This is an appeal to our inland readers to contact their state legislators and let them know any version of existing windstorm insurance bills, Senate Bill 14 or House Bill 4733, are bad news. The sooner, the better.
The problem facing the Legislature is replenishing the Texas Catastrophic Windstorm Insurance pool that was depleted after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.
This cannot, and should not, be considered a coastal problem. Coastal residents are not the only Texans affected by hurricanes. Hurricane force winds, tornadoes spawned by hurricanes and tidal surges can affect counties well inland of the 14-county coastal area that are the frontline for hurricanes.
Additionally, the coast of Texas serves not only its residents, but visitors and industries from across the state and the country. Cripple the coast and you cripple the state. The ports of Corpus Christi, Brownsville and Houston receive goods that are transported to the far reaches of the Panhandle and West Texas. If those ports are rendered inoperable by sky-high insurance premiums, the economy of the entire state is at risk. That's not a coastal problem, that's a Texas problem.
Windstorm insurance is not unlike health insurance. We pay our premiums in the hope that we never need the benefits those premiums guarantee. Most of us pay the price and seldom use it. We may not like it, but paying those premiums is "insurance" against the day when we are among those in dire need.
Similarly, restoring funding to the Texas Catastrophic Windstorm pool is the responsibility of all Texans.
Let your legislators know that you do not support bills that are punitive to residents of and industries along the Texas coast, and therefore bad for all of Texas.