Texas Watch’s core mission is to strengthen consumer protections and ensure that our legal system is open and accessible for all Texans — not just the powerful few. Our thousands of citizen activists are committed to ensuring fairness and accountability in the insurance marketplace and balance in our courts.
We are dedicated to fighting for legal and insurance reforms that give average Texans the legal protections they need. We provide Texas families with a platform to become engaged in the political and legislative process through direct advocacy for real legal and insurance reforms. Our goal is to strengthen protections for children and seniors, lower insurance rates, provide safer workplaces and neighborhoods, and level the playing field for homeowners and small businesses.
The Office of Public Insurance Counsel has weighed in opposing a proposed pre-dispute binding arbitration provision currently under consideration by the state insurance commissioner. OPIC is the state office tasked with representing policyholders in rate and form filing decisions.
In her letter to Commissioner David Mattax, Public Counsel Deeia Beck writes of arbitration generally:
The Texas insurance commissioner is considering an industry proposal that would allow an insurance company to buy your legal rights for a few dollars a month.
This is unprecedented. Never has the insurance department approved a request to allow an insurance company to include what is called a pre-dispute binding arbitration clause in its policies. In fact, it has been part of the agency's published guidelines to reject any insurance policy that includes such language.
Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, released the following statement:
The ATF held a press conference today speculating that the fire at the West fertilizer plant was a criminal act. They offered no scientific evidence for their conclusion, only that they claim to have ruled out other possible causes. Today’s media event did little to clear up the confusion about the events leading up to the fire at the West plant three years ago.