State Farm raising rates 35% for many Dallas homeowners

03:16 PM CDT on Friday, May 28, 2010

By TERRENCE STUTZ / The Dallas Morning News

tstutz@dallasnews.com

Many Dallas-area homeowners insured by State Farm are being hit with premium increases that are nearly

triple the 13 percent figure that the company said it was imposing statewide under twin rate hikes filed over

the past eight months.

Figures released today by the Texas Department of Insurance, which has been battling State Farm over its

home insurance rates for several years, showed that customers of the state's largest insurer will pay as much

as 35 percent more for coverage this year in several ZIP codes in Dallas County.

Kevin Davis, a spokesman for State Farm, said company officials will have to review the insurance

department figures before making any comment.

"Of course, the best place for policyholders to continue to get information about any of our rate changes is

with their State Farm agent," he added.

When originally filing the two rate proposals, State Farm officials cited the rising cost of building materials

and the pattern of destructive weather in certain parts of the state, including hailstorms in North Texas and

hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.

The bigger increases affect homeowners in North and South Dallas , Duncanville, Garland , Irving,

Richardson and other cities in the area. Fort Worth homeowners will face increases of up to 39 percent,

according to sample rates listed on the insurance department's website.

Only the Houston-Galveston corridor, Lubbock and coastal areas of South Texas face similarly high increases

across the state, the sample rates indicated.

If a homeowner also has auto coverage with the company, that will drop the average increase down to about

26 percent in the Dallas area under State Farm’s auto-home discount.

The new rate figures were listed today on the insurance department’s website as the agency stepped up

pressure on State Farm to reconsider the steep increases, which state Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin

warned could disrupt the home insurance market in Texas.

Geeslin voiced fears that other companies may follow State Farm’s lead and boost rates.

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