Why do some elected representatives kick the people who voted for them and pander to insurance companies? Tina Nicholson forwarded me a bill that has passed the Texas Senate that guts all consumer protections for TWIA policyholders.

Here is the wording buried on page 41 of the bill (SB 14) that has now been sent to the Texas House of Representatives:

     SECTION 41.  Section 2210.552, Insurance Code, is amended to read as follows:

     Sec. 2210.552.  CLAIM DISPUTES; VENUE.  (a)  Except as provided by Sections 2210.007 and 2210.106, a person insured under this chapter who is aggrieved by an act, ruling, or decision of the association relating to the payment of, the amount of, or the denial of a claim may:

(1)  bring an action for policy benefits against the association[, including an action under Chapter 541]; or

(2)  appeal [the act, ruling, or decision] under Section 2210.551.

     (b)  The remedies provided by Subsection (a) and Section 2210.551 are exclusive.  A person may not proceed under both Section 2210.551 and this section for the same act, ruling, or decision.

     (c)  Venue [Except as provided by Subsection (d), venue] in an action brought under this section[, including an action under Chapter 541,] against the association is in the county in which the insured property is located or in a district court in Travis County.

    [(d)  Venue in an action, including an action under Chapter 541, brought under this section in which the claimant joins the department as a party to the action is only in a district court in Travis County.]

The consumer protections in Chapter 541 of the Insurance Code would be eliminated. No interest for delays, no costs, no extracontractual damages (even if caused by TWIA), no attorneys fees, and no penalties for TWIA’s wrongful conduct. In essence, the Texas Senate proposed that TWIA not be held responsible when it acts wrongfully. In a world hurting as a result of corporate mismanagement, Texas is giving a pass to the insurance industry and TWIA.

We are going to do what we can for the policyholders and our clients in Texas. Off to Austin we go.

Any public or private suggestions or comments are welcome.

We need your help.