Texas Watch received more documents from their Freedom of Information Act request, which included internal documents and notes from a March 30, 2016, secret meeting between the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), Texas Farm Bureau, and lobbyists for the insurance industry.

For some strange reason nobody from the policyholder side was made aware of, or invited to, that meeting. Notes from that meeting show that Texas Farm Bureau was not really planning on offering a discount in exchange for the policyholder opting for the mandatory arbitration clause. In reality, Texas Farm Bureau had hiked rates in Texas already. Therefore, the “discount” would simply put the policyholder at the rate she was already paying (before the hike). To borrow a quote from Alex Winslow of Texas Watch:

To put the farce plainly, Farm Bureau wants to jack up the rates, offer consumers pre-rate hike prices, and call it a discount. Oh, and they’ll take your rights too while they’re at it.

If you want to read the internal documents they are hosted at the Texas Watch website at http://www.texaswatch.org/blog/internal-documents-reveal-bogus-discount.

Don’t forget that TDI is holding an unprecedented public meeting on this issue on July 6. Anyone in Texas who owns a house or a small business should let TDI know that they are opposed to this provision in any policy of insurance. After all…We Are Texas! We are individualists and we believe in individual rights. There is something very sinister about big insurance companies forcing Texans to arbitration.