12News has learned from a Texas state lawmaker that the impact of Hurricane Matthew, if as damaging as expected, could drive up your windstorm insurance premiums or even temporarily leave you without coverage.

Most Southeast Texas homeowners are now required to have windstorm insurance.

But even though the landfall of Hurricane Matthew is expected about a thousand miles away from Beaumont, the impact could be significant even here in Texas.

State Representative Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) tells 12News the impact of Hurricane Matthew could leave area homeowners with less competition, fewer windstorm insurance options, and higher windstorm insurance premiums.

United Property and Casualty is one of only 4 insurance companies that write windstorm policies in Southeast Texas. And UPC also heavily insures Florida homeowners.

Insurance industry leaders tell Phelan if UPC takes heavy losses in Florida, the company is likely to pull out of Texas. Other companies could do the same if they absorb heavy losses in Florida. That means many Southeast Texas homeowners could be forced onto TWIA or the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association coverage.

For the first time in many years, TWIA did not raise its insurances rates this year. It's the first time in many years that TWIA insurance rates have not gone up year over year.