Texas Assoc. of REALTORS Says 78th Legislature Good for Property Owners But Could Have Been Better

June 16, 2003

Now that the 78th Texas Legislature is over, George Stephens, chairman of the 60,000-member Texas Association of REALTORS®, credits state lawmakers for protecting the rights of private property owners while acknowledging there is still room for improvement in future sessions.

“The good news is most Texas families will get some relief from exorbitantly high rates and other problems associated with homeowners insurance. However, the legislature didn’t go far enough to institute meaningful reforms. We supported what ultimately passed because it’s a step in the right direction – but we feel Texans deserve even better.”

Stephens cited a number of consumer issues from the 2003 session including:

*Homeowners insurance. When the session opened in January, high
insurance costs and lack of availability were hardships for many Texas
families. In fact, Texans’ homeowners insurance rates were already
83 percent above the national average back in 2001, before the biggest increases. By session’s end June 2, REALTOR(R)-supported legislation had passed, establishing state oversight of rates, limiting the use of credit scoring, restricting insurance companies’ right to rescind policies and stopping the stigmatization of properties when an
appliance-related water claim is filed.

“All in all, the 78th session was good, but there’s room for improvement to make Texas a better and more affordable place to live, work and raise a family,” Stephens said.

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