Texas Watch

Accountability

Valid Concerns on Valid Claims

The threat to property owners filing insurance claims in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is real. Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature passed HB 1774, which reduces incentives for insurance companies to pay claims on time and in full. More aptly referred to as the Blue Tarp Bill, the legislation prolongs the rebuilding process for communities and keeps blue tarps on roofs longer.

Harvey FAQs

Texas has suffered a heavy blow from Hurricane Harvey. This disaster will continue to unfold in the weeks and months ahead as Texans try to put their lives back together and rebuild. Laws pushed by the insurance industry through the years will make this process very difficult. Too often, insurance companies deny, delay, and underpay valid claims in an effort to pad their profits. Dangerous and misguided laws in Texas strengthen the hand of insurance companies even more in property damage disputes. 

Press Statement on Request for TDI Investigation into Insurance Industry’s Auto Repair Practices

For Immediate Release

Texas Watch requested Thursday that the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) investigate the insurance industry’s corner cutting automobile repairs. The request urges TDI to take vigorous enforcement action to discourage the practice and uphold the agency’s statutory duty to “protect and ensure the fair treatment of consumers.”

Deputy Director Tori Sommerman released the following statement:

Texas Watch Requests TDI Investigation into Insurance Industry’s Auto Repair Practices

In light of recent reporting (here, here, and here) on the insurance industry’s corner cutting on automobile repairs, Texas Watch has requested

CFPB Takes Important Step In Fight Against Forced Arbitration

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took an important step in the fight against forced arbitration. The consumer watchdog announced a new rule to ban companies from using mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from banning together in court.

"Patient Death Act" Passes U.S. House

The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday 218-210 in favor of H.R. 1215, more aptly referred to as the Patient Death Act. The bill puts road blocks in the way of justice for injured patients and their families and greatly reduces accountability for unsafe hospitals and incompetent doctors. We've tried restrictive laws like this in Texas, and the results have been tragic for patients. 

Odessa Residents Could Soon Face Second Storm of Insurance Abuse

Insurance companies already have too much power, and they’re getting even more in September when a dangerous new law goes into effect. House Bill 1774 slashes penalties for property insurers that wrongfully delay storm claims, forces many insurance disputes into federal court where it takes twice as long to receive justice, and imposes additional costs on policyholders. The law guts the property rights of homeowners, business owners, churches, and schools, threatening access to justice for many.

Texas Watch and 80+ Organizations Stand Opposed to Bill that Limits Patient Rights

Texas Watch, along with over 80 national and state organizations, has asked the U.S. House of Representatives to reject a bill that puts road blocks in the way of justice for injured patients and their families. H.R. 1215 greatly reduces the accountability of unsafe hospitals and incompetent doctors and puts the legal rights of patients at risk. 

Take one minute to tell your member of Congress to protect patients and preserve accountability here

Press Statement on Senate Approval of HB 1774, One of the Blue Tarp Bills

For Immediate Release

On a vote of 21-8, the Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to HB 1774 today, one of the #BlueTarpBills. The legislation slashes the penalty for property insurers that wrongfully delay weather-related claims, forces many cases into federal court where it takes twice as long to receive justice, and adds cost and uncertainty for property owners who attempt to legally challenge insurers' decisions.

Executive Director Ware Wendell released the following statement: