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Wild Wind and Rain: The Texas Coastal Insurance Challenge

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Hurricane Ike on Sept. 13, 2008, stormed into Texas near Galveston, leaving behind billions of dollars in property damage in its wake. One insurance company that took the hardest of hits in terms of claims from that storm is the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, which was pummeled with $1.8 billion in claims.

Previous to the 2008 hurricane season, TWIA, the insurer of last resort for wind coverage along the Texas Gulf Coast, had accumulated nearly half a billion dollars in its catastrophe reserve trust fund, but between Hurricanes Dolly and Ike that year -- especially Ike -- the fund was wiped out, and the Association was forced to start from scratch to build up its reserves.

TWIA Executive Director Jim Oliver has praised his staff for its ability to manage those claims, and the resulting litigation, as well as the dramatic growth that the Association has experienced during the last decade.

As the peak of what has been predicted to be an active hurricane season approaches, Oliver discussed those challenges and more.

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