Texas Watch Director of Legislative Affairs Ware Wendell demanded solutions to our home insurance market during testimony before state lawmakers this week. He called on the legislature to give homeowners a “square deal” that includes decent coverage for a fair price, the power to generate real price competition to bring down rates and improve service, and better transparency so that homeowners know what they are (and aren’t) getting when they pay their premium. Check out the video. (more…)
The Senate Business & Commerce Committee met today to discuss issues in the Texas home insurance market. Texas Watch Director of Legislative Affairs Ware Wendell told Senators about some of the many problems facing Texas policyholders, including high rates, slashed coverage, and a lack of transparency for consumers. (more…)
Curt Koenning with the self-styled Texans Against of Lawsuit Abuse recently implored Texans to heed the call for jury service. In an area of rare accord, we agree. Citizens must participate in the jury system. It is a fundamental civic duty and the foundation of our judicial system. But… (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)
Mr. Koenning’s exhortation is pure hypocrisy. (more…)
Today, the Texas Supreme Court held on rehearing in Texas Mutual v. Ruttiger (No. 08-0751) that injured workers no longer possess a cause of action against an insurance company under the Insurance Code for unfair settlement practices, nor do insurance companies owe workers a common law duty of good faith and fair dealing, eliminating these long-established rights with the stroke of a pen. (more…)
The Texas Supreme Court has given Big Pharma a license to defraud Texas patients.
In its decision in Centocor vs. Hamilton, the Supreme Court ruled that big drug companies have no responsibility to directly warn patients about the dangers of powerful pharmaceuticals. With doctors and nursing homes already shielded from accountability, this decision completes the medical industry trifecta of immunity by adding drug makers to the list. The decision is not surprisingly being hailed by pharmaceutical conglomerates, medical industry lobbyists, and other special interests. (more…)
The Texas Department of Insurance received an “F” from the State Integrity Investigation’s Public Corruption Scorecard, a 50-state survey of public institutions and their susceptibility to corruption.
“This report confirms what Texas policyholders have known for years: the insurance industry holds too much power and sway in our state,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, a statewide citizens advocacy organization active on insurance issues. “Conflict of interest rules are weak and ineffective, the public doesn’t have access to crucial information, and TDI is an agency rife with political interference.” (more…)
Insurance customers deserve full, unfettered access to as much information as possible when it comes to how insurance companies attempt to justify their rates. However, many insurance companies want to shield this information from public view. The Texas Department of Insurance recently asked for input into ways to clarify what information included in insurance rate filings is subject to public disclosure. Texas Watch submitted the following comments. (more…)
The growing number of junk home and auto insurance policies with stripped down coverage and expanding deductibles has become a hot topic at the Capitol with lawmakers expressing frustration that prices keep rising and coverage keeps falling. In an effort to help consumers and lawmakers better understand this issue, Texas Watch submitted a 20-point open records request to the Texas Department of Insurance today seeking information about the coverage available in the market and how TDI makes decisions about insurance policies. (more…)