On May 7 and May 25, 2017, I wrote about Texas House Bill 1774/Senate Bill 10 that adds significant hurdles to policyholders who want to dispute weather-related property damage claims. On May 26, 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law and it will now go into effect on September 1, 2017.

To summarize, among the hurdles added by the enactment of this new law are:

  • A claimant must provide pre-suit notice to his insurer—along with laundry list of details—including, most notably, the “reasonable and necessary” amount of attorneys’ fees incurred thus far;1
  • Jumping the gun on filing your lawsuit before complying with the notice requirements can result in a dismissal without prejudice;
  • A claimant must permit an inspection upon his insurer’s request after receiving such notice;2
  • A claimant’s lawsuit can be abated (and in some cases is automatically abated) where a claimant fails to comply with either the inspection or notice requirement;3
  • Insurers may elect to assume an agent’s responsibility provided they give their claimants notice, making a lawsuit against such an agent subject to dismissal with prejudice;4
  • Limitations on the recovery of attorneys’ fees and interest;5

Policyholders and those who represent them should review the new law and make sure they understand their rights and obligations in the event they suffer a loss.
1 See 542A.003.
2 See 542A.004.
3 See 542A.005.
4 See 542A.006.
5 See 542A.003 & 542A.007.