Texas Watch

Insurance

In light of recent reporting (here, here, and here) on the insurance industry’s corner cutting on automobile repairs, Texas Watch has requested

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.

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:

This Friday, the Texas House voted 92 to 55 to pass HB 1774, one of the #BlueTarpBills. The passage of this legislation would provide cover for already powerful insurance companies, while gutting the rights of Texas families, businesses, churches, and schools. This vote is a blow to Texas property owners.
But, the fight is still not over. We need you to raise your voice and help us defeat this insurance giveaway. 

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.

Episode 17- Phantom Policies Haunt Texas Roads

Phantom Policies are haunting Texas roads, making dangerous conditions for all drivers. These policies create gaps in coverage by excluding coverage for household members who are not specifically listed in a policy. This practice not only harms the policyholder who often believes they're covered but any third party involved in a crash. Today, 1.5 million Texans are driving with Phantom Policies and as such, only have phantom policy.

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).