Research Publications

Attorney Involvement in Homeowners Insurance Claims in Texas

This study examines a sample of closed homeowners insurance claims for property damage occurring from 2008 to 2013, exploring the distribution of the number of claims and the dollars paid across regions within the state. The rate of attorney involvement is examined, with particular focus on claims stemming from wind and hail damage. The report documents the spread of attorney involvement across counties in Texas and provides estimates for the impact of continued increases.

Trends in Homeowners Insurance Claims, 2015 Edition

This report documents homeowners insurance claim frequency, severity, and loss cost trends from 1997 to 2013. Special emphasis is given to the role of catastrophe-related claims. Countrywide and state findings are presented.

Trends in Homeowners Insurance Claims

This report documents homeowners insurance claim frequency, severity, and loss cost trends from 1997 to 2011. Countrywide and state findings are presented. Special attention is focused on the role of catastrophe-related claims. The study finds that the cost of homeowners insurance claims increased rapidly over the study period, driven primarily by a rapid increase in the severity of all claims and a slow, but steady, increase in the frequency of noncatastrophe-related claims beginning in 2006.

State Beach and Windstorm Plans, October 2010

A new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) describes how the role of beach and windstorm plans in some states has changed from serving as a market of last resort, to providing unintentional incentives for economic development in areas vulnerable to severe wind damage. The report explains how state-run plans interact with voluntary homeowners insurance markets and describes how each of the five state beach and windstorm plans (Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas) and two statewide plans (Louisiana and Florida) would weather a hurricane catastrophe. The study reviews each plan’s growth in insured exposure from a theoretical perspective. Individual state case studies analyze each plan's origin, operational framework, and financial structure, along with overall residual market health in each state.

Municipal Bond Holdings of Property-Casualty Insurance Companies

This IRC report describes the property-casualty insurance industry’s role as the fourth largest investor in municipal bond markets and presents findings on the types of projects funded through municipal bonds purchased by insurers.

Fairness and Balance in Residential Property Insurance:

A national public attitude survey of over 2,000 current/previous/potential homeowners was conducted by The Tarrance Group. Specific issues examined include availability of homeowners insurance, fairness of pricing and coverage choices, disparate impact, private and government programs for underserved markets, and other challenges in urban insurance markets.

Coastal Exposure and Community Protection Hurricane Andrew's Legacy

This study uses data from coastal counties in the 18 states along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to document population and insured exposure increases from 1980 through 1993. The devastation of Hurricane Andrew is analyzed to show the strengths and weaknesses of current building code practices and enforcement, and to make recommendations for improvement. Computer models are presented which estimate potential losses from future hurricanes. Cost: $25 in the U.S. and $40 elsewhere, postpaid.

Estimated Cost of Compliance with 1991 Building Code Seismic Requirements

This report prepared by the National Association of Home Builders for IRC shows that builders can construct homes providing for life safety in earthquakes at an added cost of less than 1% of the purchase price of a new home.

The National Flood Insurance Program: Agency and Insurer Perspectives

Surveys of insurers and agents explore their views and practices regarding National Flood Insurance and Write-Your-Own programs. The study examines reasons for participation/non-participation by providers and property owners, the role of lenders in the sale of flood insurance, growth in policies sold, and views on who is responsible for promoting flood insurance.