Insurance Industry Owns Our State Government

RECEIVED Tue., March 11, 2008

Dear Editor,
    The insurance industry in Texas basically owns our state government. In 2004 a state audit uncovered the insurance industry had overcharged Texas drivers and Texas homeowners more than $5.2 billion. Our then insurance commissioner, Gov. George W. Bush appointee Jose Montemayor, went to the insurance companies and basically told them: "We caught you, and now you are going to be punished. You can keep the money, but you have to promise to never do it again." Our current governor – who is owned by those companies – then got one of his cronies in the Legislature to introduce a bill exempting them from being audited. The bill failed to pass, but it shows the depth at which our governor is owned by this industry. Texas has one of the lowest ratios of payments to payouts in the country, and yet it has some of the highest insurance rates on homes and autos in the country. State law requires you to have auto insurance to drive. Mortgage companies require you to have insurance to buy a home. We need to make sure this industry is not setting their rates too high with the knowledge that we have to purchase their product. What they have done in the past is as close as we will ever see to being real organized crime. They own the politicians, and they have our police department and courts acting as organized-crime enforcers for their industry. Do we need insurance? Absolutely! Do we need strong governmental oversight of those insurance companies? Absolutely! I have been a Texas Watch member since 2002, and I hope you will join me in supporting them. I simply have my bank account set up for a small monthly donation each month. I live on Social Security, and I can't give much, but these are the only people I know willing to take on this industry Goliath and its political cronies. Please join me in joining Texas Watch and helping them to help us, the Texas drivers and/or homeowners.
Delwin Goss
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