State Farm looking to raise prices in Texas

State Farm is looking to raise the rates of homeowners insurance in the state of Texas, appealing to the Department of Insurance for an increase up to 8.5%. The Lufkin Daily News reports

Insurance giant State Farm Lloyds filed with the Texas Department of Insurance on July 15 to increase its homeowners’ insurance rates in Texas by an average of 8.5 percent starting on Oct. 1 for existing customers upon renewal and Sept. 1 for new customers. Angelina County’s increase is below the state average at 5.7 percent. State Farm noted that 350,000 of its 1.2 million customers will see no change or a decrease in their rates as a result of the filing.

“We’ve seen major insurance carriers Allstate and Farmers raise their rates and now State Farm is completing the rate hike trifecta,” said N. Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, a consumer rights group based in Austin.

State Farm Lloyds called 2008 “the worst catastrophic loss year in Texas history” with hurricanes Dolly, Ike and numerous spring hail storms across the state. The result: claims totaling $1.4 billion. Through May of 2009, State Farm paid $572.8 million in weather-related claims, already ranking 2009 second only to 2008 as the most costly of the last five claim years even prior to the start of hurricane season, the company said in a press release.

Texas residents can do little but wait and see as the state decides just how much State Farm can expect from policy holders that have lost a lot of their own money as well in these storms. Check back on this blog as time elapses to see what develops.

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