- Associated Press - Friday, August 1, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Home insurance for residents of the Coastal Bend would cost about 70 percent less without private wind coverage, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Ben Gonzalez, a department spokesman, said a resident with a $2,000 home insurance policy could pay $600 if windstorm coverage wasn’t necessary, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times (https://bit.ly/1kaJlqK ) reported Thursday.

The figure doesn’t apply to about 60 percent of residents covered through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, which provides windstorm and hail coverage as a last resort for people who can’t get commercial insurance because of the risk of hurricanes or severe storms.

State Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi, who has backed legislation to add more transparency regulations to the Texas Department of Insurance, asked for the information. He said costs of windstorm insurance were high for an area that rarely sees hurricanes, and he wanted to know what the rates are so residents could have a baseline if rates increased.

“This is part of my effort to provide the coastal residents information with regard with what’s going on in regard to their insurance policies,” Hunter said. “This is an example of information I’m finding out that should be available to the public.”

He said that kind of information should be listed on the department’s website.

Insurance Council of Texas spokesman Mark Hanna said the numbers are “in step, as far as we can tell.”

The windstorm association was founded by Texas legislators in 1971. It serves more than 267,000 property owners, 90 percent of them residential.

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Information from: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, https://www.caller.com

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