I am using this blog to get the word our to all persons in Texas who care about working Texans and Texas businesses who pay insurance premiums every day. Please read below from Alex Winslow of Texas Watch and please go on the Texas Watch website and oppose this type of policy. I emailed Alex and asked for a copy of the proposed policy, but guess what? Nobody except TDI has a copy, and TDI won’t share it based on some goofy theory of proprietary protection to the anonymous insurance company, who submitted it for approval. And Winslow thinks TDI will have a decision within the next few weeks. Therefore, TDI will decide on a new policy form that will completely change to rights of Texas policyholders (to their detriment) (a) without the public knowing which carrier submitted it, (b) without the public having an opportunity to see the policy form before it is approved, and (c) without the public having an opportunity to comment at hearing or otherwise before the form is approved.
From Alex Winslow of Texas Watch:
Over the last several weeks, we heard rumors about pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses in first party insurance contracts.
After some sleuthing on our end, we submitted a broadly worded open records request to TDI asking for any policy that includes such a clause. We got some very troubling news. While no policy currently includes such a clause, TDI confirmed to me that a property insurance carrier has submitted for approval policy language that would allow the company to provide a premium discount to a policyholder who agrees to submit to pre-dispute binding arbitration. TDI would not share the language or the name of the carrier during the agency’s review.
Agency approval would run counter to long-standing practice, as well as TDI’s own published guidelines. However, it appears the commissioner is giving it serious consideration. No doubt if TDI approves this request, other carriers will jump on it too.
So, we have posted an action item on our website to allow people to send messages directly to the insurance commissioner pressuring him to reject the use of pre-dispute arbitration. Here’s a link: http://www.texaswatch.org/ngpform/dont-mess-texas-policyholders.
Please consider sharing the link with your contacts.