Another day, another twist as the TWIA / Windstorm bill winds its way through the Texas legislature.
In its latest incarnation, the Windstorm bill, now found in HB 4409, does not contain the language that would have stripped consumers of the ability to bring an action under Chapter 541 against Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) for wrongfully denying or delaying payment of claims.
On Saturday evening, the Conference Committee struck the objectionable language from HB 4409 (See pages 101 and 102 of the Committee Report, where the Conference Committee recommended as to Section 2210.552, that the House version be used: "[s]ame as House version"). Yesterday, the House voted unanimously to adopt the Conference Committee Report.
The bill is now back before the Senate, which has until midnight tonight to pass it with the Conference Committee wording, or reject it entirely and face the threat of a special session. My understanding of Texas legislature workings is those are the only options left to the Senate. I would not, however, be surprised if an insurer-friendly Senator found a way to suspend the rules and re-insert the anti-consumer language into the bill.
For those so inclined, live video of the Senate can be viewed online at:
We will keep you posted. http://www.senate.state.tx.us/bin/live.php
I would like to thank Texas attorney Steve Mostyn and Ruck DeMinico, Knowledge Manager at Merlin Law Group, for help interpreting the Conference Committee Report.