Insurance lobbyists are in Austin talking with lawmakers about your rights. If those lobbyists have their way, insurance companies will have carte blanche to deny, delay, and underpay your insurance claim. Insurance companies will be able to wrongfully deny the valid claims of Texas families and businesses. And they will no longer be accountable for their unfair claims handling.
Policyholders pay premiums. In return, the insurance company pays legitimate claims. When the insurance company fails to keep their end of the agreement, there are penalties in the Insurance Code. These sanctions may soon disappear.
SB1628 The Insurance Immunity Act
Last legislative session, insurance lobbyists tried to force SB1628 through the legislature. The bill would have rolled back 40+ years of policyholder protections. Senate Bill 1628, was sponsored by Larry Taylor, a state senator and insurance agent from Galveston. The bill would have gutted laws that prevent insurers from using deceptive practices to delay and deny legitimate claims. It would have taken away penalties that insurance companies have to pay when they are caught taking advantage of insureds. The bill also threatened criminal prosecution of policyholders who made mistakes during the filing of a claim.
SB1628 would have also granted immunity to adjuster, agents, and other insurance company representatives. Policy holders would not be able to sue them if they made intentional misrepresentations about coverage or even if they committed fraud. This meant that adjusters could lie to and cheat policyholders without fear of repercussions.
SB1628 Would Have Made a Bad Situation Worse
Texas is one of the worst states in the country for the insured. Texans pay the third-highest premiums in the country. Those premiums are likely on the way up. If premiums continue to increase, while protections decrease, what is the point of your insurance?
Let’s say that a version of SB1628 passes this session, and a hail storm destroys your roof together with the contents of your home. You make an insurance claim. Your insurance company denies your legitimate claim for no reason. Now, what? Can you afford to pay for the repairs? Will you be forced to empty your retirement account or children’s college fund to fix your home? Or will you be forced to find a new place to live?
Property insurers in Texas have pocketed a staggering $11.5 billion over the past five years, according to documents filed with the state. Should they get even more money at your expense?
Make Your Voice Heard
Starting October 5th, legislative committees will once again meet with industry insiders. They are coming for your rights, again! If you want more information, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qAGjgZOPdA.
Reach out to your Legislators if you want to keep your rights and hold your insurance company accountable.