage they need.

For example, this legislation restructures how TWIA pays for catastrophic events, and changes the way rates are set, moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach.

It also directs the Texas Department of Insurance to develop incentives for insurance companies to write windstorm coverage, so that TWIA truly becomes the insurer of last resort.

Let me boil it down for you: If our legislators hadn't gotten this done, the state could have gone bankrupt, trying to pay insurance claims for another big storm.
If we hadn't gotten this done, we would have risked the chance that no insurance carrier would have written policies for coastal Texans.

If we hadn't gotten this done, too many Texans would have lost the means to protect their homes and businesses.

To me, this bill represents progress, incorporating sound business practices to improve the way we handle an essential issue, that affects all Texans.

Now, I would like to introduce Senator Hinojosa who will share his perspective on this important piece of legislation. Senator?

Thank you, Chuy. Now, it's time to hear from the man who really got behind this bill and kept it rolling no matter what Rep. Hunter?
Thank you, Todd.

Now, what do you say we get some ink on this bill?

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