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State program makes it easier for property owners to obtain coverage
After 50 years of raising a family on San Antonio's West Side, Pablo and Guadalupe Gonzales have come to expect their fair the share of problems. But last year couple had to face something that took even them by surprise: their inability to purchase homeowners insurance.
"Many of the agents would drive through the neighborhood and not even stop to look at the house," says Pablo. "We were very shocked that companies would not insure our home."
The elderly couple made the mistake of letting their former policy lapse several years ago. When they realized the error and attempted to renew the policy, their former insurer refused. Shopping around, the couple found every other insurance company refused them coverage, too. The reason: The couple owned an older home that does not have central heat and air, meaning they utilized gas space heaters and room air conditioners to heat and cool their home.
Olga Cuellar, the Gonzales' daughter, says it was frustration that led her and her parents to seek help from the Market Assistance Program (MAP) developed by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).
"After working …