Texas Watch

Insurance

Episode 20: Fighting for Safer Auto Repairs

When Marcia and Mathew Seebachan bought their Honda Fit in 2013, they did their homework. But, nothing told them that the car had been previously repaired for hail damage to its roof or that those repairs did not meet manufacturer standards. That shoddy repair work turned out to be pivotal when just four months later, they were struck head-on by a Toyota Tundra truck hydroplaning out of control.

This month, we talked to Marcia about her fight for justice and holding the repair shop and insurance company accountable in court. 

Statement on Don Willett

For immediate release

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett is being nominated for a spot on the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Texas Watch Executive Director Ware Wendell released the following statement:

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

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.

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: