Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has been asked by the Office of Public Insurance Counsel to stop State Farm from using rates that are “excessive, unreasonable, and unfairly discriminatory.” Will she intervene? That remains to be seen. Last Fall, when State Farm filed the single biggest rate increase in recent memory and jacked up its rates 20%, Kitzman had an opportunity to protect State Farm’s customers by rejecting the rate hike. She sat on her hands. Commissioner Kitzman should stop coddling big insurance companies like State Farm. She can start by heeding the call to force State Farm to lower its rates. (more…)
This morning, the Senate Business and Commerce committee considered SB 112 by Senator Eddie Lucio which would require insurers to disclose the true value of home insurance deductibles. Our Director of Legislative Affairs, Ware Wendell, testified in favor of this bill, saying that it’s a simple common-sense fix that would help policyholders better understand the actual dollar amount of their percentage deductibles. During the hearing, insurance lobbyists opposed the bill. Senator Kirk Watson stood up for Texas policyholders by holding one lobbyist’s feet to the fire and discredited his false arguments against the bill. (more…)
Speaker Joe Straus released the committee assignments for members of the Texas House today. There has been much shuffling and turnover in the House coming into the session. So, just how do the members of key committees rank on our latest scorecard based on key votes from the last legislative session? Take a look. (more…)
The Texas Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, chaired by Sen. John Carona, issued its recommendations for the current legislative session this morning. Among them were pro-policyholder reforms that, if implemented, will improve transparency and empower policyholders to shop our complex insurance market more effectively. (more…)
The results are in! We had the biggest survey response we’ve ever seen, and we’re grateful for your input. Now that we have your preferences, we will be more prepared to advocate for you at the Capitol this session. (more…)
The 83rd Legislative Session has begun here in Austin! It’s going to be a tough one for consumers, but we’ve never been more ready. With more activists than ever, we know that your voices will have an even greater impact.
But before we get started, we need your help. We want to know what issues are most important to you this session and what’s the best way to keep you informed and involved. (more…)
Imagine this scenario. Texans are facing a physician shortage. Under-served rural and poor communities struggle to attract doctors to serve their needs. Politicians scramble to find a solution to the crisis. That is where we were 10 years ago. Things aren’t so different today. (more…)
The Department of Insurance is considering a rule restricting forced arbitration in insurance policies and has asked for input. Mandatory, pre-dispute arbitration limits the legal rights of consumers by forcing them into a costly, secret, unappealable process that favors big insurance companies over policyholders. Ensuring that policyholders maintain their full legal protections by formally banning forced arbitration is crucial. (more…)
Commissions paid to insurance agents by the state’s windstorm insurance pool should be lowered to levels that are in line with what private insurance carriers pay agents. That is the recommendation of a highly paid consultant hired to give Texas insurance regulators ideas for ways to cut costs in TWIA.
Here’s a shocking conclusion from a new academic study into the impact of restricting medical liability: Patients harmed by medical negligence can’t access the legal system.
Okay, not so shocking. We’ve known that for years. Just ask patients who have been needlessly harmed by medical negligence. Or a family member – like Bill and Kelly Putnam – who have lost a loved one.
But, this latest bit of scholarly research into the matter confirms the anecdotal evidence that doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes escape accountability when they commit medical malpractice. The study also concludes that all patients are put at greater risk as a result. (more…)