Written Testimony: Texas Policyholders Need to be Heard
On October 5th, the Senate Business & Commerce Committee will meet to discuss weather-related litigation in Texas. While industry insiders will testify before the committee and spin the anti-policyholder message pushed throughout the last legislative session and the interim, a key voice is being left out of the legislative process: Texas policyholders.
Polls have shown that an overwhelming number of Texans want to preserve their legal protections against their insurers' unfair claims handling tactics. Yet, no consumer or policyholder groups -- or even the state policyholder advocate -- have been invited by the Senate committee to testify at the hearing.
At the request of the committee, the Texas Department of Insurance is compiling a report on weather-related litigation. Less than a week before the hearing, TDI's report has yet to be released. But, even the data call for the report excluded the perspective of Texas families and businesses unfairly denied, delayed, and underpaid by their insurers. As a result, the report will likely depict a one-sided narrative of alleged increases in weather-related litigation rates. It is a narrative that blames any rise in lawsuits on policyholders for the supposed filing of unsupported cases while ignoring industry misconduct entirely.
The upcoming hearing will be the insurance lobbyists' first step towards their attempt to roll back 40+ years of policyholder protections. Their goal is clear: to deny, delay, and underpay the valid claims of Texas families and businesses while skirting accountability for their unfair claims handling. Make sure your voice is heard by signing the petition today!
Texas Watch submitted written comments to the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on September 28, 2016. Read them below: