Commentary

Texas homeowners pay highest insurance rates

Dear editor,

I am a retired realtor, and if you are wondering why houses in your neighborhood are not selling, here’s why.

Texas homeowners pay the highest insurance rates in the nation, despite measures designed to lower rates and much worse weather losses in other states.

A study from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners showed that the average annual premium in Texas for the most common homeowner policy was $1,409 a year, considerably more than the nationwide average of $804.

Since Texas does not collect income taxes from its citizens, the state’s greatest source for income is property taxes.

This revenue funds fundamental programs like schools, and city governance and maintenance. Texans have some of the highest property taxes of any state in the union.

And they increase every year, as you know. (These stats are on Google quoting newspapers).

So if you can find a buyer who can qualify for the principal and interest payment on the mortgage, the homeowners Insurance and property taxes will add at least $400 to $500 dollars to that mortgage payment.

The Texas Department of Insurance is supposed to regulate rate increases, obviously that is not happening.

After Texas the survey found Louisiana (which increased dramatically after Katrina) at $1,144 and Florida at $1,083.

In most counties the tax rate is about 3 percent of the retail price of your home, which would probably make sense if that percentage corresponded to the rise and fall of the actual market.

In fact, most states collect the appropriate property taxes at a moderate rate of increase each year.

According to the study made by the 2007 National Association of Insurance Commissioners the average premium paid in the entire country in the year 2005 was approximately $764.

According to that same study the average Texan resident saw average premiums of approximately $1,372.

The study itself found the “longhorn” state to be the most expensive state when it came to homeowners insurance in the entire United States.

Mary Ridgway 106 Sand Oak Rockdale


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2010-10-21 digital edition



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