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Farmers, USAA among insurers to raise homeowners rates in Texas in H1

Four of the largest homeowners insurance companies were approved for rate increases in Texas in the first six months of the year, which could bring in as much as a combined $161 million in additional premiums, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Allstate Corp., United Services Automobile Association, Farmers Insurance Group of Cos. and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. got the approval for the hikes, which could affect approximately 1.58 million policyholders in the Lone Star State.

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Nationwide, rate decisions for those four companies, as well as Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc., were generally in the upward direction, most by single-digit percentages. Allstate, USAA and Liberty Mutual were approved for double-digit increases in at least two states each.

Farmers received approval for the largest increase in Texas — $87.7 million — a weighted-average change of 9.71% on about $903.2 million of written premiums indicated within the rate filings. About 487,000 policyholders will be affected by what was Farmers' steepest increase nationwide.

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USAA was granted a $43.4 million increase, a weighted-average change of 5.57%, to $778.4 million of written premiums. Allstate had a weighted-average hike of 5.2%, about $29.0 million, to $557.6 million of written premiums, while State Farm had a modest 0.1% weighted-average boost, approximately $1.4 million, covering just under $2 billion of written premiums.

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Roberto DeLeon, Allstate's senior corporate relations manager for the Texas region, said the company does not rely solely on past events when it comes to determining rates.

"Rates are not based on one or two years of heavy storms, but on projected losses based on long-term historical trends and actuarial data," DeLeon said in an interview. "We have seen an increase in these type of events, even from a severity standpoint. That's what helps us determine our rates."

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Allstate, the lone publicly traded company among the five major carriers, reported rate hikes in 36 states. Alongside Texas, other significant increases included a $22.9 million boost covering $334.9 million of Georgia premiums and an uplift of $11.0 million over $219.8 million of premiums in Maryland.

State Farm cut rates in 14 states, the most of any of the top five carriers, and raised them in just five states. The largest aggregate change was in Michigan, where a 3.81% reduction translated into a $15.7 million decrease covering $412.8 million of premiums.

USAA received approval for higher rates in 26 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to the $43.4 million increase in Texas, the company also received approval for increases equating to $17.4 million of calculated premiums in Virginia and $12.1 million in Georgia.

Farmers was approved for rate hikes in 20 states and decreases in six. Outside Texas, its biggest aggregate increase was $10.0 million, in Illinois.

Fifteen states approved rate hikes for Liberty Mutual, including a 5.94% increase covering $168.4 million of Illinois premiums, equating to a potential rise of $10.0 million.