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…)
You may have seen the headlines over the weekend. Insurance giant State Farm filed a 20% rate hike with the Texas Department of Insurance. This is the largest single rate increase in recent history.
Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has a very small window – just 30 days – to block State Farm from implementing this enormous rate increase. So, write her today and tell her to reject this rate hike!
In a Pre-Labor Day, late Friday afternoon media dump, the Texas Supreme Court released a series of anti-justice opinions. Among them was a dangerous ruling that gives predator doctors the benefit of the doubt just because they wear white coats and assault their victims in exam rooms. (more…)
You’ve heard it before. Lobbyists and regulators repeatedly say that if policyholders would just “shop the market” everything would be alright. Implicit is that shopping for insurance is a simple proposition and consumers are just lazy. Really they’re saying it’s your fault. As if you like paying too much and getting too little. Of course, this rhetoric ignores reality. (more…)
We promised you that we would get to the bottom of TDI blocking your emails, and what we found out was shocking. Through a public information request, we discovered that TDI knew exactly what the problem was – they ordered your emails blocked. (more…)
There is a quaint notion that insurance companies make sound decisions based on personal interactions with policyholders. But, big insurance companies have become highly automated, able to rely on digital profiling to underwrite and set rates, proprietary databases to compile customer information, and black box logarithms to underpay claims. Neighborhood agents, trained appraisers, and experienced claims adjusters are seeing their influence wane. Indeed, without proper oversight, we could be entering a Brave New World where machines compile, crunch, and calculate complex datasets to dramatically limit human influence on key underwriting, rating, and claims handling decisions. (more…)
After pressure from Texas Watch grassroots supporters and the media, it appears that TDI has finally relented. The agency is once again accepting communications from citizens fed up with high cost, low coverage insurance.