What is Depopulation at TWIA?
In 2015, the 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session passed Senate Bill (SB) 900 which authorized the creation of two new depopulation programs: a Voluntary Market Depopulation Program and an Assumption Reinsurance Depopulation Program. Designed to provide TWIA policyholders with alternative options for wind and hail insurance in the private market (see list of participating companies), both programs are completely voluntary.
What is depopulation?
Depopulation is a series of programs authorized by 2015 state law and designed to provide TWIA policyholders with alternative options for wind and hail insurance in the private market. The programs function in the following way: TWIA provides policy data to participating insurers who then make offers to assume, or transfer, TWIA policies.
What is the Voluntary Market Depopulation Program?
Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2015, the Voluntary Market Depopulation Program allows participating insurers to make offers on TWIA policies one at a time at policy renewal. A Texas-authorized insurer may participate and must execute a NDA to access TWIA policy data and identify policies.
The insurer can appoint the policyholder’s current agent, or enter into a limited servicing agreement, in order to present the offer to the policyholder. The policyholder and agent may accept or reject any offer.
What is the Assumption Reinsurance Depopulation Program?
Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2015, the Assumption Reinsurance Depopulation Program allows participating insurers to make offers on large numbers of TWIA policies. A Texas-authorized insurer may participate in the Assumption Reinsurance Depopulation Program. The insurer must execute a NDA to access TWIA policy data and identify policies. In addition, participating insurers must submit additional documentation to TWIA and TDI for further review.
The insurer must appoint the policyholder’s current agent, or enter a limited servicing agreement, in order to present offers to policyholders. Policyholders will be notified by TWIA if their agent approves an offer. If policyholders take no action, their policy will automatically be transferred to the participating insurer, or they can opt out of the program by calling TWIA, sending in a pre-paid postcard, or calling their agent.
What information is available to insurers participating in the depopulation programs?
State law outlines the content that can be accessed by approved insurance companies, which includes the policyholder name, insured property address, policy number, policy effective date, coverage and premium information, and building characteristics such as construction and age of the home. TWIA is responsible for keeping other policyholder information private such as bank account and phone numbers. It is important to note that social security numbers are never collected by TWIA and are not included.
Data will be provided for all TWIA policies in-force. Policyholders who do not want their information disclosed as part of the program can complete and return the Disclosure Limitation Reply Form.
Are residential and commercial included under both programs?
Yes, both depopulation programs include commercial as well as residential policies.
If policyholders want to come back at any point, can they?
Policyholders may return to TWIA at any time after accepting an offer of coverage from a participating insurer. TWIA’s general eligibility requirements will apply.
How will participating insurers handle WPI-8s?
WPI-8s are not a statutory requirement for insurers participating in the depopulation program, so unlike TWIA, these insurance companies may not require certification. However, TWIA recommends policyholders continue to have qualifying repairs certified by TDI to avoid potential eligibility issues if the policyholder needs to return to TWIA in the future. TWIA’s general eligibility requirements will apply.
Do policyholders need to get a WPI-8 even if they take the offer from the depopulation insurer?
We will be communicating to policyholders and agents that although participating insurers may not require WPI-8s, TWIA recommends policyholders continue to get WPI-8s on qualifying repairs to avoid potential eligibility issues if the policyholder needs to return to TWIA in the future. TWIA’s general eligibility requirements will apply.
Is there a maximum number of policies that can be taken out?
While there is not a maximum number of policies which can be taken out, TWIA will consider its contractual debt covenants and need to maintain its financial standing in determining how many policies can be taken out of TWIA.
How do the depopulation programs work with regard to policy changes?
Regarding the Voluntary Market Depopulation Program, the new policy is written by the new insurer and that insurer is responsible for policy changes. For the Assumption Reinsurance Depopulation Program, TWIA is responsible for policy changes until the new insurer issues the policy.
The list of companies below is an inclusive list. Companies may be participating in one or both of the depopulation programs. Some companies have made additional information available on their websites. Please refer to the list below or call Cole Insurance TWFG @ 861-4288. Our agency represents the list of companies listed below.
· Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance
· Lighthouse Property Insurance Company
· Maison Insurance Company
· Wellington Insurance Group
· The Woodlands Insurance Company
· Occidental Fire & Casualty