This week on “Texas Tells” we’re going through the highs and lows of the 84th Legislative Session. We’ll speak to Texas Watch’s Executive Director Alex Winslow about the fight to preserve policyholder protections, working towards a Safe Texas, and his thoughts on the session.
84th Legislative Session Highlights
Thanks to the support of the thousands families and businesses across the state who made calls, signed petitions, sent emails, and shared their experiences, we had our most successful session in years. Together, we worked towards a Safe Texas by blocking dangerous anti-policyholder legislation and supporting bills to improve workplace and community safety. Here’s what our session looked like.
Last Ditch Effort to Graft Anti-Policyholder Provisions onto HB 3787
Recent severe weather events have Texas families and businesses digging out, evaluating property damage, and preparing necessary insurance claims. Meanwhile, the insurance industry and its cohorts at the self-styled Texans for Lawsuit Reform are trying to shove last second changes through the legislature that would roll back decades of key policyholder protections.
HB 3787 Severely Limits Home, Commercial Insurance Claim Deadlines
The Texas House is scheduled to debate House Bill 3787 tomorrow. The bill severely and arbitrarily shortens the amount of time policyholders have to make a claim or file suit against their insurance carrier for the wrongful denial or underpayment of their claim. The legislation:
Episode Four: The bill that burdens business. This month on Texas Tells, we spoke to Texas business owners about the Insurance Immunity Act or SB1628. The bill, which erodes crucial policyholder protections against low, slow, or no payment tactics by insurance companies, passed out of the Senate this week. In this month’s interview, Pampa hardware store owner Harold Price speaks out against the bill, arguing that it would shutter businesses across the state.
Sen. Taylor & TLR Can’t Defend Insurance Immunity Act. So, They’re Attacking Us.
Sen. Larry Taylor and his allies at TLR want to distract attention from the terrible impact SB 1628 – the Insurance Immunity Act – would have on Texas families and businesses by resorting to direct attacks on Texas Watch.
Proponents of SB 1628 know that they cannot defend this bill on its merits. It speaks volumes that rather than debate the merits of the bill, they are making personal attacks.
TX Senate Chooses Insurance Immunity Over Texas Families & Businesses
The Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to the Insurance Immunity Act – SB 1628 – today. After a procedural vote and a few “clean up” amendments expected tomorrow, the bill heads to the Texas House. Following is a statement from Alex Winslow, executive director of policyholder advocacy organization Texas Watch:
Preserve Policyholder Protections
Policyholders pay premiums in exchange for a promise from their insurance company that claims will be paid in full and on time. Too often insurers fail to hold up their end of the bargain by unfairly denying, delaying, or underpaying valid claims. That’s why strong laws with stiff penalties – like those that have been codified in the Insurance Code for decades – are necessary to deter bad conduct.
Episode three: How do Texans rebuild in the wake of catastrophe? After devastating storms ravage their homes, businesses, and churches, many Texans faced a second storm: dealing with their insurance company. This month, we talked to policyholders about SB1628, the insurance industry’s effort to erode the last line of defense for policyholders against low, slow, or no payments on their valid claims. Then Executive Director Alex Winslow explains how the bill could negatively impact all Texans.
Our Take: Perry’s Farewell Address
Gov. Rick Perry gave his farewell address before a joint session of the legislature today. He touted his record of severely restricting access to legal accountability, pointing specifically to sweeping 2003 legislation that closed the courthouse doors for countless Texans.
Even as he exits the stage, Gov. Perry is a cheerleader for his broken special interest policies that shield polluters, dangerous doctors, makers of dangerously defective products, and big insurance companies from accountability for needless physical and financial harm.