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Drought, Heat & Wildfires Driving Up All Insurance Rates

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - So far, the record drought, heat wave and wildfires across the state have caused an estimated $10 billion in damages and losses are expected to grow.

University of north Texas (UNT) economist Terry Clower said as the insurance companies pay claims they will need to generate more revenue.

"It would be expected that insurance rates would go up and they may have to spread that rate increase across all of their lines," suggested Clower. "So, it would include homeowners insurance, specialty insurance and car insurance."

Insurers will seek an increase in all premiums and, the way the system is set up, they don't have to wait for approval from regulators before upping their rates.

"The bad news for consumers is they get to institute the rate increase, I believe, almost immediately," said Clower. "And then if the insurance board rules against them they have to refund the money at some point later."

"It wasn't just the one… it was many parts of the state and it was homes in many parts of the state."

Experts say insurers can expect to foot even more of the soon, as the weather brings the threat of winter storms.

Last year, insured losses from winter storms totaled $2.6 billion.

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