The Texas House voted this evening 91 to 55 for preliminary approval of HB 1774, one of the #BlueTarpBills pushed by the insurance industry and their allies this session. The bill slashes penalties for property insurers that wrongly delay weather-related claims, pushes cases into federal courts where it takes twice as long to receive justice, and threatens access to justice by increasing costs, delay, and risk for those wronged by insurers. The bill has broad application beyond hail claims and would impact millions of Texas property owners if signed into law.
Texans across the political spectrum are against The Blue Tarp Bills. The bills are a giveaway to insurance companies, striping policyholders of their legal protections and making it even easier for insurers to deny, delay, and underpay the valid claims of property owners. The Texas House will debate this dangerous legislation as early as this Thursday.
Today, the Texas Senate passed SB 873, which lets cheating landlords off the hook. Currently, when tenants are overcharged on their water bill, residents can band together to hold their landlord accountable in court. But, the proposed legislation breaks up these claims, forcing tenant disputes into a bureaucratic process run by the Public Utility Commission that few, if any, will access.
Today, Texas Watch submitted written testimony against SB 2205, which immunizes manufacturers and developers of autonomous vehicles in certain cases. We believe that the Texas Legislature should fight for innovation, not immunity. Read the full testimony below:
HB 1774 and SB 10, more aptly referred to as the Blue Tarp Bills, reduce incentives for insurers to pay valid claims on time and in full. By slashing the penalty for insurers that delay and underpay Texas families, businesses, churches, and schools from 18% to 10%, the bills are a giveaway for insurers. The illicit profits they would make from slow-paying their customers would be...pure gravy.
Sign the petition to preserve policyholder protections here.
The Supreme Court of Texas, long known as a business-oriented court, recently decided a landmark insurance case that provides clarity for insurance companies and policyholders, removing any argument for the Blue Tarp Bills (HB 1774 & SB 10).
The Texas Senate Business & Commerce Committee voted 7-1 today to approve SB 10, one of the Blue Tarp Bills being pushed by the property insurance industry and their colleagues at TLR.
Texas Watch Executive Director Ware Wendell released the following statement: "This legislation threatens every property owner in this state. It is a giveaway to insurance companies at the expense of Texas families, businesses, churches, and schools. Lawmakers should represent their constituents, not the insurance industry."
Ware Wendell, Executive Director of Texas Watch, a non-partisan citizen advocacy organization that has sought to protect patients and preserve access to justice since 1998, released the following statement regarding the organization’s latest report on Texas' harsh medical malpractice laws:
A trio of bad bills have been filed, jeopardizing the injured, their rights within our civil justice system, and public safety. Texans expect our courts to protect them and hold parties accountable when there are injustices done to them. But, HB 2300, HB 2301, and HB 2269 put arbitrary limits on justice.